In exploring his filmography, it’s easy to see why. After his short film Link earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Short Film in 1996, Fresnadillo marked his feature debut with Intacto (2001), a suspense fantasy about four people who share a common attribute: the power to control, and conversely steal, luck. The film made a big splash in his home country, winning him a Goya (Spain’s equivalent to the Oscar) for Best New Director. It also gained something of a cult following among film fans world wide.
Intacto‘s success helped Fresnadillo grab his first mainstream film opportunity, 28 Weeks Later, the sequel to Danny Boyle and Alex Garland’s similarly named virus-outbreak (and, let’s face it,) apocalypse film. While the decision to make a sequel seemed gratuitous at the time (especially given a downbeat ending capped on to the American version of the movie), Fresnadillo silenced suspicious criticism by crafting a sequel even more intense and heartbreaking than the film that came before it.
Sporting a great ensemble cast (Jeremy Renner, Imogen Poots, Rose Byrne, Idris Elba, and Robert Carlyle) and an intelligent script, 28 Weeks Later used its predecessor as a springboard to give viewers a glimpse at the viral outbreak only suggested in the original film. Emphasizing domestic drama with heart-stopping scares and explosive action scenes, Fresnadillo crafted a sequel that not only matched its predecessor, but also surpassed it in many ways.
Intruders, Fresnadillo’s third film (opening in limited released March 30th) takes the domestic dynamics touched on in 28 Weeks Later and turn them into a more atmospheric affair. Where 28 Weeks plays in traditional zombie-movie territory to gigantic, action packed effect, Intruders is an old-fashioned supernaturalimbued with an alluring mystery at its core. Featuring strong performances from an international cast headlined by Clive Owen, Intruders takes “monster-in-your-closet” conventions to whole new levels as two children from different sides of the globe are tormented by an entity known only as The Hollowman. This faceless shell of a human being seemingly originates in the mutual imaginations of the children, yet comes for them at night to possess them in a very real way.
had the opportunity to talk with Fresnadillo one-on-one to discuss the themes and obsessions that inform his creativity, the difficulties of taking on Intruders, and his future film projects.
Hit the jump to read our interview with Juan Carlos Fresnadillo about Intruders (WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!)…