There’s a wall between enjoyment of Trespass and its cast, namely Nicole Kidman and Nicholas Cage. Cage, in full on rage mode bellowing at home invaders, doesn’t mince with the quite, even sane demeanor of his on-screen wife.
Sure, Kidman screams until her lungs likely collapse, but it’s not with the same vigor of a Cage frenzy. Not much is. In between it all is a rebellious daughter played by Liana Liberato, the opposite of both, panicked yet controlled. There’s such a divide, bonding them as a family is nigh impossible, even one as broken as this.
Thugs have burst into the Miller’s fancy home seeking the ultimate MacGuffin, diamonds. Cage plays an established gem dealer, worth millions if the surface is true, enough that a fearsome foursome of crooks decide his house is worth a break-in.
Break-in they do too, bypassing extensive alarm systems which are sure to come into play later. Brandishing guns, tensions scrounge for a peak without finding it, an expository backstory and redundant fact-finding dialogue growing tiresome.
Maybe it’s meant to offer the audience a break, a bloodied Cage spouting off about the business, why the diamonds can’t be stolen, how to tell if they’re fake, his financial status, and the list goes on. Compounding the scripting gaffes are trouble amongst the thieves, battling amongst each other as their devious crime excursion dives southward.
There’s a sense Trespass went wrong somewhere, diminished by its market value that shoved it towards the direction of home video. Under the direction of Joel Schumacher who was behind the lens for the superior Phone Booth, and with clear star power, there’s little reason this wasn’t playing within the States theatrically. Then again, Schumacher did handle Batman & Robin, so maybe his stock isn’t where it once was.
Trespass is an odd looker that gets itself together sometime during the second act. The first carries a heavily stylized punch that guns for an idyllistic approach, in the process bumping contrast and smoothing faces. Texture simply isn’t a factor. Saturation reaches a point it won’t return to, heavy on the flesh tones and teal lighting, because that’s how things go these days.
As the invasion takes over the narrative, the film keeps its warm hues, ditching the notable contrast for something dimmer and unkind to shadow detail. Crush doesn’t take this Millennium AVC encoded transfer anywhere other than the “unspectacular” pile.
Even if the shadows evaporate into pools of unrefined darkness, facial detail in these tense close-ups begins to take shape. Stress leads to sweating, droplets clearly defined and crisp. Pores have a natural state, aided by a mostly unmolested film stock. Film grain is cleanly resolved without becoming a concern, hardly even a presence for most of the feature.
This one runs a little soft, naturally mind you, giving it a clean, pure look that seems indistinguishable from the real thing, even with the compression. Warm hues carry nearly all of the interiors once Trespass settles into its groove, forgiving those earlier indiscretions.
The house environment doesn’t carry much sonic heft, dialogue sticking to the center despite mostly empty rooms fit for an echo. A few gun shots will pop the high-end with all the benefit of some HD audio bliss, even if it’s not extravagant.
Trespass misses its golden opportunity, a car slamming into a pole never registering with the low-end to complete the effect. Crunching metal is left to its own devices. A party initiates some mild ambiance, music catching the surrounds for effect, the beat hitting the subwoofer with a light pulse.
There’s nothing showy about the flame-centric finale either, the flare up containing some generic audio effects dampening the fun happening in the rears. Some crackling the popping as the fire takes over add a little spark, balanced precisely with the up and down dialogue. It’s enough to give it a pass
One five-minute featurette titled Inside the Thriller is a mere plot recapping promo. Some trailers are there to ease the extra’s drought, even if it’s only a brief reprieve.