There are some middlingly creepy though abbreviated FX to represent the ghosts or intermediate-world creatures of Intermedio, but mainly there is nothing praiseworthy in this film which is badly written, badly filmed, badly acted, & boring. Instead of a group of teenagers at the lake-side cabin getting picked off one by one, they are would-be drug dealer teens who get picked off by Mexican ghosts while trying to cross under the border through a long tunnel.
Because the characters are so amazingly stupid, plus they're wannabe drug dealers, it is impossible to care one whit about them. I wished them killed in the first ten minutes so we could meet someone else. The cavern/tunnel is better than those recurring caves in various Star Trek series, but otherwise this is like that hoary "don't go in the basement" scene in the dumbest of horror films -- only this time that one scene is stretched out to the whole film.
For an example of the moron factor, when these characters finally get out of the cave through the basement of a house, they find the windows & doors boarded over. They pound weakly on a couple of boards then decide they have to go back in the caves & look for another way out. The script didn't take the sets into account, & nothing made even slight sense. There were boards laying on the floor they could've used to pry with or as batteringrams, but they didn't even try, they thought going back into the place where certain death had already revealed itself was their only option.
I really never suspected Edward Flurlong could be this bad an actor, plus he seemed to have larengitis & trying to act with a horrible cold. Amber Benson who I certainly didn't dislike as Tara in television's Buffy the Vampire Slayer is here utterly amateur as an actor, plus she seems to have broken her leg just before filming. So they have lead actorss who are either hamstrung or ill trying to get through each day's shoot. Continuity of even such niceties as hair styles was unimportant.
The scriptwriter (using the term lightly) must have had the IQ of a muskmelon, as nothing the characters do makes a lick of sense. You gotta be able to believe someone who needs two crutches to get around would go cave-exploring to accept that these characters would even be where they're at. Two of the characters once saw two grown men who tried to make the same drug deal give their contact a stack of money then disappear into the caves never to be seen again, so you gotta be able to believe they'd be willing to give the same guy a pile of money to be sent into the same caverns to get the same drugs, already knowing nobody that went down there ever returned. You don't have to believe in Mexican ghosts to figure everyone's likely to be killed after having already handed over all their money.
The psycho who for reasons never explained can control the intermediate-world creatures is played by Steve Railsback, typecast after a good performance as Ed Gein (2001). One of the intermedios is his murdered son, who in one scene psycho-dad tells to "go to your room!" That could've been a funny line, but the script flubs itself at every turn. Railsback is capable of being a most interesting character actor, & he's the only one even trying to be any good in this terrible film, but he can by no means save it.
The only thing this film had going for it was the fact that I saw it immediately after Primer (2004). which is so much worse that by comparison I could almost (but not quite) enjoy Intermedio.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl