Review: ‘The Intruder’

The Intruder is an entertaining, 90s-style thriller that is the perfect 100 minute way to jumpstart your summer movie season.

Meagan Good and Michael Ealy star as Annie and Scott Russell, a couple who has moved away from the city to Napa Valley. They have purchased a beautiful home, and are hoping to start a family.

Unfortunately, the previous homeowner, Charlie (Dennis Quaid), is not exactly ready to let go of the home that he spent the last decade making his own. It starts small, with him showing up to mow their lawn, and very quickly escalates into something very intense and violating. I loved how you know from the jump the extent of Charlie’s willingness to brutally defend his home. In an early scene where he is invited for dinner, he imagines himself smashing a wine bottle over another guests head for suggesting that the dining room be expanded. The entire movie he has a look like he is barely holding it together, like he is clenching as hard as he can, and when he unleashes, it is pure bonkers entertainment.

This is a departure for Dennis Quaid, and he hits it out of the park. He just really goes for the unhinged factor, and I can’t state enough how creepy his smiles are. It’s like his usual charming smile, but when the character doesn’t mean it, it becomes pretty intensely monstrous. It’s even worse when he DOES mean it, as that usually means he has accomplished something truly awful. Now that he’s done this, I am completely expecting a string of movies where he plays creepy people. (Dennis Quaid, if by chance you read this, that is a pretty please!)

Trailer from Sony Pictures Entertainment on YouTube

This movie is simple, good fun. It doesn’t have a whole lot of surprises for avid horror watchers, and is pretty formulaic. But the performances from all parties are excellent, and it is the perfect movie to go to with friends who don’t like super scary.

The relationship in the movie is great, and very accurately portrayed. The shiny exterior on Annie and Scott’s marriage is slowly peeled away as Charlie drives a wedge between them. Past transgressions are revealed and it becomes a questions of whether or not they trust each other. What I really thought was a lot of fun was the third-act reveal as Annie realizes the full extent of Charlie’s madness. While not wholly unexpected, it was creepy nonetheless.

The Intruder is perfect for fans of 90s stories of invaders of lives, like Single White Female or Pacific Heights, or more recent similar entries to the genre like The Perfect Guy or When the Bough Breaks. Great fun to kick off summer movie season!

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