Stars: Michael Ealy, Meagan Good, Dennis Quaid, Joseph Sikora
Writer: David Loughery
Director: Deon Taylor
Distributor: Screen Gems/Sony
Release Date: May 3, 2019
THE INTRUDER is a thriller with a premise so improbable that you’ll likely forgive every plot glitch you’ve seen lately in comparison. This reviewer doesn’t want to disrespect the hard work it takes to make a movie – any movie – or write a script. Still, it’s hard to imagine under what circumstances director Deon Taylor and scenarist David Loughery thought an audience would find the set-up scary rather than absurd.
Young married couple Scott (Michael Ealy) and Annie Russell (Meagan Good) are eager to celebrate his professional and financial success. They’re also hoping to start a family, and Annie is particularly set on raising their hoped-for children outside of the big city of San Francisco. So Scott and Annie drive to Napa to look at a house. And what a house it is: with vines trained over its walls and its many windows, it looks like a French chateau.
So far, so good. Annie is crazy about the place. Scott is a little less enthusiastic, especially when they meet the owner/seller, Charlie Peck (Dennis Quaid), after he’s just shot and killed a deer, carrying the corpse and his gun. This should maybe be a tipoff that Charlie is at best unacquainted with how to impress prospective buyers, but everybody manages to shrug this one off. Charlie at first seems like he’s not going to yield on the price, but then comes down a tiny bit. He’s a little overly friendly with Annie, and a little overly macho with Scott. Annie wants the house; Scott decides to make her happy.
Again, we know they’re in a thriller, but Annie and Scott don’t, so we accept the fact that she’s oblivious to any warning signs, and he rationalizes them away.
But after the sale is complete and Annie and Scott arrive with the movers, Charlie shows up on the property. He wants to help them move in. And then he shows up again. Scott objects. Annie thinks Scott is being insensitive to Charlie’s loneliness. We think that Annie must be incredibly dense, and we don’t understand why Scott isn’t calling the cops right now. Charlie is so clearly not going anywhere, and possessive of the property, that he’s an obvious threat, no matter how aw-shucks he seems. A good realtor could have saved our protagonists a lot of grief, starting with checking out Charlie’s situation and going on to advising Scott about what to do when the former homeowner keeps returning. But who wants professionals involved when you’re paying $3.3 million?
Quaid has fun as Charlie tries on different personas, and his meanness (when that surfaces) is intimidating. Ealy and Good, who have worked together previously in the THINK LIKE A MAN movies, have an easy chemistry between them. Still, Annie is depicted as so implausibly naïve that all of Good’s charm is no match for our growing exasperation.
THE INTRUDER has a deeply unpleasant sequence of near-rape that robs it of the camp entertainment factor – there are a lot of laughs, albeit not always intentional – that has been rising until then. This also brings the PG-13 rating into question. (Kids can’t see bare breasts without a parent, but sexual assault is okay?) The movie eventually gets to where we know it’s going, but by the time it arrives there, it has blasted through every shred of suspension of disbelief, and patience, we can possibly muster.
It is a gorgeous house, though.
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Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Movie Review: THE INTRUDER