Review: ‘The Intruder’ Starring Dennis Quaid, Michael Ealy, And Meagan Good

The Intruder follows Scott (Michael Ealy) and Annie Russell (Meagan Good) – a happy couple ready to move on to the next chapter of their lives. They are leaving the bustling city life that San Francisco provides and are trying to settle down and raise a family – the only thing missing is Annie’s dream house in the country. In the blink of an eye they seem to stumble upon a gorgeous home in Napa named Foxglove (a poisonous plant that used to grow in the area and clearly a welcoming name for a property). The home is over 100 years old and is being sold by a quirky, but seemingly friendly, widower named Charlie Peck (Dennis Quaid) who’s grandfather built it in the early 1900s. Charlie’s wife died within the last couple of years and he is planning on selling the house and moving down to Florida to be with his daughter. Almost immediately it is clear that Charlie has a deep connection to the house, it is the only place he has lived, and he is willing to shave hundreds of thousands of dollars off the asking price to make sure it gets sold to the right people. From the get-go Scott has an uneasy feeling about Charlie, but Annie just thinks he is an overly friendly man and takes pity on Charlie and his situation. Scott’s patience with Charlie begins to run short as the man keeps coming over uninvited, always under the guise that he is trying to help and be friendly. It seems like Charlie has no concept of space or that Foxglove is no longer his, even referring to it as ‘his’ house multiple times. Scott finally puts his foot down and forbids Charlie from coming to their home, but Charlie has other ideas.

Thriller movies typically have characters that make boneheaded decisions leaving the audience moaning and even yelling at the screen out of frustration, it’s to be expected. Honestly, without some level of ineptitude, a lot of these films wouldn’t be able to keep trucking along. However, there is only so much you can take and Denis Quaid’s potential victims in The Intruder constantly toe the line on acceptable stupidity and, at times, disregard it with reckless abandon. The Intruder wastes a strong performance by Quaid – there are times when his grin and facial expressions just make your skin crawl. There’s a specific scene about halfway through with Quaid looking into a handheld mirror that will be burned into my memory. We also see the other end of the spectrum when we get a 'Here's Johnny' scene that I hope was meant to be an homage to The Shining, but homage or not, just seemed silly and out of place quickly drawing a laugh from the audience.

Aside from some brief moments, The Intruder doesn’t offer anything novel or noteworthy. It is decently entertaining, albeit at times frustrating, 90 minutes that wouldn’t be a complete waste of time as a Netflix view down the line. Director Deon Taylor does provide some unique shots, unfortunately, most are in the trailers for the film, and David Loughery’s script has some decent lines – but overall The Intruder does not have too much going for it. Ealy, Taylor, and Loughery are teaming up for another thriller – Fatale – and I’m interested to see if this group can avoid some of the pitfalls that plagued The Intruder.  The most important take away from the film may be that when you are buying a house, do a little vetting and a thorough home inspection…and of course never buy a house from Dennis Quaid.

Rating: 2 out of 5