"A House Isn’t a Home Until the Previous Owner Lets Go"
THE INTRUDER is a creepy thriller about a young couple, Scott and Annie (played by Michael Ealy and Meagan Good respectively), who buy a beautiful countryside home in Napa Valley from Charlie, but learn that Charlie is having a hard time letting go of his home. THE INTRUDER isn’t gratuitously violent, but there’s enough foul language, sexual content and creepy behavior to warrant a very strong caution for sensitive viewers.
The movie begins with Scott getting a great new job taking him and his wife Annie to San Francisco. While looking at houses in Napa Valley, Annie falls in love with a beautiful old cottage home owned by Charlie Peck (played by Dennis Quaid). Charlie has lived in the home his entire life. With his wife now deceased, he’s put his entire heart and soul into the house. Charlie agrees to give Scott and Annie a really good deal, and the couple moves into the home.
Only a few days after the move, one morning Annie sees that Charlie is out mowing their lawn. They thought he had moved to Florida, but he says he has some unfinished business in the area. Annie is kind to Charlie, but Scott feels threatened. As Charlie stops by the house more and more, it becomes clear to the audience he’s not only obsessed with his home, but he’s become infatuated with Annie.
Will Scott figure out Charlie’s evil motives before it’s too late for him and his wife?
As far as psychological thrillers go, THE INTRUDER is a slow burn, with a simple storyline and a terrifying villain. Little by little, Charlie pushes the boundaries of what’s acceptable with Scott and Annie, and behind his giant smile viewers will know he has sinister secrets. It’s quite effective, with both humor and lots of tension. What’s frustrating is how unaware Annie is of Charlie. The tedious idiocy of her actions really makes one long for smarter protagonists in the thriller genre. Similarly, the writer interjects unnecessary melodrama in Scott and Annie’s marriage. Furthermore, as the movie progresses, Director Deon Taylor makes the common mistake of showing too much. Charlie is brilliantly acted by Dennis Quaid, but what’s most disturbing about him is that the viewer has no idea what he’s capable, or how far he will go.
Obviously, Charlie’s peeping-tom antics are vile and reprehensible. Interestingly, at the beginning of the movie Scott reveals a dislike of guns, understandably, because his brother was shot and killed when they were young. When the couple has to fight off Charlie, all they have for defense is a baseball bat and knives. (SPOILER ALERT) In the end, they do utilize Charlie’s gun to protect themselves. The end almost stands as a perfect defense of stand-your-ground laws many states have for property owners who have intruders breaking, entering and threatening them. Unfortunately, Scott and Annie take it a step too far and murder Charlie when he’s been unarmed and is injured on the ground. The result is a mixed worldview, with positive elements of protecting one’s home and family from intruders, but an unjustified killing in the end (END OF SPOILERS).
As mentioned in the beginning, there’s a slew of obscenities and two completely unnecessary scenes of Scott and Annie becoming intimate. Multiple times Annie is treated as a sex object, not just for Charlie, but for viewers as well. Because of this and the nature of the genre itself, most will want to avoid THE INTRUDER, and those that do enjoy thrillers will want to proceed with caution.
THE INTRUDER is a creepy thriller about a young couple, Scott and Annie, who buy a beautiful countryside home in Napa Valley from Charlie, played by Dennis Quaid. Charlie has lived in the house his entire life, so he has a hard time letting go of it. Even after Scott and Annie occupy, Charlie stops by frequently, crossing many boundaries and angering Scott. It becomes apparent that Charlie’s obsessed with his home and has become infatuated with Annie. Will Scott and Annie figure out Charlie’s sinister past before it’s too late?
As far as psychological thrillers go, THE INTRUDER is a slow burn, with a simple storyline and a terrifying villain. Dennis Quaid makes Charlie a brilliantly creepy villain, but the writing and directing fall into clichés and make amateurish mistakes. The end message is also mixed as well. The movie has a positive portrayal of self-defense, but moral lines are crossed in the end. THE INTRUDER isn’t gratuitously violent, but there’s enough foul language, sexual content and creepy behavior to warrant a very strong caution for sensitive and younger moviegoers.