26th July 2019 (UK)
A young married couple buys a beautiful house on several acres of land, only to find out that the man they bought it from refuses to let go of the property.
Meagan Good, Dennis Quaid, Michael Ealy
After deciding to put his home on the market, Charlie (Dennis Quaid) suffers a serious case of Seller’s Regret and finds it difficult to let go of the property. At first, the new owners Scott (Michael Ealy; Barbershop) and Annie Russell (Meagan Good; Shazam!, Think Like A Man Too) tolerate the frequent and unannounced visits from lonely Charlie as they take pity on him over the death of his wife. But when disturbing secrets from Charlie’s past begin to surface and the true intentions of his social calls become apparent, the couple realise it’s not just their privacy that’s in danger.
The Intruder attempts to recapture the kitschy B-Movie feel of similar home invasion titles such as 1990’s Pacific Heights or more suitably 1989’s Hider in the House. Unfortunately, Deon Taylor’s direction is too slick for this kind of guilty pleasure cinema and David Loughery’s PG-13 script is far too restricted to capture the sleaze present in those films. The R&B soundtrack is ill judged and positive chemistry between the lead couple is non-existent. The only time their relationship feels remotely believable is when they’re arguing, making it difficult to root for them when things go south.
Quaid, on the other hand, is suitably game as Charlie. It’s a huge shame that he doesn’t have better material to work with, but he does his absolute best to bring some kind of menace to his role. The final ten minutes ramp up the hostility and in turn Quaid follows suit by pushing the limit of Charlie as far as the tame screenplay will let him, but it’s far too late to save The Intruder from mediocrity.
It’s a film filled with stupid characters making even stupider decisions, none of which are goofy enough to even laugh along with. Annie is laughably clueless at Charlie’s intentions and Scott is woefully unbelievable in his outdated macho attempts to stop Charlie from coming over. I’d have liked to have seen more connections between the house and Charlie too so we got a clearer sense as to why he can’t stay away.
Instead, and perhaps unsurprisingly at this point, his reasoning is outlined in what amounts to little more than throwaway expositional dialogue. Maybe with a more risk-taking filmmaker at the helm, The Intruder could have felt right at home alongside comparable films. But as it stands, it’s simply an outsider looking in to far superior dwellers in the genre.
A crazy Dennis Quaid
Too slick for its sleazy premise
Restricted at a PG-13 rating