The Intruder (2019)

The Intruder (2019) Cover

Sometimes you just need pure schlock entertainment to fill your eye holes and The Intruder is some of the best you can get. The special recipe here is a story that firmly walks the line of setting clear expectations while putting extra thought into developing the character conflicts.

Shortly after getting a big promotion at work, Scott (Portrayed by Michael Ealy) and Annie Russell (Meagan Good) decide to move out from the inner city to a countryside home to begin working on family life. Unfortunately, not everything is copacetic in the Russell home as marital strain wears away at their relationship that is both mirrored and exacerbated by the antics of Charlie (Dennis Quaid) the prior owner of their house who becomes increasingly obsessive. Fans of pulp suspense thrillers will be familiar with the beats but may be pleasantly surprised by the rhythm.

There are two core elements that really work well in The Intruder. The first is the way it approaches the perspectives of both Scott and Annie as it divides them over Charlie’s character. Some of the poor character decisions that are common in the genre get some thoughtful reasoning here.

Sensitive viewers may catch the subtext that is built into the film as a realistic relationship is revealed between Scott and Annie through their ordeal. It’s pleasantly surprising to have so much thought into fracturing the male and female perspectives. Director Deon Taylor has created a split where you could follow along with either character all throughout the rising tension of the story. I’d like to say more but really can’t without spoilers, but it was awesome to come out of the theater and be able to talk about what these characters have going on in their lives.

That second element is the magic of a completely over-the-top bonkers performance from Dennis Quaid. Deon Taylor has fun with the perspective as it paints Charlie (Quaid) sympathetically through the first half of the film before letting him run off the deep end. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that for most of the film his performance inspired laughs. It’s gloriously entertaining. But when things need to get chilly, they do as Qaid is able to turn that manic performance into something coldly unpleasant.

A few elements do detract from the experience. Ealy and Good are competent enough through most scenes but lack the chemistry to feel organic when they need to. It’s rare and most audiences probably won’t notice it, though. I was also a little disappointed in the music. Honestly, neither of these things undercut the experience, but they were areas that could have been polished to shine more intensely.

If you’re a fan of cheesy thrillers then you’ll have a blast with The Intruder. It’s about the most fun you’ll have watching a psycho stalk their victims all summer.

Final Verdict:The best of cheesy slashers and a blast to watch.