Friday, May 10, 2019

Movie Review: "The Intruder" (2019)

Director: Deon Taylor
Year: 2019
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes

A young couple purchases an estate in Napa Valley to start their dream of having a family life outside the city. What at first seems like an ideal acquisition becomes more trouble than it's worth when the home's former owner keeps showing up uninvited and unannounced. Though his presence seems innocent at first, things quickly take a more sinister turn.

The Intruder 2019 movie still Michael Ealy Meagan Good Dennis Quaid
"Don't fee bad for Charlie. Feel good for us." (Image Source)
And that's why you always buy and sell your house with the help of an agent. "The Intruder" (2019) is directed by Deon Taylor, who has helmed films like "Traffik" (2018) and the horrendous spoof "Meet the Blacks" (2016). It is written by David Loughery, who is known for working on films like "Passenger 57" (1992), "Money Train" (1995), and "Lakeview Terrace" (2008). This film focuses on a young professional couple named Scott (Michael Ealy) and Annie Russell (Meagan Good). After Scott closes a big deal at his marketing firm, it makes him the highest earner at the company. He and Annie then take this opportunity to fulfill their dream of owning a home in Napa, California where they can raise their future children outside the city. They find a beautiful estate and get a fabulous price on the house from its owner, Charlie Peck (Dennis Quaid), who says he is retiring and moving in with his daughter in Florida. When Annie and Scott finalize the purchase and move, they are shocked to see that Charlie pops up on the regular, often interjecting himself into their lives. At first, it feels entirely innocent. Charlie seems like a lonely older man looking for some company. However, things begin to feel more and more sinister with each passing week. Annie and Scott soon realize that Charlie isn't the sweet, helpful old guy he pretends to be.
The Intruder 2019 movie still Dennis Quaid
"Something is really off about that guy." (Image Source)
One of the main messages in "The Intruder" (2019) is that the biggest obstacle between a young, professional African American couple and their suburban family dream is an angry baby boomer in a red hat...or maybe we are reading too much into the visual symbolism of what is an otherwise formulaic thriller. Screen Gems has a history of releasing thrillers similar "The Intruder" (2019) on an almost annual basis, and more often than not, they are terrible, so when something like this comes along, a movie that is seriously flawed but settles at mediocre rather than awful, it actually makes the experience of watching it a bit of a pleasant surprise. Sure, this script sticks to all the regular thriller-movie-tropes we've come to know and love (??!?) and is reminiscent of many others that came before it, but luckily, this movie has Dennis Quaid, who plays a charming creep so well that it makes the whole viewing experience that much better. Quaid can seem like a nice, likable guy on the surface while still giving off an unsettling vibe, especially since he appears to be channeling Jack Nicholson's performance as the Joker with a cheeky, wicked smile every five minutes. Without Quaid, this whole thing would have been a lot worse. Don't get us wrong, the narrative is still a mess and has numerous elements that feel shoehorned in without adding much to the story. A lot of the dialogue feels unintentionally hilarious, and the way lines were delivered made us laugh out loud, even during some of the more serious scenes. A couple of characters get introduced early on, but don't seem to serve any real purpose in the overall story. If these people had been omitted from the script, it could have easily tightened up the pacing, which drags from time to time.
The Intruder 2019 movie still Meagan Good Dennis Quaid
"If mama ain't happy, no one's happy." (Image Source)
"The Intruder" (2019) is far too generic and far too forgettable for us to recommend it, but there is enough entertainment value that it didn't feel like a total waste of time (especially if you treat it as if it were a comedy).

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~5.4/10
RT Rating: ~27%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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