Film Review: THE INTRUDER (USA 2019)

The Intruder Poster

A young married couple buy 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.


Deon Taylor

THE INTRUDER is a slasher flick advertised as a psychological thriller featuring no real surprises, about a couple having to survive an intruder to their new home.  As far as intruder movies go, it is a well-worn genre done in one form or other.  The best ones are the two FUNNY GAMES, both directed by Michale Haneke, the Austrian and Hollywood versions.

THE INTRUDER sees a handsome looking black couple, Scott Howard (Michael Ealy) and the missus, Annie (Meagan Good) purchasing their dream home in the wine Napa Valley.  They leave city life for the wine region.  But they do not get what they dream of.   Instead of a funny and entertaining GREEN ACRES, the scenario turns out to be a campy horror INTRUDER in which director Taylor accomplishes a few good turns but ends up churning out a run-of-the-mill boring slasher film.

There are two kind of black films.  One shows the hardship of the African Americans like IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, MOONLIGHT or 7 YEARS A SLAVE.  The others are these unrealistic fairy tales, especially the romantic comedies and this one that show the blacks as rich, wealthy and beautiful people.  They often work in advertising agencies or some executive position with white people as their lackeys.

The married couple move into a gorgeous mansion that has been carefully kept for generations by its owner Charlie Peck (Dennis Quaid).  After selling the house Peck keeps showing up unannounced, much to the chagrin of Scott, though the wife does not mind the extra help Peck offers.  Peck is supposed to leave to live with his daughter but that date never realizes.       

It soon becomes apparent that Peck has the hots for Annie.  When Scott gets aggressive with Peck, Peck runs him off the road while jogging.

The careless script is glaringly full of loopholes.  When Scott is in hospital, he asks his world buddy and colleague, Mike (Joseph Sikora) to run a background on Peck.  That very night, Mike has got all the back information on Peck, way too soon and way to convenient before Peck starts terrorizing Annie.

The only interesting character in the film is Mike, the white friend of the couple, who the audience is sure of will come to a grisly and violent death.  Mike is conveniently freaked out by a domineering Peck, making up the film’s queaziest scene.

The otherwise unimpressive film film benefits from Wilson’s occasional inspired direction and Quaid’s campiness.  One such example is the scene that suddenly lights up that reveals Quaid crouched up and ready to pounce on the unsuspecting victim.  A few other good camera angles achieve a few surprise jolts as well.  Dennis Quaid, a handsome bulked up actor now shows signs of his age though still possessing a body to be envious for.  Quaid hams it up, giving the film some camp and wicked humour needed to lift the film out of the doldrums.  One scene has her licking his victim’s body using his tongue to file her while she is passed out.

The audience at the promo screening appear to be enjoying the movie, though laughing too much for a horror film.