Michael Ealy and Meagan Good portray a married couple who, after buying their dream home, get more than they bargained for in Screen Gems, The Intruder from director Deon Taylor. Scott Howard (Michael Ealy) is a successful creative director at a thriving ad agency enjoying life in San Francisco with his lovely wife Annie (Meagan Good). Wanting to raise a family away from the city, the couple decides to buy a home in Napa Valley from Charlie Peck (Dennis Quaid).
Charlie is looking to retire to Florida and offers the couple a deal they cannot refuse. All goes well with the sale initially. But as time goes on, Charlie appears to be mentally unstable and quite the nuisance. He refuses to let go of the property. Scott and Annie slowly realize that getting Charlie out of their lives is going to be a daunting task.
The script for The Intruder is from David Loughery who has a history of writing previous gems such as Obsessed and Lakeview Terrace. Loughery’s script for The Intruder followed the same template as his previous films. We have the witty best friend, Mike (Joseph Sikora). The antagonist who starts out as friendly to the couple and one spouse who questions the motives of the said antagonist. The other spouse does not seem to find anything wrong and is overly friendly with the antagonist. Situations occur, and it leads up to a big showdown between our heroes and villain.
The central premise in The Intruder isn’t a new one. I am sure within the next two years, there will be another take on the roommate/landlord/realtor/driver “from hell” premise. I grew up on these type of movies and one of my guilty pleasures is watching “couples in danger movies” on Lifetime. The enjoyment for me with movies like The Intruder is the crowd interaction. As you watch the film, it’s apparent that Scott and Annie are going to make dumb mistakes. Listening to fellow moviegoers provide hilarious commentary at those mistakes is a highlight for me.
Director Deon Taylor knows what the audience wants to see and delivers the goods. From the moment Annie and Scott meet Charlie, the director let the audience know Charlie is a dangerous man with evil ways. Regarding the acting, Michael Ealy and Meagan Good both walked through their roles with ease as their character templates didn’t require that much range. I enjoyed the contrast of Ealy’s modernized beta-male to Dennis Quaid’s traditional alpha-male. Frequently typecast in her roles, Megan Good displayed her usual acting style as Annie. Granted, Megan is very easy on the eyes and has a beautiful spirit, so I wasn’t that bothered by her performance.
The highlight of the film though has to be Dennis Quaid, our villain. In his forty-plus year career, I can’t think of any other time Quaid portrayed a villain. With evil eyes and a manic smile, Quaid brought his A-game to the role. Quaid must have had a grand time portraying our villain. I would love if he experiences a career resurgence after The Intruder portraying villains.
In hindsight, The Intruder is nothing more than a Lifetime movie on the big screen. Within a few weeks, no one is going to remember it. It’s too similar to other films in its genre. With the right audience, however, The Intruder is an enjoyable time waster, reminiscent of early nineties thrillers.
Final Grade: C+