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Home > The Intruder (2019): A Review

The Intruder (2019): A Review

The Intruder

A Ride That Could Climb Higher

The Intruder has one big weapon — Hollywood veteran Dennis Quaid. But, unfortunately, it lacks a steady pace and overall suspense as it struggles to scare its viewers until the very end. 

The psychological thriller begins with young spouses Scott (Michael Ealy) and Annie Howard (Meagan Good) buying a beautiful home in Napa Valley called “Foxglove.” Then enters its owner, Charlie Peck (Quaid), in his grand introduction, shooting a deer right in front of the couple. After he comes back to “his” house several times, Charlie becomes more and more of a threat until his dark secrets unravel in the end. 

One of the drawbacks in The Intruder is that it starts with an unrealistic storyline that most viewers just cannot relate to. And if they can’t empathize with characters in the slightest way, it’s hard to root for them in any film. Perhaps a more effective setting would have been a simpler home that today’s couples still struggle to purchase even if they make a hefty salary. A city apartment or a small-scale suburban home would have sufficed. Instead of the grandeur of Napa Valley, maybe the plot could have taken place in one of California’s unknown surrounding villages in the Bay Area. 

Another weakness was Annie’s character (not Good’s overall strong performance, though). Annie is difficult to understand because the film shows a fluctuating personality. One minute, she’s hesitant to let Charlie in; another, she’s totally cool with having wine with him. While it’s understandable that she is just trying to extend kindness in one moment, and in another was apparently traumatized by her husband’s past cheating scandal when they were dating, an audience may struggle to relate to how comfortable she is in front of Charlie. What person would be so curious as to approach this clearly odd dude? 

For starters, she approaches Charlie when he randomly returns to mow the lawn. The scene and her character could have been more interesting if she avoided going outside to speak with him, and instead, have him knocking on the door to talk to her. Since Charlie is the aggressor, it would have made more sense if he “innocently” went to the door to say “hi” to her. This scenario could have allowed Annie to react more surprised and possibly behave differently, yet still preserve her kind, generous demeanor. 

The Intruder

Charlie also could have been more complex as well. Rather than shouting at the electrician to stop installing Scott’s security cameras, it could have been more fascinating to watch him show up unannounced and actively try to suppress his frustration. He does this in the Thanksgiving scene when he faces the tapestry wall with Scott as the camera zooms in on his blood-chilling expression. It would have been scarier to view him as a ticking time bomb throughout the entire flick, not a child who rants out of nowhere who can occasionally be strange. 

Nevertheless, The Intruder definitely delivers a thrill ride. Quaid’s childish, upbeat expressions and gentle tone toward Annie are simply downright creepy to watch; main characters who aren’t the typical early 2000s rich, white couple from the Hamptons is a refreshing sight for viewers; and finally, the notion of a woman at home falling victim to the supposed nice old dude is truly terrifying for some viewers. 

Whenever Quaid looks at Annie, he doesn’t do it in a gross, seductive way. Instead, he looks at her like he’s a little boy gawking at a pretty second grade teacher. He hits the perfect borderline between being a socially unaware guy and a master manipulator stalking their prey. 

The climactic scene between Charlie and Annie is also a real rollercoaster ride. Good skillfully lets her character switch from that gentle, cool attitude to a true fighter whom we root for against Charlie. Annie’s determination is enviable, but we also want to yell at her to not follow the trail of breadcrumbs that she’s curious about. It’s painful to watch, and that’s precisely how Good delivers such a strong performance. 

We also see a remarkable gear-switch in Scott, who has a choice to make about his fear of guns. While he rightfully is traumatized from gun usage, he also must protect his wife as they simultaneously uncover the truth about good ol’ Charlie, and the audience cheers Scott on in the process. 

All in all, The Intruder is a great thrill for a rainy night in. Just don’t forget to lock your doors. 

The Intruder

The Intruder (2019) Official Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Elisabeth joined Dead Talk News in 2022 and loves movies and TV! After working for various sites, including Screen Rant and Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Elisabeth joined DTN to critique and review various movies, from horror flicks to Disney live-actions.