Plot: Scott (Michael Ealy) and Annie (Meagan Good) have a good marriage and life is looking great for the couple, as Scott’s marketing career is on the rise and the sky is the limit for his potential. Annie wants to leave the urban sprawl and find a home with some room to grow, since the couple plans to start a family soon. As soon as she visits the rural estate known as Foxglove, Annie falls in love with the house and Scott knows he is in trouble. He doesn’t seem happy with the move and Foxglove’s owner Charlie (Dennis Quaid) rubs him the wrong way, but Annie has her heart set on the property, so the couple shells out over three million and moves in. Annie is thrilled, but Scott is less enthused, especially since Charlie keeps coming around and even mowing the grass, which unsettles Scott’s nerves. But is Charlie just a lonely, misunderstood widower or is he hiding a darker secret?
Entertainment Value: The Intruder runs with a concept we’ve seen time and again, but has such a melodramatic, over the top texture, I had an absolute blast with the movie and Charlie’s outlandish menace. The narrative is well worn, but leans on almost horror vibes at times to keep us entertained and Dennis Quaid’s performance is pretty much a force of nature. Now if you’re after a subtle, measured kind of thriller, The Intruder isn’t going to light that fuse, as the tone might be serious, but it is also dialed up to the moon and beyond. The characters make awful decisions and show no common sense at all, even by thriller movie standards, with Annie as one of the most oblivious characters I’ve ever seen. She is able to ignore even obvious, easy to spot red flags, to the point you can’t help but laugh at her decisions. If you took a drink every time Annie was an idiot, you’d wind up black out drunk before the halfway point. So no, The Intruder isn’t a smart or sensible thriller, but it is a wildly fun one and to me, there’s nothing wrong with a focus on melodrama and cheap thrills. I think there are strong b movie vibes that add immense appeal to the picture, even beyond the normal thriller audience, as horror and cult fans might even appreciate this one. So if you like outlandish, over the top thrillers, check out The Intruder.
As I’ve said in countless reviews of these kind of thrillers, the villain is often what makes or breaks the experience. Dennis Quaid is our villain in The Intruder and we know that right off the bat, as he arrives with a gun in tow and no hesitation when it comes to putting down his prey. I’ve seen a lot of wild, over the top performances in this kind of role, but Quaid just launches his performance into outer space, a moon shot of melodrama and dialed up craziness. Even when Charlie is just hanging out doing normal, routine stuff, he comes off like a total psychopath, let alone when he drops his mask and lets the psycho side shine. This makes Annie’s total lack of awareness even more hilarious, since everyone seems to pick up on his creep vibes instantly, while she is certain he’s just misunderstood. Quaid powers The Intruder and ensures the tension is effective and entertainment is consistent, the kind of outrageous performance b movie fans live to bask in. The cast also includes Meagan Good, Alvina August, Michael Ealy, and Joseph Sikora.