Any film critic who is walking into Deon Taylor’s The Intruder (which opens up today) expecting some sophisticated thriller will walk out enraged. What puzzles me is why any critic would believe that Taylor’s latest project was supposed to be that in the first place. In this age of sequels, reboots, and endgames, The Intruder sets out to achieve; it’s one goal (entertaining audiences). The trailer pretty much spells that out for anyone walking into the theater. The narrative itself is relatively simplistic. The Russell’s (played by Meagan Good and Michael Ealy) and set out to buy a home in Napa with the goal laying some roots down out in the country and beginning to start a family. They just so happen to buy the one house owned by the town weirdo Charlie Peck (Denis Quaid) who has some demons hidden deep within that home.
Good and Ealy play the perfect unassuming couple who at first think nothing about Charlie’s advances. Eventually, Stuart (Ealy) has had enough, but Annie (Good) feels sorry for him. While the narrative is predictable and times and some might argue too simplistic, it didn’t deter from the enjoyment of the full piece. One of the big reasons for this was Daniel Pearl’s excellent cinematography. He masterfully made us of natural shadows and jump-cuts to help crank up the tension in the film. The other reason was Quaid himself.
Quaid was masterful on screen as the former home-owner obsessing about the new tenants. He gave his character so pretty intense ticks to match his personality which only enhanced how creepy he was. To say that he stood out in the piece would be quite an understatement.
Overall, The Intruder navigates through some predictable elements and create a highly entertaining piece thanks in large part to a performance from Denis Quaid that will give you chills.