The Intruder Review - Flawless Direction, Strong Performances, Gripping Suspense

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The Intruder, from Screen Gems, presents the story of an unhealthy obsession and a damaged mind as it manifests in three lives with a gripping, intertwining, inability to let go that culminates in a fight to the death.

Directed by Dean Taylor, The Intruder stars Dennis Quaid, Megan Goode, Michael Ealy, Joseph Sikora, Alvina August, Lili Sepe and was written by David Loughery.

The Intruder opens with web cam view of a very fast ride through the street of San Francisco, finally pulling up to the house, Scott Russell, played by Michael Ealy turns to his friend, Mike, played by Joseph Sikora, and asks “why are you trying to kill me?”. To which Mike blurts out, I was just told to have you back by 8:30 for the surprise party.”

So, the two head up to the apartment were Annie, played by Megan Goode, has arranged an intimate celebration for which is when we find out Scott is a brilliant ad man in San Francisco. At the end of the night he and Annie are alone on the deck, of what looks like a very nice apartment when he asks if she is interested in buying a house.


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Soon, they are looking at houses in Napa, and come across an incredible mini estate, a tree lined driveway opening into a circular driveway, grounds which back into woods, no neighbors, built in the early 1900’s, it is the only home Charlie Peck, played by Dennis Quaid, the current owner, has known.

As the Annie and Scott are looking around the property, they see a deer, when out of nowhere a shot fells the animal and a second shot secures dinner and nearly scares off the potential buyers.

As the three walk through the house, Annie is falling in love with the idea of every detail, redecorating, Scott on the other hand sees a 90 minute commute each way, the mortgage, and is sold on how happy the home makes his wife. The house, a Napa Valley turn of the century farmhouse, with as many hidden tunnels and rooms as a safe house.

After a brief but tense negotiation the home changes hands and Annie and Scott are celebrating and wish Charlie well as he prepares his transition to a new life.

It isn’t long before Charlie begins to show up. Separation issues are clear for him, as he is mowing the lawn. To hear Annie tell the story, he did a good job, and he did, and she invited him to Thanksgiving dinner, which is about a month away.

Over the next month we hear the creaking in the house, its an old house, the kids partying on the back fire road behind the house, and then when Mike and Rachel, played by Alvina August, come up for a visit.


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Mike steps out and urinates by a tree and crushes his cigarette out on the statue. The next day as they were preparing to leave, and someone has burned a hole in the leather on the seat of his car.

Mike is immediately suspicious of Charlie and after Thanksgiving, he tells the story of his uneasiness during his first visit.

Throughout the film we see Charlie’s unhealthy obsession continue to manifest as he can’t get over losing his home. It isn’t until the holidays that Scott begins to understand something is really wrong.


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As a film, The Intruder is flawless. It builds the suspense slowly, with haunted house pop up’s coming in greater succession as it moves into the last third of the film. There is nothing that presents an African American couple in this film except for the marketing.

Dennis Quaid gives a stunning performance circa Jack Nicholson in The Shining; he is teetering on the edge throughout the film and the director, Dean Taylor, brings his behavior, like a symphony to a crescendo, as his obsession increases, glimpses of his mental state and desires are woven into the tapestry.

Quaid has a real duality as he plays the charming middle-aged former homeowner with separation issues, the helpful handyman who knows more about the house than anyone, and the obsessed maniacal, evil, capable of killing to protect his home and property.


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Megan Good and Michael Ealy play off each other in most of the scenes, as the married couple experiencing some heavy stress. It isn’t until the film moves into obvious obsessive behaviors that they bring reactions which would be considered outside their well-built excellent lifestyle. The three, Good, Ealy and Quaid, together capture the many emotional layers that are present throughout the film.

The Intruder is impeccable, with heightened suspense, fear, fresh dialogue and strong performances, it delivers.

The Intruder is in theaters everywhere. See it.

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