The Intruder (1 star)

The Intruder

Dennis Quaid is amusingly over-the-top in a crude and exploitative thriller

'Teamwork makes the dream work!' chirps Annie Russell (Meagan Good) near the start of basketball-player-turned-director Deon Taylor's home-invasion thriller The Intruder. Dennis Quaid plays the interloper that Annie and her husband Scott (Michael Ealy) don't want on their dream team; despite a hot-button topic, The Intruder's tendency toward exploitation and tin ear for racial politics makes it one to avoid.

Scott and Annie Howard are a well-heeled African-American couple who can drop $3million on a new house on a whim. He's involved in a branding and advertising agency and she writes 'articles for women's magazines', so it's not entirely clear why they're so loaded, particularly because, aside from a couple of casual meetings in Scott's office, neither of them seem to do a stroke of work.

Nevertheless, they buy a lavish Napa Valley home from widower Charlie Peck (Quaid), who hangs about like a bad smell, riding his lawnmower round their garden and sporting the kind of red baseball cap usually adorned with 'Make America Great Again'. When Scott's away, Charlie forms an unhealthy attachment to Annie, leading to predictable scenes featuring smashed vases, sharp knives and rolling around on well-polished floors.

Depicting an old white man refusing to cede his social position of lord of the manor, David Loughery's script promises sparks but doesn't care to dig deeper. Worse still, the real focus of the film is Charlie's barely repressed desire to attack Annie; audience discomfort at turning the threat of sexual violence into entertainment may explain The Intruder's stuttering box office performance in the US.

A film that would have felt out of date in the 80s, this is crude and unconvincing. Despite Quaid's amusingly over-the-top performance, it makes for a frustrating watch, offering nothing but the cheapest of thrills.

General release from Fri 26 Jul.

The Intruder

  • 1 star
  • 2019
  • US
  • 1h 42min
  • Directed by: Deon Taylor
  • Cast: Meagan Good, Michael Ealy, Dennis Quaid, Joseph Sikora
  • UK release: 26 July 2019

Scott (Ealy) and Annie (Good) are a wealthy African-American couple who buy a Napa Valley house from creepy widower Charlie (Quaid). The script promises sparks but doesn’t deliver them; the tendency towards exploitation and a tin ear for racial politics makes it one to avoid, despite Quaid’s amusing OTT performance.