Tuesday, May 14, 2019

[Review] The Intruder

The delightfully deranged Dennis Quaid vehicle The Intruder breaks in as a campy, unabashedly clichéd thriller that manages to be thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end — even if you can predict every move. 

The doors open with a married couple (played by Michael Ealy and Megan Good) as they move into a beautiful and serene Napa Valley property. Sound like a dream? Not so fast. It just so happens that the home’s previous owner (played by a fully-game Dennis Quaid) won’t quite leave. The guy just keeps showing up unannounced, to the point where the couple fears for their safety. And well, it’s just a matter of time and a few bottles of wine before things hit the fan. 

To its credit, The Intruder is a film that knows exactly what it is. It’s aware that we as an audience know where this is all going, but it does its job so damn well that it’s easy to embrace. The genre blueprints are laid out here, and they’re fun as hell when they’re put to work with such immense precision. It’s engrossing. It’s jarring. And it’s actually really funny. The film practically constitutes as one big, sly smirk with a lot of acres.

Speaking of sly smirks, Dennis Quaid gives a performance for the ages. He truly goes all the way, and then some. He’s erratic and unhinged. Creepy and relentless. Secretive and sadistic. His maniacal smile would even make the Grinch crap his pants. Wait, does the Grinch have pants? Okay, that’s beside the point. Quaid rocks it here. 

What director Deon Taylor has constructed is an effective, memorable, and over-the-top home invasion flick that provokes jumps and laughs in equal amounts. The landscaping is nice and the architecture is well-crafted, but there’s something deliriously ugly beneath the surface. Changing the locks isn’t always enough. 


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