THE INTRUDER / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: DEON TAYLOR / SCREENPLAY: DAVID LOUGHERY / STARRING: MICHAEL EALY, MEAGAN GOOD, DENNIS QUAID / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
When Scott (Ealy) and Annie (Good) decide to buy a house in the country, they find Foxglove, a lovely home in beautiful surroundings that has been in Charlie’s (Quaid) family since it was built. Charlie wants to move to Florida to be with his daughter and, loathe though he is to sell, allows the couple to purchase the family home. It all appears to be a dream, but as Charlie starts turning up to mow the lawn and show them where the Christmas decorations are stored, it becomes clear that Charlie is finding it hard to let go. After all, his wife died from cancer in the house. Or did she?
As Scott starts to find things out about Charlie, he wonders if the old guy is who he says he is. Characters turn up for a single scene just to provide a little bit of exposition and things start to spiral out of control quicker than you can say “clone of every 90s thriller.” It all starts in a way to pique your interest, and Quaid plays the unhinged Charlie extremely well, but Ealy is not a strong enough leading man to carry the film from the primary perspective. The plot starts to unravel pretty quickly and the final third is plagued by bad character choice after bad character choice - and we mean like in an awful 80s horror cliche way. You will literally find yourself shouting at the screen as the next dumb decision is made just to propel the story on.
The plot-holes are pretty glaringly obvious but, not wanting to give any spoilers, you have to ask why someone moving into a new home wouldn’t check out every square inch of what they have just bought. What could have been a tight thriller, recalling classics like Arlington Road or The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, instead devolves into a bargain bin release that eschews any real tension. For a thriller, that has got to be one of the biggest failures that the screenplay can commit. It’s lazy and poorly written, ticking the cliché boxes as it goes.
We wouldn’t suggest that you invite The Intruder round your house anytime soon, and not for any good reason.