REVIEW: Want a film so bad it’s good? ‘The Intruder’ is your movie

I’d never argue that “The Intruder” is a good movie by any means. But I can’t deny that it is really entertaining.

The thriller now playing in theaters follows a young, wealthy couple, Annie (Meagan Good) and Scott (Michael Ealy). The two live in San Francisco but are looking to move to a more rural area. They decide on Napa Valley and check out a house for sale in a secluded area, owned by Charlie (Dennis Quaid).

Charlie, who now lives by himself after losing his wife, is selling the house for a high price, but decides to knock some dollars off because he likes Annie and Scott. The purchase is finalized and the married couple moves in to the new home. However, Charlie seems to have a hard time letting go as he often drops by the couple to check on them and see if they need help with the property. Eventually, Charlie’s behavior starts to worry Scott, as he comes across like he’s hiding something.

“The Intruder” has plot holes, exaggerated moments and characters who make some bad decisions. By all measures, as a thriller, it doesn’t really work since there’s not much tension or suspense.

Yet, despite this, it’s hard to not have a good time while watching this. It might be unintentional, but “The Intruder” is funny in just how ridiculous and over-the-top it gets as the film goes on. One even wonders if the movie was pulling some thriller tropes together as a wink to the audience, there’s almost a self-aware nature to how the picture is executed.

To put it simply, this movie has entertainment value, and it has a lot of it. There’s not really a dull moment to be had.

Almost all of this is thanks to Quaid’s wild performance as Charlie. He bites, chomps and chews through scenery in every moment and plays up the character to such ridiculous heights that one can’t help but find it amusing.

This is also true with Good and Ealy. Both of their characters make some bad choices that are common among thriller characters, yet there seems to be a sort of self awareness to them from the performances.

In most movies, these types of characters, heck more like caricatures, would be annoying and a down right detriment, but somehow it creates something fun to watch.

This review isn’t making the claim that “The Intruder” is a covert parody. The intent was likely to make a serious thriller about a man who can’t let go. However, this is a movie I could easily see becoming a cult classic in a dark comedy sort of way.

The acting is over-the-top and the story takes so many absurd turns, so as a thriller this one doesn’t really work in the traditional sense, and therefore it doesn’t justify a high rating. So it comes in below a 3. But in an ironic way, to watch this one through a different lens, it can be a good time, so it’s an enthusiastic 2.75 out of 5.


Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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