Dennis Quaid has always had the looks and the attitude to portray a character that is angry, frustrated or tough. However, I cannot recall a film where he plays the enemy like he is in The Intruder. The Intruder is a thriller that builds with tension. The film has a positive opening introduction, a setup with a couple that looks to be promising, and a nice man who gets creepier in multiple situations until the film reaches the climax. Deon Taylor brings his viewers an engrossing situation that will hold their attention until that situation gets out of control.
The Intruder focuses on a married couple, Scott and Annie (Michael Ealy and Meagan Good). They decide to move up in the mountains of California on a ranch that is quite deserted and peaceful. They buy their new home from a man named Charlie (Quaid). Charlie appears to be very generous and helpful with the property that Scott and Annie purchase from him. He continuously cuts the grass, does house updates, and is always around at unexpected times. However, his repetitive appearances make Scott feel uncomfortable. When Scott tries to talk to Charlie about why he does not feel comfortable with Charlie always being around, Charlie begins to show more disturbing signs of strange behaviors.
What I enjoyed about The Intruder is that for Charlie, the film takes some time for his behavior to worsen. I felt the delay in attitudes with the antagonist set the scene for more dramatic situations to come around. Another portion of that is Annie being in disagreements with Scott about Charlie. When Charlie does show up a lot, Annie does not view it as negative as Scott does. She views Charlie to be someone that is trying to be genuine, kind and busy, because supposedly he lost his wife recently. Charlie’s wife passed away, but the question to how she died remains a mystery. This leads Scott to do more background research with his colleagues to figure out what Charlie’s real-life history is.
Charlie is good at reading into people’s behaviors when it comes to them thinking he is bad news. There is a scenario where Scott has a colleague do the background check, and when the information on Charlie is finalized, Charlie gets to that colleague and puts a hold on the background information on him. Therefore, this prevents Charlie from having authorities after him. However, when he eliminates something or someone, his behavior gets more violent, disturbing, and stalker-like. Scott has no idea what Charlie is capable of.
When I saw The Intruder, I was enthralled. However, the film is predictable in some ways, particularly when there are moments of suspense. Quaid does fit the bad guy role well and The Intruder is a good movie if viewers want a film that centers around a good guy versus bad guy storyline. I found the film to be Lakeview Terrace (2008) meets Cold Creek Manor (2003). Quaid was also in Cold Creek Manor. The film was the same setup in terms of owning a house and the previous owner being insane, however Quaid was the good guy in that one and that was a hard R violent film where as The Intruder was a light PG-13 thriller. Overall, I give The Intruder three stars.