The Intruder (2019)

My favorite moviegoing experience happened during the showing of The Intruder that we saw this weekend: as Dennis Quaid’s character finally reveals just how unhinged he really is, he sneaks up on one of the protagonists and a lady in front of me unleashed a full top of the rollercoaster hill scream. People equally laughed and screamed themselves in quick succession, free to express themselves however they felt in the moment. It was awesome.

Scott and Annie Howard (Michael Ealy and Meagan Good, who was in Anchorman 2) have used Scott’s good fortune in his advertising career to buy her dream house in Napa. However, the previous owner, Charlie Peck (Dennis Quaid, reminding you that yes indeed, he is Randy’s brother) is obsessed with the house and ensuring that it remains his.

Writer David Loughery knows how to handle movies like this. After all, he wrote The Stepfather, the very similar Lakeview Terrace and Obsessed, which is a near exploitation film made by a major Hollywood studio (take that as me saying I loved it). He also wrote Star Trek V: The Undiscovered CountryPassenger 57Flashback and Money Train amongst others.

It’s directed by Deon Taylor, who was behind Meet the Blacks, a parody of the Purge movies. He understands exactly what the audience wants to see — stalking, creepiness and tension that will ultimately be fulfilled in the final ten minutes.

Dennis Quaid is phenomenal in this, a mixture of subtle and over the top somewhat at the same time. Ironically, he’s now playing the opposite side of the fence, as back in the movie Cold Creek Manor, Quaid was the husband with a new house dealing with a psycho ex-owner played by Stephen Dorff.

The Intruder isn’t going to change your world. But on a hot summer night, it’s an hour and forty-two minutes in an air-conditioned theater that provides one hell of an escape.

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