MOVIE BUFF-ET: Creepy turn by Quaid highlight of ‘The Intruder’

Dennis Quaid, Meagan Good, and Michael Ealy in The Intruder (2019) / Photo: IMDB

It’s safe to say “The Intruder” is movie that’s not going to be on anyone’s top-10 list this year, probably not even a top-100 list. It could be a contender for more than a few worst movies of the year’s list, but it probably will just fade away.

The movie is not clever, original or even all that suspenseful for what’s labeled as a suspense thriller. It’s a lame, dumb movie that’s been done better a score of times. This I freely admit, but I also admit that I got a kick out of watching it.

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If you’ve seen the trailer, you get the gist of the plot of this tacky film, directed by Deon Taylor from a script by David Loughery.

Micheal Ealy and Meagan Good play a young Bay Area power couple Scott and Annie. Scott is an ultra-successful marketing agent who is happy living in the city, but he wants to please his wife Annie, who is at heart a country girl from Indiana. They are thinking of starting a family, and begin to house hunt in the Nappa Valley, well, actually it’s more like estate hunt.

While looking for Annie’s dream home, they meet recent widower Charlie Peck (Dennis Quaid), who is selling his family estate so he can move to Florida to live with his daughter.

Peck is a weirdo, very clearly insane from Scott’s point of view, but Annie just sees him as harmless older gentleman that somehow reminds her of her grandfather. More importantly, Annie is enchanted by Peck’s home and immediately wants to make it her own.

Scott is indifferent at best about the house and very wary of the gun-toting Peck, who attempts to intimidate the younger city-slicker in several passive aggressive and a few downright aggressive ways.

Scott would rather forget about the whole deal, but Annie is determined to have the house, and when Peck drops the price from $3.5 million to $3.2, Scott’s deal-savvy mind allows him to take a leap.

They close the deal, Annie and Scott move in, but Peck, who tells them he’s staying at a hotel in town before heading to Florida, never really leaves.

Again this film isn’t a good movie. I wouldn’t suggest anyone pay to see it in the theater, but it might be some schlocky fun as a rental or on cable.

My fun came out of watching Quaid play against type as a threatening loon, who is always underfoot. I rather enjoyed watching everyone’s idea of an All-American guy devolve into a Norman Bates-like creep.

It’s worth mentioning that Scott and Annie are an African-American couple, and Peck is clearly a white dude.

Director Taylor and writer Loughery are no doubt attempting to tap into some the emotions that fed the popularity of “Get Out,” but “The Intruder” lacks the deft and potent satire that attacked institutional racism in “Get Out,” and fails to connect on a visceral level.

That said the movie is beautifully shot by cinematographer Daniel Pearl. The settings and the stars all look great, but unfortunately the material is beneath their efforts.

The climax does feature a stunning and satisfying fight between Scott and Peck that sets up a solid “gotcha” line from Annie to cap the movie. It’s too bad so many will rightfully tune out of this movie before the end.

(PG-13) 1 hr. 42 min.
Grade: D+

Classic Corner

2019 Kids Summer Movie Fest – Despicable Me

Malco Theaters has has announced the schedule for its 2019 Kids Summer Film Festival.

Each Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 a.m. during the months of June and July, the Malco Razorback Cinema in Fayetteville, The Malco Springdale Cinema, and the Malco Pinnacle Hills Cinema in Rogers will screen a family friendly film, rated PG and G. Admission is $2 per person. Seating is limited and viewers are encouraged to arrive early.

June 4-5 Despicable Me
June 11-12 Minions
June 18-19 The Secret Lives of Pets
June 25-26 Sing
July 2-3 The Cat in the Hat
July 7 9-10 Trolls
July 16-17 Puss in Boots
July 23-24 Shrek
July 30-31 Captain Underpants