New movie ‘The Intruder’ is entertainingly disturbing
Isabell Rivera OW Contributor | 5/10/2019, midnight
Since the breakthrough success of Jordan Peele, more African-American directors try to change up the stereotypical movie roles and plots. The newest work “The Intruder” written by David Loughery (“Lakeview Terrace”) and directed by Deon Taylor (“Meet the Blacks”), reminds of psychotic episodes of Jack Nicholson in “The Shining” and the terror Samuel L. Jackson causes in “Lakeview Terrace.” It sounds great in theory, but failed to be executed well enough to hold up on a massive movie screen. Starring Meagan Good (“Think Like A Man”) as the character Annie Russell, and Michael Ealy (“2Fast 2Furious”) as Scott Russell, who deal with a creepy, unwanted house guest played by Dennis Quaid (“The Day After Tomorrow”), entertain on screen for one hour and 45 minutes with a few jumps of excitement in between.
Set in Napa Valley, California the Russells purchase their dream home, that comes with more than just a few Bambis in the yard. The friendly, but strange, Charlie Peck (portrayed by Quaid), quickly becomes more than just a concerned ex homeowner, and the once perfect home in the middle of nowhere, suddenly looks dull, with too many rooms to hande.
Taylor had a great idea, but it wasn’t necessarily a new concept, just with a new and biracial cast. Although Taylor tried to get away from the usual stereotypical way of casting for a movie, other cliches were focused on. There were hip hop and R&B—to underline the “Blackness”—and then there was a crazy, White middle-aged man, to highlight so-called “White people craziness.” The storyline unfortunately lies flat, although the performance of Good and Ealy are impeccable, Quiad wasn’t just creepy, he was also weird. There were some thrills throughout the movie, but no suspense. No cover-your eyes moments, or sweat-soaked chairs left behind, it was rather comedic than nerve racking.
It’s a storyline where the ending is predictable, and it’s known who the hero is from the beginning. There was humor, just like in Peele’s movies, but the problem is with “The Intruder” it didn’t have enough of a back story, and was dancing around the issues of infidelity, mental illness, and debt.
There’s also disrespect.
In a scene when Mike, portrayed by Joseph Sikora, uses the garden of Pecks former house and his friends’ Scott new home, as a toilet, not knowing that he’s being watched. Mike, the spoiled, White friend and partner of Scott, doesn’t care, and even leaves his cigarette butts in the garden, only to be reminded of the next day to take his trash elsewhere, when he finds a cigarette burn on his car seat. It’s not so much about damaging someone’s property or goods, but more so of “undervaluing” and/or disrespecting someone’s property (often representing individual status). Mike’s reaction and that of Peck, shows jealousy, since Peck was forced to give up his house. While Mike and Scott are partners and friends, Mike seems to not be handling the fact well enough that he wasn’t able to purchase a house with such a high market value.
And then there is the house. According to psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, a house is associated with the woman, in a sexual sense. Interestingly enough, the house stirs up some past issues with Annie and Scott, and obviously caused some pain for former owner Peck himself.
Nevertheless, the last 20 minutes of the movie, are the popcorn-eating moments that involve blurry fighting scenes, not much dialogue, and a cold blooded line Good tells the 911 operator. “The Intruder” is worth watching on Netflix, but not at the movie theater.