“The Intruder”: problematic, distasteful and forgettable

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“The Intruder”: problematic, distasteful and forgettable

Michael Ealy and Meagan Good play a young couple who are being stalked by the house's previous homeowner.
IMDb website photo

Michael Ealy and Meagan Good play a young couple who are being stalked by the house's previous homeowner. IMDb website photo

Michael Ealy and Meagan Good play a young couple who are being stalked by the house's previous homeowner. IMDb website photo

Michael Ealy and Meagan Good play a young couple who are being stalked by the house's previous homeowner. IMDb website photo

Angel Ortega

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“The Intruder” is the quite possibly the worst film of the year, and its only May.

Scott (Michael Ealy) and his wife, Annie (Meagan Good) are elated when they purchase their new home in the Napa Valley to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life in San Francisco. However, the former homeowner, Charlie (Dennis Quaid), is still strangely attached to his old house. Charlie routinely shows up to the house, unannounced to mow the lawn or do errands, even though he no longer owns the house. His behavior soon becomes obsessive and the young couple soon find themselves in a violent confrontation with Charlie.

This film has some of the worst writing and acting I’ve ever had the displeasure of enduring while watching a movie. If I did not have to write a review of this film, I would have walked out in the middle of the film.

To begin, Good’s performance was horrible, and her character, Annie, was fundamentally flawed.

For the duration of the film, Annie is oblivious to how unorthodox Charlie’s mannerisms are, and she never noticed how obsessive his behavior was. Every red flag that would rise from Charlie’s visits to the house would bluntly go over Annie’s head. Annie simply writes off any suspicions she may have about Charlie because he’s a “sweet old man.” She would even let him into the house, despite experiencing many strange encounters with Charlie.

It took much restraint for me to not yell at the screen and tell Annie how stupid she is.

The only character who had any sense of what was going on was Annie’s husband, Scott. Yet, Charlie had already been constantly visiting the house unannounced for months before Scott decided to issue a restraining order against Charlie.

My biggest gripe with the film however is the construction of Annie and Charlie and the conflict between these characters during the film.

One thing I noticed with Annie is how overtly sexualized her character is. Throughout the film, Annie is always wearing rather revealing clothing. Now, I don’t have a problem with what women choose to wear in their day-to-day lives. However, with Annie, her submissive mannerisms to both Scott and Charlie, as well as her physical appearance gave the impression that her character was specifically designed to appeal to the male gaze, and that honestly does not sit well with me.

As mentioned above, I also have many issues with Charlie’s character.

TRIGGER WARNING

These next paragraphs discuss elements of sexual violence and assault

Charlie’s intent after selling the house to the couple was to kill Scott so that he could Annie to himself. Throughout the film, Charlie is clearly obsessing over Annie and gazes at her with a look of evil intent. When he temporarily subdues Scott, Charlie attempts to have his way with Annie, but he, fortunately, fails when Scott regains consciousness, saves his wife and kills Charlie.

My issue with this is that the director, Deon Taylor, thought that a rape-attempt would serve the film to drive the plot forward and increase the “thrill” and suspense,” when in reality, it was nothing but a problematic mess that has no redeemable qualities.

Very rarely do rape scenes serve a film well. Unless it serves as a piece of commentary, like the infamous scenes in “Deliverance” or “Pulp Fiction,” or is delivered in nuanced manner to establish the tone of the film, like in “Room,” rape scenes are RARELY necessary for film, and the use of it in this film lowered my opinion of “The Intruder” even lower.

Also, the fact that the antagonist of the film, Charlie, is a white man attacking a black couple really rubbed me the wrong way and made question Taylor’s directorial decisions and his social awareness.

END TRIGGER WARNING

There’s not much else to say about this film. The only good thing that could come from this film is for me to warn people not to watch this piece of hot garbage.

Rating: No stars

Save your money, watch something else

Angel Ortega can be reached at [email protected] and @AngelOrtegaNews on Twitter.

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