The Intruder

The Intruder

2019, PG-13, 102 min. Directed by Deon Taylor. Starring Meagan Good, Michael Ealy, Dennis Quaid, Joseph Sikora.

REVIEWED By Matthew Monagle, Fri., May 3, 2019

Good melodrama is sometimes hard to spot. It’s one thing when an acclaimed director adopts the emotional language of melodrama in their latest feature, but when this mode of cinema rears its head in more traditional genres  –  such as horror or tragedies  – audiences can be slow to take it seriously. So let’s save everyone some time: The Intruder is a delightful use of the conventions of melodrama to subvert traditional horror archetypes. And yes, you absolutely read that right the first time.

After earning millions as a San Francisco marketing executive, city kid Scott (Ealy) agrees to settle down in Napa Valley with his wife Annie (Good). Soon they find the perfect home to start a family; rustic, remote, and surrounded by woods, this luxurious property is everything they’ve ever wanted. They’re even willing to overlook the occasional visit from Charlie (Quaid), the previous owner, who seems like nothing more than a middle-aged widower looking to help out a little. Until, of course, Charlie’s drop-ins become a little more frequent and a little less innocent.

Many will see The Intruder’s PG-13 rating and aging antagonist, then write it off as a misplaced direct-to-video curio. But in this case, the broad spectacle of the film is a feature, not a bug. Everything that happens is designed to cut the film’s overt social commentary with melodramatic character and story beats. A middle-aged, blue-collar worker is forced from his home by his own financial failures but convinces himself he can earn everything back if he just murders the black man who took his place? It’s the kind of overearnest plotting that would stagnate if delivered with a straight face, but it works divinely when hidden beneath a layer of escalated emotions and genre tropes.

Nobody knows this better than Quaid. Despite being an unconventional choice to play a villain of any kind, Quaid throws himself into the role of Charlie with a manic energy that borders on the heroic. This is a performance of bulging eyes, grotesque smiles, and wet noises delivered under his breath. Anything less than complete abandon on the part of the actor and the character doesn’t work; when dialed up to 11, however, Charlie becomes a bag of bluster on par with Death Proof’s Stuntman Mike. I dare you to watch him sit shirtless in a basement, practicing turning his too-large smile on and off, and tell me Quaid isn’t in on the joke. He knows exactly what’s being asked of him and he’s all too happy to deliver.

The Intruder may not be destined for great things upon its initial release, but there’s too much delightful excess here for the movie to stay down for long. This is the kind of film that will unironically end up on a prominent scholar’s Best of 2019 list. If you can sync up with the film’s ridiculous wavelength, you might just find you love it, too.

Showtimes

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Wed., May 22

CC/DVS 1:30, 4:00, 6:40

Fri., May 24

CC/DVS 10:30

Sat., May 25

CC/DVS 10:30

Sun., May 26

CC/DVS 10:30

Mon., May 27

CC/DVS 11:00

Tue., May 28

CC/DVS 10:00

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Wed., May 22

digital 12:00, 2:35, 5:10, 7:50, 10:45

Fri., May 24

digital 11:40am, 2:20, 5:00, 7:50, 10:40

Sat., May 25

digital 11:40am, 2:20, 5:00, 7:50, 10:40

Sun., May 26

digital 11:40am, 2:20, 5:00, 7:50, 10:40

Mon., May 27

digital 11:40am, 2:20, 5:00, 7:50, 10:40

Tue., May 28

digital 11:40am, 2:20, 5:00, 7:50, 10:40

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Wed., May 22

digital 11:20am, 2:00, 9:55

Wed., May 22

digital 10:45am, 1:30, 4:15, 7:10, 10:40

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Wed., May 22

digital 11:20am, 2:05, 4:50, 7:35, 10:20

Thu., May 23

digital 11:20am, 2:05

Fri., May 24

digital 10:40am, 1:30, 4:20, 7:10, 9:55

Sat., May 25

digital 10:40am, 1:30, 4:20, 7:10, 9:55

Sun., May 26

digital 10:40am, 1:30, 4:20, 7:10, 9:55

Mon., May 27

digital 10:40am, 1:30, 4:20, 7:10, 9:55

Tue., May 28

digital 10:40am, 1:30, 4:20, 7:10, 9:55

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 22

digital 9:55am, 12:45, 3:15, 5:45, 8:15, 10:45

Fri., May 24

digital 2:45, 7:45, 10:15

Sat., May 25

digital 2:45, 10:40

Sun., May 26

digital 2:45, 10:40

Mon., May 27

digital 2:45, 7:45, 10:15

Tue., May 28

digital 2:45, 7:45, 10:15

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Wed., May 22

digital 12:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Fri., May 24

digital 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Sat., May 25

digital 12:15, 7:00, 10:00

Sun., May 26

digital 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Mon., May 27

digital 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Tue., May 28

digital 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Wed., May 22

11:30am, 2:00, 4:40, 7:15

Fri., May 24

3:15

Sat., May 25

8:45

Sun., May 26

9:30

Mon., May 27

3:15

Tue., May 28

3:15

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Wed., May 22

CC 10:05am, 1:15, 4:30, 7:20, 10:10

Thu., May 23

CC 10:05am, 1:15, 4:30, 7:20, 10:10

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 22

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:50, 5:20, 7:55, 10:30

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 22

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50, 10:30

Thu., May 23

CC/DVS 11:50am, 2:30, 6:50, 9:30

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Wed., May 22

12:00, 2:40, 5:20, 8:00, 10:45

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., May 22

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:25, 4:50, 10:30

Thu., May 23

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:25, 4:50, 10:00

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

The Intruder, Deon Taylor, Meagan Good, Michael Ealy, Dennis Quaid, Joseph Sikora

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