A rugged handyman type, Charlie Peck (Dennis Quaid), is anxious to sell his dream home to a young married couple, Scott and Annie Russell (Michael Ealy and Meagan Good), but he sticks around to help ease the transition. And he keeps popping up on the property in a guise to help. The Russells eventually realize he can’t let go of his house. And there are more disturbing events to unfold.
Were it not for the stunningly gorgeous home in Napa Valley and the appealing performers, this movie would be ridiculously over-the-top. But a few elements can be enjoyed in this thoroughly by-the-book, predictable suspense-horror-mystery. We’ve seen this before. We’ve seen much better home invasion thrillers, but never have we seen a crazier performance from Dennis Quaid, in a rare villain role.
The Good: Attractive performers Meagan Good and Michael Ealy have a nice chemistry. Veterans of the “Think Like a Man” series, they are comfortable together.
This old house! Of course, the $3.3 million price tag doesn’t make them bat an eye. That’s what you get in the San Francisco market. The lush landscape and classic touches are beautiful eye candy. Because of its vintage décor and many nooks and crannies, it provides a dandy backdrop for the shadows effectively rendered by cinematographer Daniel Pearl, who has masterfully lit the production.
The Bad: Michael Lowery’s script – he wrote “Lakeview Terrace” – is another easily solved jigsaw puzzle with standard ickiness. We’ve become so jaded that it takes a lot more to invest us in ordinary terror.
The Ugly: Quaid’s character is so unhinged from the get-go that it’s easy to figure out what’s next, as his motives are transparent. Hey, it’s titled “The Intruder.” It’s only a matter of where and when people will become victims. When you are introduced to the couple’s friends, you know exactly who is going to meet an untimely, gruesome demise.
Quaid’s built a career on his good-ol’-boy appeal, a little dangerous at times, and always some mischievous behind those eyes. But here, whoa, he just goes to def-con crazy quickly.
Beautiful people and scenic design ultimately can’t save this stock B movie.