A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Intruder is a mechanical thriller about a psychopathic stalker (Dennis Quaid) who terrorizes a young couple (Michael Ealy and Meagan Good) who bought his old house. Violence is pretty intense: Expect guns and shooting, dead bodies, blood spurts, a man beating up a woman, fighting with knives, stabbing, punching, a character getting knocked over by a car, jump scares, and more. There are two relatively tame sex scenes, in which the partners are half-clothed and covered; kissing is shown. A woman's naked silhouette is visible through an opaque shower door, a man ogles a woman's bottom, and a woman tries to kiss a married man. Language includes one use of "f--k," a few uses of "s--t," and a few other words. A man drinks several tequila shots in one scene, but otherwise drinking is mainly social and mostly wine. A character smokes cigarettes.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In THE INTRUDER, San Francisco advertising man Scott Russell (Michael Ealy) has just closed a big deal, and his wife, Annie (Meagan Good), decides it's time to buy a house in Napa and start a family. They find the perfect place, and the previous owner, Charlie Peck (Dennis Quaid), seems nice enough. But then he keeps showing up -- at first to mow the lawn, but then dropping by for dinner or with gifts. And while Charlie was supposed to move to Florida to be with his daughter, he doesn't ever seem to leave. As things begin to get stranger and scarier, Scott worries that Annie may be in danger. He does some research into Charlie's background and discovers that his story may not be entirely true.
Is it any good?
Yet another example of the "psychopathic stalker" subgenre that was popular in the early 1990s, this thriller is thoroughly mechanical and laughable, almost totally lacking in any kind of humanity. The Intruder thankfully isn't as offensive as director Deon Taylor's last movie, Traffik, which tried to combine exploitation filmmaking with message-mongering, but it's still empty and lifeless. Weirdly, it's similar in some ways to Jordan Peele's Us, but without that movie's cleverness. Rather, the screenplay for The Intruder is a computer-like contraption that simply moves pieces from one place to another to make things happen. The characters, and the actors stuck playing the roles, have little choice but to follow along.
If the main characters agree or disagree, they're only doing so because the plot requires them to at that precise moment. They have no inner life -- and, other than occasionally sitting down for a meal, they never seem to actually do anything. Quaid's Charlie switches gears radically from a polite character to a savage, grunting monster with nothing in between; there's no hint of what he's actually like or where all this might have come from. Good is the only thing worth seeing in The Intruder. As with her brief role in Shazam!, she brings a warm kindness and humanity to her character, as well as humor and toughness, that somehow still come through as she makes genuine attempts to connect with Charlie. It's a shame the movie couldn't have been worthy of her talents.
Talk to your kids about ...
How is sex depicted? What values are imparted? Is the central marriage a healthy one?
Is the movie scary? What's the appeal of this subgenre? Why are psychopathic stalkers so compelling as movie subjects?
- In theaters: May 3, 2019
- On DVD or streaming: July 30, 2019
- Cast: Dennis Quaid, Meagan Good, Michael Ealy
- Director: Deon Taylor
- Studio: Screen Gems
- Genre: Thriller
- Run time: 102 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: violence, terror, some sexuality, language and thematic elements
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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