THE INTRUDER – Review by Susan Granger

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Napa Valley real-estate buyers beware: there’s a homicidal maniac on the loose!

A successful, African-American couple, Scott (Michael Ealy) and Annie (Meagan Good) Russell, are eager to fulfill the American Dream of owning a rustic home in California’s fabled wine country.

But the cavernous, $3.5 million, ivy-covered cottage they find seems rather remote. “Something tells me Domino’s won’t deliver,” mutters Scott.

It’s a spacious, secluded estate called Foxglove, named for a highly poisonous plant that grows wild in the nearby woods. Since the upwardly mobile millennials are having a hard time with their marriage, they’re hoping this move to suburbia will help mend the rift.

Problem is: the house’s previous owner, gun-toting widower Charlie Peck (Dennis Quaid), is in no hurry to vacate the premises, even though he told them he was moving to Florida to be with his daughter.

When the grass grows too high, Charlie’s there on the riding lawnmower; when the deer invade the garden, he arrives with potting soil; when it’s Christmas, he hangs the lights.

Scott is understandably irate but lonely Annie is sympathetic, perhaps initially enjoying creepy Charlie’s unexpected visits while Scott is busy working in San Francisco.

Do I need to tell you exactly when Dennis Quaid’s scenery-chewing gets so ludicrous that it’s laughable?

Originally titled “Motivated Seller,” the lame, cliché-laden script was written by David Loughery (“Obsessed”) and directed by Deon Taylor (“Traffik”), who unfortunately telegraphs the concluding twist with far too many jump scares.

FYI: It’s ironic that in “Cold Creek Manor” (2003) Dennis Quaid played the hapless husband who bought Stephen Dorff’s old house and is subsequently terrorized by him.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Intruder” is an absurdly contrived 5 – or, as another wag put it, “A real-estate thriller whose thrills are mostly in escrow.”

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.