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.”