The Intruder

Front Row at the Movies by Shirrel Rhoades

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Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks used to sing a song, “How can I miss you if you won’t go away.”

As the lyrics said, “Keep telling you day after day, but you won’t listen, you always stay and stay.”

That’s the plot of “The Intruder.” But without the romantic twang.

In this psychological thriller, a young married couple Scott and Annie (Michael Ealy and Meagan Good) buy their dream home in Napa Valley, only to discover that the former owner, a seemingly affable fellow named Charlie Peck (Dennis Quaid) doesn’t want to let it go.

As Peck explained to them, “My great-great grandfather built this house. It’s the only house I have ever lived in.”

After the couple moves in, they notice Charlie mowing the lawn. What’s going on? He doesn’t live here anymore.

The strangeness continues to escalate, making it clear that Crazy Charlie doesn’t plan to abandon his house.

In fact, he puts a deadly plan in motion to get his property back.

Hard to think of Dennis Quaid as a bad guy. Like he explains in those recent TV commercials, “Let’s be honest —nobody likes dealing with insurance, which is why Esurance hired me, Dennis Quaid, as their spokesperson because, apparently, I’m highly likeable,” he says.

Dennis Quaid is right. Accord to research findings, he’s the 95th most popular contemporary actor.

“The Intruder” is now creeping people out at Tropic Cinema.

This may look like the type of domestic thriller that was very popular in the late ’80s and early ’90s – films like “Pacific Heights, ”Unlawful Entry,” and “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” – but they didn’t feature “highly likable” Dennis Quaid.

The point is, the actor is far from likable in this taut chiller. As one blog site puts it, “Holy crap! He’s terrifying!”

Another fan site describes it as a “gleefully unhinged performance.”

Still another describes Quaid as entering “Nicolas Cage on a sugar-high territory, hamming it up as he shouts, leers, and grins his way through his menacing role.”

Maybe Quaid realizes that he’s at a certain stage of his life where the leading man category is no longer viable to him. Like Kevin Costner’s turn from hero to killer in the underrated “Mr. Brooks.”

Or maybe he’s just stretching his acting muscles. Like Michael Keaton who went from the super hero world of “Batman” to the psycho tenant in “Pacific Heights.”

But at any rate, I’m not buying a house from Dennis Quaid, no matter how friendly he is in those TV commercials.

Email Shirrel: srhoades@aol.com

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