They’ll never learn.
In thriller after thriller after thriller, the story opens as the main characters begin a new chapter in their lives by moving into an expansive, Insta-worthy, remote home in the woods or along the beach or nestled into an area that’s so isolated we never even see the hint of a neighbor. Things will be different and better here!
Oh great. Let’s cue the driving rainstorms and the power outages and the mysterious sounds in the middle of the night — and the next thing you know it, this so-called paradise has turned into … A HOUSE OF HORROR!
Mining similar territory seen in recent releases such as “The Rental” and “Four Kids and It” and “You Should Have Left” and “Becky” and “Fatale,” the Netflix original movie “Intrusion” is a derivative, manipulative, convoluted and dopey story that dishes up one scary movie cliche after another before careening out of control with a late plot development so insanely implausible, so far out of left field, it’s as if someone accidentally deleted 20 pages of the script during production and nobody noticed.
The only bright spot in an otherwise dismal picture is Freida Pinto’s game and sincere performance as Meera, a cancer survivor and therapist who has moved across the country with her attentive and caring architect husband Henry (Logan Marshall-Green), leaving Boston behind for the slower, more relaxed and comforting atmosphere of a quiet town with little noise or crime. Henry actually designed and built the home himself, and it’s a massive, stone-and-glass, cold and imposing structure. Come on, Henry, read the room, so to speak. Throw in some comfy pillows and some cozy nooks and crannies man!
We know Henry might be a little tightly wound because he buttons his shirts all the way to the top, has oddly slicked back hair and wears glasses from the Guy Pearce School of Optometry. Still, he’s always telling Meera she’s beautiful and he loves her, and he’ll do anything for her, even though it’s a shame they can’t have children and it’ll just be the two of them in that giant house forever.
That’s when the stuff starts to hit the fan. There’s not one, but two break-ins, with masked thugs ransacking the house in search of … something. On the second break-in, Meera is shocked to learn Henry has a gun, and he’s not hesitant to use it. Could it be there’s more to Henry than tender games of Scrabble and gentle kisses on the neck and reassurances he’ll always be there for Meera?
As Meera becomes the obligatory Citizen Private Detective investigating things that just don’t add up, “Intrusion” pummels us with cheap scares such as the loud music sting when a bad guy pops into the frame; the ferocious barking dog that appears out of nowhere, and the fumbling for the car keys as the bad guys are closing in. Things go from bad to awful in the final act, which will practically dare you to start musing, “I wonder what Netflix has for me in the ‘Because You Watched…’ section?”