PLOT: A family man’s life is turned upside down after an intruder reveals that they know his deepest, darkest secrets.
REVIEW: Writer/director Nicholas Holland’s An Intrusion (watch it HERE) has been described as a home invasion thriller, but most movies with that description make the invasion scenario last for the majority of the running time, showing how the residents of the home find a way to stand up against the intruders. Produced by Sam Logan Khaleghi, An Intrusion does begin with a home invasion, someone breaking into the residence of Sam Hodges (Dustin Prince), his wife Joyce (Erika Hoveland), and their teenage daughter Rebecca (Angelina Danielle Cama) in the middle of the night… but the intruder leaves rather quickly. This is just the first of the scary situations they’re going to have to deal with as the story plays out, and the craziest things that happen to the characters in this movie happen to them outside of the home.
The day after his home was broken into, Sam receives an email from someone who has photo evidence that he has been cheating on his wife. This same someone also stuck a dead deer in the back of Rebecca’s car, so someone clearly has a serious vendetta against the Hodges family. The film follows Sam as he tries to figure out what’s going on while the break-ins and threatening messages continue, and kudos to Prince for turning in an intense, captivating performance while playing one of the least likeable lead characters I have ever seen in a movie. Sam is a deeply flawed man and tends to be quite a douchebag, to put it mildly. The deeper we get into An Intrusion‘s 99 minutes, the more we learn just how bad of a person Sam can be. He’s someone who can do something terrible and just go on like it never happened, and yet he’s the character we have to stick with in order to find out where this is all going.
The cast is quite good all around, with Hoveland doing some impressive work in the emotional moments she was given. Genre regular Scout Taylor-Compton provides solid support as Savannah Simpson, the police officer looking into what’s going on with the Hodges, and Keir Gilchrist shows up rather briefly as Layne, the boy Rebecca has been seeing and Sam doesn’t approve of. Billy Boyd, the Scottish actor who has played a Hobbit and the seed of Chucky, was given the chance to come in and deliver an extended monologue as a minister with a Southern accent. The church scene probably could have been a bit shorter, but when you have Billy Boyd monologuing and doing an accent, it’s understandable why Holland would want to let the scene go on longer than necessary.
Sam is not a fun person to spend time with, but the story Holland crafted is interesting enough – and Prince’s performance is strong enough – that I was compelled to stick with the movie through the ups and downs and find out who was after the Hodges and why. I can’t say I was entirely satisfied by the answer, but it made sense given what we had seen before, especially given what we see from Sam throughout.
There are some storytelling issues; there could have been more set-up for the payoff, there are story elements I wanted to see get pushed further but they were mostly dropped instead, and the movie definitely could have benefited from being shorter than 99 minutes. But in the end, the biggest issue I had with An Intrusion is an issue I’ve had with several movies in recent years: the modern filmmakers’ fascination with making their movies as dark as possible. There are night scenes in An Intrusion where it’s very difficult to see what’s going on, and there are even scenes that take place in the middle of the day that have the actors obscured by deep shadows – even though they’re sitting right beside a glass door that gives a view of the daylight outside, plus we have reason to believe the light bill has been paid, so there’s no reason for the people to be sitting in darkness. But darkness is popular these days.
An Intrusion is an intriguing ride. If you have 99 minutes to spend on a thriller starring a character you’ll consider to be a total scumbag, check it out. It’s on Amazon Prime right now.