An Intrusion (2021) Review
As An Intrusion begins, Sam Hodges (Dustin Prince, The Riot Act) has a secret, a recently ended affair with one of his co-workers. Almost immediately after he ended it bad stuff starts happening. His house and car are broken into, his daughter Rebecca (Angelina Danielle Cama, Eternal Code, A Bennett Song Holiday) stalked and his wife Joyce (Erika Hoveland, Strain 100, Blood Immortal) threatened. An obvious case of fatal attraction, right?
But as the incidents get more severe the police, including Detective Simpson (Scout Taylor-Compton, Penance Lane, The Best Man), start digging deeper into the matter. And it begins to look like an affair may not be Sam’s only secret or even his darkest. Judging by the number of films like An Intrusion that Lifetime airs, there’s a big audience for these kinds of thrillers. Can it stand above the crowd and steal some of that audience?
Writer/director Nicholas Holland (Wronged, Hunger Unholy) opens An Intrusion with a dark, barely lit scene of an intruder vandalizing the Hodges’ residence. It’s an effective start, but the film quickly falls back on formulaic plot devices.
Since the incriminating photos were from her bedroom Sam’s ex is the obvious suspect. We know that we’re also supposed to suspect Rebecca’s boyfriend Layne (Keir Gilchrist, It Follows, Tales of Halloween). He’s an unnaturally pale, “spooky” looking goth kid who wears black and has Satanic patches on his jacket, etc. We also get to see him looking around menacingly and dragging on a cigarette for no apparent reason other than to make him look dangerous.
An Intrusion’s biggest problem isn’t its predictability, it’s Sam himself, however. He’s extremely unlikeable and obviously hiding more than just an affair. Someone is targeting his family and he’s lying to the cops about what’s going on. His obsession with his daughter’s sex life is creepy. And he’s just an all-around jerk. You can make a film like this work if the lead is a charming asshole. Or, as in Fatal Attraction, an otherwise decent guy who made one mistake. Sam isn’t even close to that, he’s the kind of asshole you don’t care if he ends up dead.
When we finally find out what’s behind An Intrusion’s violence I can only echo Sam’s words “That’s what this is about?” And what he did was terrible, but it’s pulled out of nowhere at the last minute and means nothing to the viewer or the plot. You could replace it with any other transgression and nothing would change. A film like this needs a mystery to make it interesting, but if there isn’t any way the audience can figure it out, it’s not a mystery, it’s a cheat.
We do get an amusing performance from Billy Boyd, Pippin from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He turns up as a minister and gives the film another name for the poster. Also, actor (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) and director (Devil’s Night: Dawn of the Nain Rouge) Sam Logan Khaleghi has a small role as Joyce’s brother.
Overall, An Intrusion is on a level with the average Lifetime thriller. Granted coming from me that’s not exactly a compliment. But as I already said, a lot of people love them, and if you’re one of them this will be right up your alley. However, if you’re expecting a real home invasion thriller you’re going to be disappointed.
An Intrusion will be released in the US and Canada for a limited theatrical run as well as on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Digital platforms on November 26th by Gravitas Ventures. You can check their Facebook page or the film’s page for more details.