Brief synopsis: a couple, tired of big city living, moved across the country to a small rural town in the hopes of living a more sedate life. Returning from a date night, they find their home ransacked after a break-in.
Their relationship comes under severe strain when the husband kills multiple assailants during a second break-in.
Is it any good?: Um, it might be if one had any idea what was happening! To say Intrusion is a confusing mess is an understatement. That the central pairing of Pinto and Marshall-Green lack any chemistry does not help either.
Midway through the film, one is still confused. What is it about? Who are the characters? The film could – and probably should be – called ‘Trust’, but I suspect that title is somewhat overused. It is still a weak effort. Something that is all too often the case on Netflix.
Spoiler territory: out for a date night, psychiatric counsellor, Meera (Freida Pinto) and her architect husband, Henry Parsons (Logan Marshall-Green), the least compatible looking couple in tv-movie-history, return home to find their new place wrecked.
Meera, a cancer survivor and prone to anxiety, is, understandably, an emotional wreck. Henry, ever the doting husband, tries to reassure her that everything will be fine. They report the break-in to the police.
Detective Steven Morse (Robert John Burke), visits Henry, whilst Meera is at work. The detective asks what items were taken. Just a couple of mobile phones and a laptop. Did they have any enemies? Not that Henry knew of. They had only been in the town for a year.
They had moved from Boston. He had decided to build a house in Corrales. He had wanted to get away from the rat race, create a place for his wife to feel safe after her health issues. None of this is explained until five minutes from the end of the film. I guess the writer thought it would be too much exposition.
Did he have any enemies in Boston? The spectacle-wearing, Henry, looks aghast at the thought that he could have an enemy that would cross the country. Truthfully, Henry looks like a serial killer but the detective is too polite to say.
The detective remarks on the lack of a security system in the house. Henry says he thought Corrales was a safe town. Never watched shitty Netflix movies then…
Meera goes to see her oncologist, doctor Burke (Denielle Fisher Johnson). The doctor mentions how she heard about the break-in. It’s a small town. Back at the house, Henry is installing a locks and security system. It works vis their mobile phones.
Meera returns home. Henry has been busy putting the home back in order. He has replaced their mobile phones. He also installed an app, so as they know where the other person is at all times. Not big brother like at all. Meera seems unperturbed by all the changes, trusting her, slightly overprotective husband, implicitly.
During the night, Meera wakes up and notices that the power is out. She wakes Henry. He checks the generator outside the house. It has been tampered with, the power deliberately cut. He looks back to the house and sees torch beams in the rooms. Henry runs back to the house.
Meera is tied up in the bedroom. Henry quickly frees his wife and the two sneak downstairs. The intruders are in Henry’s office. Henry goes and gets a gun that he had hidden in a plant pot, much to the obvious surprise of Meera. Henry is tackled by one of the men, Meera’s screams alerting the others.
The couple manages to escape, running back up to the bedroom. Henry tells Meera to get to the car, lowering her over the balcony. Before he can follow his wife, Henry is grabbed by the intruders. Meera goes to the car but hears shots fired and screams for her husband. One of the intruders staggers towards the car, already dying from a gunshot wound. Henry shoots him in the back. In the back!
The next day, Meera wants to know why there was a gun in the house. Henry apologises. He is bullish about not having told her about the weapon, as that weapon saved their lives. Detective Morse comes to see the couple. The men who broke into their home were all from the same family. The Cobb family. They resided in a trailer park in the rough part of town. Not that trailer parks are ever in the nice part.
The family is also connected to the disappearance of a girl; Christine Cobb (Megan Elisabeth Kelly). She was a relation to the men. Later on, Meera cannot understand Henry’s blasé attitude. He killed three men. Henry lies, telling her it makes him sick to think about it. She does not believe him, especially as he seems to be focused on the house-warming they were planning.
Henry pops out to pick up some things for the aforementioned party. He forgets his wallet and Meera’s efforts to contact him on his mobile are met with his voicemail. She decides to go after him, to give him the wallet.
Whilst following after him, she notes that he takes a road heading towards the hospital. She is unable to keep following him, getting into a minor accident on the road. She returns home and asks him about his journey, telling him she followed him and he took the wrong road.
Henry, his dodgy facade fading by the minute since his murder spree, says he took the wrong road. Meera does not look convinced. She gives him his wallet. What happened to her car? She had it towed and took an Uber.
At work the next day, Meera suffers a PTSD episode. She imagines one of the intruders pointing a gun at her. It never happened. She leaves work. One of her colleagues bid her farewell and voices her sadness at the cancellation of the housewarming party. Meera did not know about the cancellation.
In the car park, she is surprised by detective Morse. He heard about her accident. He also tells her that one of the intruders, who had been in hospital, died. He died on Sunday night. He notes that Meera is driving a new car. It’s Henry’s, she tells him. The detective leaves.
Meera checks the vehicle’s satellite navigation, scrolling through the addresses. One is the trailer park home of the Cobbs, the family Henry wiped out. She visits the home and finds one of Henry’s business corporate envelopes addressed to the Cobbs.
She finds a video camera and USB drive in their mail slot. Meera is confronted by a paranoid trailer park resident, Clint Oxbow (Clint Obenchain). He smashes the camera, believing she had filmed him. A shaken Meera returns home and tries to view the video but the damage done to the camera prevents it from playing properly.
She orders a new camera, putting her work address for the delivery. Alone at home, Meera snoops around Henry’s office. She looks at the contents of the USB drive. There are pictures of the house construction. One of the Cobbs, the father of Christine, Dylan (Mark Sivertsen) is in the photos. So is Christine.
Henry returns home. Meera gets flustered as Henry questions about her whereabouts. The app showed her across town. Meera avoids the question. Later, sitting down to dinner, Henry comes back to the question. He is intense, asking her if she is hiding something. Meera, nervous, a little guilty, stammers.
He asks her about her doctor’s appointment and if she got the results as he thought that the specialist was on the other side of town. He is just worried that she is keeping it from him. He apologises for the inquisition.
As Henry sleeps, Meera gets up to look at the photos on the USB stick. In the morning, Henry wakes up to see the bed beside him empty. Meera has already left. Outside the police station, Meera is wrestling with the notion of giving the USB to the authorities. She decides against it, deterred by seeing a crazed Clint being taken into the station under arrest for killing a female.
Meera returns home and confronts Henry about the evidence she found at the trailer park. Henry tells her that the house and her treatment forced him to make certain decisions that impacted them financially. A deal he made with the Cobb family resulted in him being blackmailed.
Meera laps up the excuse, her worries soothed by his elaborate explanation. The tension lifted, Henry thinks it would be a good idea to have the cancelled housewarming party. A few days later, the house is full of people and Henry and Meera are the gracious hosts.
During the evening, Meera sees a news broadcast reporting on Clint’s arrest. He was arrested for animal cruelty, killing a dog. A bitch, the female. Suspicions surrounding his connection to the disappearance of Christine, had been dismissed.
Something in the newscast prompts her to watch the video she found. The video shows Dylan saying he thinks Henry had something to do with his daughter’s disappearance. Meera decides to search Henry’s office. The party is still going on.
She finds a button in his office. The button opens a secret door to a basement. Meera finds Christine tied to a chair in the room. Christine sees Meera and begins to scream and panic. The sound does not travel as she is gagged. Henry, who had noticed the light in his office go on, finds Meera in the room.
He tries to explain to her that he has urges. That is why he built the house. Really? They have been married for twelve years, the house is a year old. Anyhoo, Meera, standing in front of her deranged husband, tries to call the police. Henry stops her and ties her up in the basement. Henry returns to the party and gets rid of the guests, making an excuse about Meera being unwell.
In the basement, Christine tells Meera she has no idea how long she has been in the basement. He did not abuse her physically. It was purely mental, telling her that he would decide. Meera manages to free herself. She frees Christine.
Henry returns to the basement, still wanting to continue his relationship with Meera. The two women escape the basement, into the main house. They try to leave the house but Henry locks all of the doors remotely.
He finds the women in the house and knocks Meera into a daze as he drags Christine back to the basement. In the basement, Henry picks up a baseball bat. He is going to kill Christine. Meera hits Henry first, splitting his head open with a heavy ornament, killing him.
Sometime later, Meera sells the house and returns to Boston. The end.
Final thoughts: Intrusion is a very silly film. It is too short for the story it wants to tell and most of the tension comes from the music instead of the story. Ably directed by Adam Salky, this underwritten film comes from the pen of Chris Sparling.
There are all the elements of a promising film; a loving central relationship. A relocation to a small town. A secretive yet possessive spouse. A curious protagonist to help the viewer discover the story and unravel the plot. It is all there.
Unfortunately, none of the elements are utilised particularly well. There is a vague thread about cancer and Meera’s understandable worry. Then five minutes from the end we learn that it was quite serious, crippling her for a period. We only find this out through an expository dump as Henry whines about his urges.
His ‘urges’, as he calls them, are not alluded to at any other time in the film. There is no hint at a history of murderous urges or missing girls. Even though he had Christine captive, it only seemed to be so as he could decide when to cave her head in with the baseball bat. A very specific urge.
How they had managed to be married for over a decade yet Meera did not notice his homicidal urges, is inconceivable and unbelievable. Henry is clingy and overbearing but the film portrays them as though their relationship is new.
The film looks good in a modern, lean sort of way. The set design lacks soul, with none of the locations looking natural or adding to the story. Admittedly, the film does whizz through its ninety-two-minute runtime but that speed is to its detriment. An extra fifteen minutes, allowing for more of a build-up would have improved this film immensely. One to give a miss.