What happens when a happy, attractive couple buys a house from Dennis Quaid? Dennis Quaid('s character) attacks! That's the very simplified plot of the new movie The Intruder, out May 3, which, as the name clearly suggests, is about someone intruding. But is The Intruder based on a true story? Parts of it definitely seem like something that could have made real headlines. (The potential dead wife ghost haunting part, not so much.)
In The Intruder, a couple, Annie and Scott (Meagan Good, Michael Ealy), buy a house in the Napa Valley from a man named Charlie Peck (Quaid). While they're excited to move into their dream home, things take a turn when they notice how attached Charlie still is to the property, showing up out of the blue and demanding that they not change anything. Then, things take another turn when the couple finds out Charlie's wife died in the house. It looks like it gets scarier from there with Charlie creeping on Annie Psycho-style and busting through a door like he's Jack Torrance.
But while a weird guy obsessed with his former house could be a real situation, The Intruder doesn't seem to be based on any specific real occurrences. Writer David Loughery (Obsessed, Lakeview Terrace) explained his inspiration in the production notes for the film.
"In every neighborhood, there’s an older, retired guy who is completely obsessed with his house and his property, and his yard, and he keeps everything in meticulous shape, and it’s a reflection of him," Loughery said. "The house, the property, represents him. And I thought, what if a guy like this had to give up his property? ... Would he be able to stay away, or would he have to come back and make sure that the people he sold it to were taking care of it in the way that he needed them to take care of it?"
The story unfolds from there, and director Deon Taylor has said the film is a "throwback to the original psychological thrillers".
While it is not intentionally based on a true story, audiences might make some connections to reality on their own. For instance, in 2015 there was the story of "The Watcher", which involved a New Jersey family who purchased a home being terrorized with letters from someone claiming to be "The Watcher." This person said they were watching the home, just as their grandfather and father had before them, and also made threatening references to "young blood," which had the parents worried about their children.
The movie also might remind viewers of Cold Creek Manor, as pointed out by Hollywood Outbreak. In the 2003 film, it was Quaid who played a man purchasing a home with his family only to find out about the former owner's disturbing past... and his plans for the new occupants.
We don't know what will end up being the case with Quaid's character in this one, but however it ends, viewers will at least leave the theater being able to tell themselves what they saw wasn't real.