‘Intrusion’ Movie Review: The Home Invasion Thriller That Lacks Thrills

Intrusion is exactly the thriller that it sells itself to be. It combines marital drama with a mystery surrounding a home invasion. Intrusion has a strong story buried somewhere in there, but it never quite manages to capitalize on it. The Netflix thriller operates in the familiar and predictable territory, although it has just enough entertainment value to warrant a casual viewing.

‘Intrusion’ sets the stage with home invasion

'Intrusion' stars Freida Pinto as Meera and Logan Marshall-Green as Henry standing in their new home
L-R: Freida Pinto and Logan Marshall-Green | Ursula Coyote/Netflix

Meera (Freida Pinto) moves to a small town with her husband Henry (Logan Marshall-Green). He designed a large, gorgeous home for them to live in together located outside of town. Meera is rattled after their paradise is targeted in a home invasion. The house is in disarray, but to make matters more unsettling, the trespassers didn’t take much.

Meanwhile, the home invasion and potential health scares have put a strain on Meera and Henry’s marriage. She begins to distrust all those around her as she investigates the town’s secrets. However, this sets her on a path that will change her life forever. Meera puts herself in further danger as she continues to snoop around for clues.

‘Intrusion’ is a lot of investigating

'Intrusion' star Freida Pinto as Meera in a brown coat investigating the mystery
Freida Pinto | Ursula Coyote/Netflix

Writer Chris Sparling’s screenplay cuts right to the chase. It doesn’t really establish a status quo regarding the couple’s new living situation or their marriage. Director Adam Salky captures the beautiful home that feels like it’s straight from a magazine and quickly translates it into a place of doubt and fear for Meera.

The protagonist is constantly snooping throughout the movie. However, she isn’t very good at it. Horror movie characters are typically ridiculed for making unwise decisions. Intrusion operates more in the thriller category, but her decision-making and investigative techniques align more with what audiences would expect from a horror movie character.

Intrusion hints some at Meera’s health scare, her medical history, and other elements of her backstory. However, it’s never fully incorporated into the movie. There’s a variation of this film where the elements of marital distress, Meera’s background, and the home invasion translate into something deeper that feels more urgent. However, Intrusion is surface-level and isn’t concerned with further exploration of its plot elements or characters.

The thriller you’ve seen before

'Intrusion' stars Logan Marshall-Green as Henry and Freida Pinto as Meera hiding behind a wall from an intruder
L-R: Logan Marshall-Green and Freida Pinto | Ursula Coyote/Netflix

The home invasion sub-genre is one of the most terrifying because it exists in the realm of the real world. Home is where people feel safe, so bringing terror into that space is particularly frightening. However, Intrusion doesn’t really capture that fear. Aside from a couple of jump scares, the home invasion itself is such a minuscule element of the movie. It’s more of a plot device to set other elements in motion.

However, the cast does what they can with the material. Pinto turns in a nuanced performance that hints at deeper character elements than the screenplay is willing to explore. She especially succeeds in quiet moments where her facial expressions tell the audience all they need to know. Marshall-Green is equally solid in his approach. He creates a sense of unease that lands rather well.

Intrusion doesn’t have much in the way of thrills, chills, or big mystery. Its secrets are predictable to where the viewer is always multiple steps ahead of the narrative. There are other thrillers out there that accomplish the home invasion element much better, such as Straw Dogs. Nevertheless, Intrusion is entertaining enough as a casual streaming option that doesn’t ask much of its audience.

Stream Intrusion exclusively on Netflix Sept. 22.

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