Netflix movie review: Intrusion - Freida Pinto shines in woefully predictable home invasion thriller

Freida Pinto in a still from Intrusion.
PHOTO: Teddy Cavendish/Netflix

2.5/5 stars

A seemingly perfect couple is pushed to breaking point after their dream home is burgled in Intrusion, a woefully predictable thriller made watchable thanks to taut direction by Adam Salky, and solid performances from Frieda Pinto and Logan Marshall-Green.

Escaping the Boston rat race for a quiet small-town life, Meera (Pinto) and Henry (Marshall-Green) move into a palatial new home that the latter, an architect, has built for them.

Soon after their arrival, Meera begins to worry that her breast cancer may be returning, and secretly goes for a check-up.

Later, their house is broken into, and she is shocked to learn that Henry owns a gun, which he uses to kill two of the attackers, leaving a third in the ICU.

The police reveal that the perpetrators were all related, and are suspects in the disappearance of a teenage girl, also from the same family. But as the investigation unfolds, Meera begins to suspect that Henry is hiding something.

Intrusion is built on a decent enough premise: That a seemingly idyllic marriage is revealed to be built on a compounding mountain of secrets and lies.

However, the film never gives itself the breadth to establish any doubt or plausible alternatives as to who might be responsible, and so the inevitable truth is almost immediately obvious from the film’s opening movement.

Marshall-Green (left) and Pinto in a still from Intrusion. PHOTO: Netflix

Along the way, a series of frustrating contrivances, most notably involving a damaged video camera, exist solely to delay the revelation of vital information.

Similarly, foreshadowing is so pronounced that even murder weapons employed in the film’s ludicrous climax are obvious as soon as they appear on screen.

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The numerous flaws in Chris Sparling’s script are perhaps to be expected from the man who penned the likes of the preposterous Gerard Butler disaster movie Greenland.

And so it is to the credit of Pinto and Salky that they are able to salvage something moderately entertaining.

Pinto’s casting brings an additional layer of vulnerability and disorientation to the character’s predicament, particularly once she takes it upon herself to investigate the teenager’s disappearance, and finds herself snooping around dilapidated trailer parks far removed from the opulent fortress Henry built for her.

The film’s central themes of deception and control within an intimate relationship are perhaps too broad and obvious to warrant detailed examination, but as a tightly paced thriller about domestic bliss thrown into turmoil, Intrusion is executed with efficiency.

Pinto in a scene from Intrusion. PHOTO: Netflix

Intrusion is streaming on Netflix.

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This article was first published in South China Morning Post.