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Freida Pinto's Netflix film Intrusion is too slow a burn

·2 min read

In the simplest terms, Intrusion is about a woman who begins to think that her husband may be up to something sinister. The movie makes it immediately obvious, however, that her husband really is up to something sinister, because he is always prowling around suspiciously, with ominous music playing pretty much whenever he is onscreen.

But this is a feature-length thriller, and it needs to buy some time and build suspense, so the faithful wife is obliged to be very, very obtuse, and draw some very foolish conclusions.

It is an exercise in watching someone have the world's slowest revelation.

The wife is Meera (Freida Pinto), a cancer survivor and therapist, and the husband is Henry (Logan Marshall-Green), an architect who has designed the couple's modernist dream home in rural Corrales, outside of Albuquerque. After their home is burgled, Meera surmises that they may have been targeted, and seeks answers by investigating Henry's private life, which is both highly dubious and conveniently easy to look into. This is one of those mysteries where both the suspect and the sleuth keep making the kind of implausible, idiotic mistakes that generate trite suspense. Henry leaves evidence lying around with laughable carelessness; Meera roots around his office as he's right about to walk in the door.

If Intrusion has one redeeming feature, it is Marshall-Green, whose performance as the husband with a dark secret has a crackling, tightly controlled intensity far more nuanced and persuasive than anything else in the film. Marshall-Green was similarly sensational in Karyn Kusama's excellent thriller The Invitation, but the director of Intrusion, Adam Salky, squanders the actor's terrific work. It is tempting to imagine this material realised with the maniac verve of a film like James Wan's Malignant, where the ridiculous verges on camp, instead of how Salky plays it: thuddingly literal and painfully dumb.

Intrusion is streaming on Netflix.

Calum Marsh c.2021 The New York Times Company

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