The Intruder (1981)

Article 3850 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-18-2012
Posting Date: 2-28-2012
Directed by David F. Eustace
Featuring Tony Fletcher, Pita Oliver, Gerard Jordan
Country: Canada
What it is: Mysticism

A tall, dark stranger arrives in a small town with the intent of putting on a presentation of some kind. How will it effect the members of the town, who deal with their daily sins, temptations and crimes, large and small?

IMDB classifies the movie as “horror”, but, despite the fact that the movie acts ominous on occasion, it really isn’t. It’s more of a fantasy, and if I had to pick a movie that might have served as a model for this one, it would be 7 FACES OF DR. LAO. Unfortunately, this one is more abstract and harder to pin down; when the key term for what the stranger brings to town involves the term “self-actualization”, you know you’re in a vague area that’s more likely to be navigated by psychologists and mystics rather than the general public. The first two-thirds of the movie is primarily concerned with setting up all of the various relationships and situations; we then have the stranger’s presentation, followed by the final part of the movie, where we see what impact the presentation has on those who attended it. As far as I can tell, the stranger’s gift is that he endows the characters with the focus to “be who they are going to be”, which is probably why not everyone has their personal problems solved. It’s interesting and offbeat, but it’s also somewhat unfocused and doesn’t make much sense on occasion; I have no idea what the whole business with the tree is about. Ultimately, I don’t think the movie really works, but I’ll give it some credit for trying something different.

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