It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
I believe it is quite possible to get trapped by a nightmare in which the forces of authority are arrayed against you and there is no plausible way to prove your guilt. Sometimes I mentally draw up reading lists for my long incarceration for a crime I did not commit.
The fear of that fate is at the heart of "Unlawful Entry," which also plays on another fairly common fear, that your spouse is so gullible that he or she will be deceived by the forces that are destroying your life.
The movie opens with a home invasion. Nightclub developer Michael Carr (Kurt Russell) and his wife Karen (Madeleine Stowe) are spending a quiet night at home when a man breaks in through a skylight and holds a knife to Karen's neck. The man escapes, and the Carrs call the cops. That's their first mistake. One of the cops who answers the call is a bright-eyed, tense street veteran named Pete Davis (Ray Liotta), who seems like a nice kid until he starts insinuating himself into the Carrs' lives.
Davis grows obsessed with the conviction that Karen Carr needs him to protect her - that Michael, her husband, isn't up to the job. The cop is clever enough that the full dimensions of his obsession aren't apparent for awhile, especially not to Karen, who is nice to him and even has a drink with him after he does his Officer Friendly act for the kids at the grade school where she teaches.