Story: Kale is a troubled teen who’s just gotten his 3rd strike after attacking a school teacher. Now, he’s under house arrest and forced to stay confined in his home for the entire summer. He entertains himself by becoming a voyeur and watching the daily routines of all the locals and neighbors. All seems well, especially when the beautiful Ashley moves in next door. But soon, Kale begins to suspect that Mr. Turner, his neighbor across the street is the man responsible for the disappearance and presumed murders of several missing girls in the area.
The Film Itself: At first, I didn’t even think I wanted to give this movie a chance. After all, I just didn’t think I wanted to sit thru yet another interpretation of REAR WINDOW, which this movie is obviously based on. But I’m actually glad I invested my time in DISTURBIA, because surprisingly, I enjoyed it! The premise isn’t anything new or original, but I must admit that credit should go to the writing and directorial teams for giving the “Rear Window” storyline such a good, contemporary update. After a slightly shocking opening scene, we’re brought into the world of Kale played by Shia LaBeouf, a very likable teen who is going thru an understandably tough time after losing one of his parents. This movie doesn’t play like a horror film. Or even your basic thriller for a good portion of it. It’s just a good spirited flick about a troubled kid really wanting to get to know the girl that just moved in next door. (Sarah Roemer plays Ashley and hell, I’d give anything to know her too!) Even Kale’s voyeuristic tendencies don’t play out “creepy” because as he points out, it’s just real life “reality” entertainment. David Morse plays Mr. Turner, the neighbor across the street that likes to bring home young girls and… well, we’re not sure. But Kale is fairly convinced that he’s killing them. (And it’s pretty darned easy to think that considering how creepy actor David Morse is. Seriously, look at his IMDB page. The last 10 years, he’s been playing spooky, bad guys.) At the half way mark, once the suspicions of Mr. Turner’s night life sets in, the movie becomes a very competent, suspenseful thriller. I have to admit, I really got into it, and I really loved Kale. My only critique is that the final act drags on a tiny bit longer then it needs to, but it doesn’t take away from the overall enjoyment of the flick. (Hell, I got my money’s worth.)
Here’s another issue I need to bring up and it’s not necessarily about this movie, but about this movie’s girl next door set-up. (Dozens of films are guilty of the following!) Seriously, does this ever happen in real life? I asked every one of my guy friends and I have yet to meet someone who has EVER had a hot girl move in right next door to them. And say in the unlikely case that something like that DID happen, wouldn’t it be weird to date the hot chick next door if you guys ever broke up? She’d be able to keep tabs on you. You’d see the guys she’s going out with. Sounds like hell to me. Oh well. If a hot chick has ever moved in right next door to you, PLEASE write me and tell me about it. I want to know if this has ever happened in the history of mankind. By the way, interesting side-note – Ashley starts to fall for Kale after he’s tackled by the police in his front yard, once again proving… that girls like a bad boy!
Special Features: There’s a commentary track, as well as deleted scenes and bloopers, but in all honesty, I didn’t watch any of this material. The reason being is I rented this movie. And usually when I like a movie enough that I decide I’d like to buy it, I opt to wait to own it before enjoying the disc’s features. But let that be a testament to how much I enjoyed this since I’m now willing to purchase it. You should too. –Robg.
Buy it on Amazon.com!