Review by Dana Place


Starring Shia LeBeouf, Sarah Roemer, Carrie-Ann Moss, David Morse, and Aaron Yoo

Directed by: D. J. Caruso

After watching his father die right in front of him, Kale (played by Shia LeBeouf) starts to distance himself and act out in school.  All of his anger comes to a head when he punches a teacher and is sentenced to 90 days house arrest.  To cure his boredom, he starts to people watch.  Things start looking up when the previously unoccupied house next door becomes occupied by an attractive blonde.  They become friends and while people watching, they are convinced that another neighbor is killing women and burying them in the walls of his house.  As time goes on, it becomes less and less clear whether anything is actually happening, or if it is all part of his imagination.

Disturbia really makes no attempt to hide the fact that this is simply just a teenage version of the Alfred Hitchcock classic, Rear Window.    Although I am by no means a fan of Hollywood’s insistence on remaking or “reimagining” a classic film just because they can, I am not one to just discount a film out of hand.  The film starts out innocently enough as a nice suburban drama and slowly morphs into a game of cat and mouse that just gets moodier and creepier as the final act unfolds.  The use of mood music and the ever popular “character point of view via a handled camera” gimmick actually adds to the tension that builds to a breaking point by the resolution of the film.

The acting is about as exciting as you would expect from a film populated by early twenty somethings running around being scared and acting like adults.  The real standout would be David Morse as “the villain”.  Morse has always been a standout out character actor in previous films and generally imposing person in all of his roles.  His portrayal in Disturbia capitalizes on all of the qualities that make him a great actor.  Without him, this film would be dancing dangerously close to just another “pretty actors get chased by a random villain” film.

As a thriller, the pacing is effective and the twists and turns keep you waiting for the next piece of the puzzle.  As a remake it really has no leg to stand on.  But not every movie can be a classic.  Go check it out.  As a fun little thriller it is worth a few dollars.  Even if it happens to be a front-runner for lamest title of the year.

Visit the official Dreamworks Pictures DISTURBIA movie website by clicking here.

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