Starring Shia LaBeouf, Sarah Roehmer, Carrie-Anne Moss, David Morse, Aaron Yoo, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Matt Craven, Viola Davis, Brandon Caruso, Luciano Caruso and Daniel Caruso.
Screenplay by Christopher Landon and Carl Ellsworth.
Directed by D.J. Caruso.
Distributed by Dreamworks SKG. 104 minutes. Rated PG-13.
Okay, yes, if you get technical, Disturbia is merely a modern riff on Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Also, it has one of the worst titles in movie history. Doesn’t matter, though, this movie pretty much rocks.
Disturbia has a simple set-up. Kale is a suburban teen who has been acting out since surviving a horrific auto accident in which his dad was killed. After punching his Spanish teacher, he is placed on house arrest for three months. If he goes more than 100 yards away from his monitor, he will go to jail. His mom (Carrie-Anne Moss) punishes him by turning off his cable and canceling his iTunes. He quickly develops cabin fever.
To amuse himself, he starts spying on his neighbors. Particularly Ashley (Sarah Roehmer) – the new beauty next door who enjoys swimming in tiny bikinis and changing with her blinds up. However he also catches up on the foibles of his neighbors, the tennis playing hausfraus who don’t know their husbands are having affairs, the annoying little kids who pull gags on Kale and have a tendency to watch pay-per-view porn when their mom isn’t around.
Oh, yeah, there is also the quiet loner across the way (David Morse) who has lots of women visiting at odd hours and has a vintage sports car which matches the description of a vehicle used by a potential serial killer.
Together with his best friend (Aaron Yoo), Kale tries to make a case against this mysterious neighbor – all the while unable to leave his home. When Ashley catches the guys peeping on her, she is somewhat intrigued by the tale they tell and joins in on the stakeout.
Thus begins a game of cat and mouse in which they spy on the man and he realizes he is being watched, therefore he starts to romance the mother and follows Kales friends.
Disturbia is a smart, crisp thriller through most of its running time. Sadly, the ending becomes a little clichéd – something the rest of the film has avoided deftly. It’s a bit of a disappointment, but not a crushing blow. Unlike most horror films these days, Disturbia is subtle (most of the violence is off-screen), suspenseful and genuinely chilling. (4/07)
Copyright ©2007 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: March 30, 2007.