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.
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 Ross) 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 Kale's 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.
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Posted: March 30, 2007.