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Movie Review: Disturbia - BaD Reviews

About Movie Review: Disturbia

Previous Entry Movie Review: Disturbia Apr. 21st, 2007 @ 05:27 pm Next Entry
Going into this movie I didn't have high expectations.  The trailers immediately scream out "Rear Window" in a modern setting with a teenager in place of Jimmy Stewart.  And while the similarities are certainly there, this definitely is not meant to be the same type of movie as the Hitchcock classic.  The two films aren't the same but it's obvious plot elements were borrowed and basically the central basic plot is the same.  I didn't realize until I saw the credits that DJ Caruso directed it and then I thought well that's why this wasn't such a bad movie.  It was also written by the writer of Red Eye, another above average thriller.   Caruso is the director of the very underrated and rarely seen Salton Sea.  He followed that up with 2 movies I found subpar with Taking Lives and Two for the Money.

Shia LeBeouf plays the lead role of Caleb aka Cale.  The movie opens with Cale and his father fishing and on their way home they are in a bad wreck that kills Cale's dad.  Blaming himself for what happened, Cale has various run-ins with the law, the final one happens when he gets upset and punches his Spanish teacher.  His various offenses should have him put in jail but due to his recent loss the judge is lenient and sentences him to 3 months house arrest, just in time for summer vacation.  His mom takes away his ability to play Xbox online, takes his iTunes and basically leaves him to watch TV and the neighbors.  A new girl moves in next door and she's hot so Cale gets horny and watches her.  During all of this the police are looking for someone who has kidnapped a local woman.  Cale, with the help of his best friend and his new neighbor girl, spy on another neighbor that Cale suspects is the killer the cops are looking for.  Cale becomes the boy who cried wolf as he gets in more trouble when he breaks the perimeter barrier of his house arrest more than once.  But it seems Cale was right and he's got hurry before it's too late or he's next on the killer's list.

If you can get past the fact that the movie is essentially a ripoff of Rear Window or as I liked to call it, an unauthorized remake, then you can see a decent thriller.  Most teen thrillers nowadays are so cliche and stupid that it's refreshing to find one that is actually worthwhile and entertaining.  Disturbia could have easily fallen into the rotten bunch, it had all the elements.  PG-13, a popular teen actor, a rip off plot.  But Caruso and the writers did a great job making this a movie worth sitting through, which can't be said for 90% of the teen thrillers(i.e. When a Stranger Calls, Cry_Wolf, etc.)

I thought the performances were ok.  The only one of the teens that has any experience is LeBeouf and it shows but at least he does a decent job in the role.  Character actor David Morse is solid as usual as the villain of the film.  Carrie Anne-Moss, better known as Trinity from the Matrix films, plays Cale's mom.  Sarah Roemer is there for the eye candy as the hot neighbor girl Ashley and she's of a little value as more than that eye candy. 

The story and the way the film progressed through the story was the strongest point of the film.  It wasn't exactly terrifying but it was pretty thrilling which I guess is the desired result of a thriller.  You are left on the edge of your seat for most of the film wondering what will happen next.  As I said, an above average thriller in the teen movie genre and is a rare breed from that genre.  A film that is similar to the writer's previous work Red Eye, it's an enjoyable and entertaining watch that isn't a bad way to spend an hour and a half if your looking for something to see at your local cinema.

4 stars out of 5
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