Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Matt Craven, David Morse, Rene Rivera, Carrie-Anne Moss, Viola Davis
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Alfred Hitchcock fans may experience déjà vu upon exposure to this voyeuristic thriller. That's because director DJ Caruso (The Salton Sea) and co-writer Carl Ellsworth (Red Eye) use Rear Window as a jumping-off point befo... more »
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Alan Draven | Montreal, Canada | 04/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Kale (Shia Labeouf), a teenager who recently lost his father in a car accident, is on house arrest after punching his teacher. He soon gets bored with too much time on his hands and starts spying on his sexy new neighbor Ashley (Sarah Roemer). One night, while watching the news on TV, Kale hears about a missing girl and an eyewitness report describing a suspect's car. Kale realizes that his next door neighbor, Mr. Turner (David Morse), has the same vintage car of the same color also with a dent in the bumper. Mr. Turner brings a woman home one night and Kale witnesses some rough play through the open curtains. He begins to suspect him of being the missing girl's killer and starts to spy on him with cameras and binoculars.
Disturbia is directed by D.J. Caruso (The Salton Sea, Taking Lives) and is molded after Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller, Rear Window. I really wasn't expecting too much from this one other than it was a Caruso film, a director whose work I admire. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised; the plot and characters sucked me in almost right away. The film has a similar premise as the one in Rear Window, but with all its gadgets, flashy shot compositions, and younger target audience, it really feels like a fresh approach to a cool idea.
The script was well written in the sense that it took time to set things up, to develop its characters, and provide us with enough twists and turns so that we never have time to look at our watches. The tension increases a lot in the last half-hour of the film and builds to a climax that doesn't fall into the clichés of the recent suspense/thrillers. Shia Labeouf shows promise as a young actor, bringing depth to his character. Sarah Roemer was also pretty good, showing us that she's more than a pretty face and a hot body. David Morse (The Rock, The Green Mile) was great as usual as the neighbor who may-or-may-not-be a serial killer. Caruso's got another hit under his belt, much more satisfying than Taking Lives was for that matter.
If you're a fan of Hitchcock's Rear Window, you might really enjoy this one; it's much more than your average sugar-coated teenage flick. Horror fans and thriller aficionados will find something to sink their teeth in as well. Definitely worth the price of admission."
Jonathan Appleseed | 04/24/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While at the local multiplex watching this fine show, a few seats down from me a young teenaged boy was holding his head in his hands through most of the film, and he could be heard muttering, "I can't take this...oh my god...this is too much..." At one point, he got up and *ran* out of the theater, causing his three friends no small embarrassment. His reactions were almost more entertaining than the movie. I can't imagine this poor kid sitting through something meant to be truly frightening. I gave myself a giggle or two imagining him sliding to the popcorn-and-Coke-caked floors during the urination scene from The Exorcist while sucking his thumb and humming nursery rhymes. Poor guy.
Speaking of other films, this one bore more than a passing resemblance to Rear Window. I was also reminded of The Blair Witch Project (this may just be me - but if you see it, think of this toward the end of the film when a certain someone was walking around another certain someone's basement).
Caruso didn't do a bad job with Disturbia, but he didn't "do Hitchcock proud". He was very fortunate to have Shia LaBeouf in the lead role. LaBeouf didn't bring James Stewart to mind, but he did make me forget from time to time that I was watching a dumbed down, high-tech Rear Window. As many have said, LaBeouf does have tremendous talent, and seems headed for stardom (despite Dumb and Dumberer).
The story is fairly simple. Kale (LaBeouf) is put under house arrest for punching his Spanish teacher - although truth be told, if the Spanish teacher had thrown my dead father in my face I might have punched him too. Too coincidentally, the police officer assigned (or who assigns himself) to keep an eye on Kale is the Spanish teacher's cousin, and his treatment of Kale leaves a bit to be desired.
Stuck alone in a beautiful house, after his Mom has taken away his iTunes, Xbox, and flat screen TV, Kale turns to the only form of entertainment left to him - spying on the lives of others. There is one such "other" who particularly intrigues him: his new next door neighbor, Ashley (Sarah Roemer), who does a swimsuit proud. Kale and his (requisite) silly friend Ronnie (Aaron Yoo) take turns with the binoculars enjoying her presence until she catches them at it one day (I'm not giving anything away here because it's in the trailers for the film). As reason would indicate, she then befriends them.
Kale becomes suspicious of his next door neighbor, and is certain that he is the person responsible for a rash of missing women. The ensuing cat and mouse game between them is made more enjoyable by the gadgets that LaBeouf's character has that James Stewart's didn't, but the next door neighbor, "Mr. Turner" (David Morse, who with much shorter hair played a very convincing cop with a grudge against Greg House earlier this season in House), wasn't as, well, icky as I would have liked him to be. He's foreboding, and formidable, but a serial killer needs an "ick factor". (That's a new technical term...).
A Star Is Born
Tom S. | New York City | 08/09/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What a pleasant surprise! I'm the world's biggest Hitchcock fan, and well past my adolescent years, so I wasn't expecting a lot from a new flick that every critic in America said was "REAR WINDOW with teens." But this film actually works on its own merits, and the chief merit is Shia LaBeouf. I haven't been this impressed with a new talent since I saw Keisha Castle-Hughes in WHALE RIDER, or when I saw 15-year-old Matthew Broderick in the Broadway play, BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS, some 25 years ago. This Shia guy is the real deal, and I have a feeling DISTURBIA will go down in the books as the film that really broke him out to a long, high-profile career.
Older folks, take note: This is not your average "teen thriller," nor is it a simple ripoff of Hitchcock. It is a clever, exciting new entity, expertly directed by D. J. Caruso. And the young lead is a perfect combination of Jimmy Stewart in REAR WINDOW (in the first 75 minutes) and Jodie Foster in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (in the final 30 minutes), and every bit as good as both of them. Give DISTURBIA a try--I think you'll like it."
nodice | Manchester, Ga United States | 08/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's always exciting to see a new star on the rise. I don't know what IT is, but Shia LaBeouf has IT is spades. I'm a fan of 'Rearview' and think this is a good modern take on the classic. Though I do have to agree that the last third of the film begins to loose major points just in the sheer illogical motives of the killer. If you are going to be a psycho killer-why on earth would you live in the suburbs? Everyone knows everyone's business there...and you mean to tell me that one one would know this man was digging to China in the garage? Given how close all the houses were-no one else heard women screaming from his place? C'mon. If you can force logic to take a vacation during the movie's durance, you can actually have a pretty good time. Overall: worth watching."