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Next Door
Next Door
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2006     1hr 16min

Fueled by icy sexuality and raw violence, Next Door is a chilling and provocative thriller with a mind-bending twist. Newly single, John befriends the two women living in the cluttered labyrinth of an apartment next door. ...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: TLA
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 10/03/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 16min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Norwegian
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Intriguing Norwegian psychological thriller... Fine DVD from
dooby | 11/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Naboer (Neighbor - aka Next Door) is an intriguing but flawed Norwegian psychological thriller. The film opens with John (Kristoffer Joner) breaking up with his live-in girlfriend Ingrid (Anna Bache-Wiig). She has gotten fed up with his secret penchant for beating her up. John is a closet sadist. After Ingrid leaves, John is invited to the adjoining apartment. His neighbors are a creepy pair of beautiful, sexy young women. They know of his problems with his girlfriend, his love for SM games and they are strangely attracted to him. The younger woman, Kim (Julia Schacht), enjoys being slapped and punched in the face as foreplay. The older, Anne (Cecilie A. Mosli), enjoys watching. Are the women, Kim and Anne, mentally unbalanced? Or is John going out of his mind?

It begins very well and there is a very gripping first half but director Pål Sletaune reveals his hand far too soon. By the midway point we are already fairly certain how the story will end. And midway here means half-hour because this entire movie lasts for just 75-minutes. After that it is just waiting for the denouement and seeing how well Sletaune wraps things up. Fortunately he does a very good job. I liked the creepy final scene and I thought the movie worked well as a whole. I just wished he had not given away the ending so quickly. It could have been truly outstanding if the mystery had been kept right to the end. Still, it's well worth watching.

There is some nudity and a small amount of sex but some viewers may be put off by the graphic violence where John repeatedly beats and punches Kim in the face until she is all bloodied before having sex with her. I'm OK with S&M but this was somewhat beyond my cup of tea.

TLA provides a very good transfer of the film in its OAR of 2.35:1 (Anamorphic). The picture is clean and sharp. Colors are strong and natural though predominantly gloomy. Sound is in the original Norwegian 5.1 DD Surround or a 2.0 Stereo remix. Optional English subtitles are provided. Extras include the 15-minute "Behind the Scene" featurette and the 4-minute "Meet the People Next Door" which has interviews with Julia Schacht and Cecilie A. Mosli. There is also a 5-minute segment "Rooms of the Mind" discussing the setup of the rooms used in the shoot and a series of trailers including the original "Naboer" trailer. Deserves at least a rental, even if you're not into foreign movies."
How many Norwegian horror films have you seen?
Jenny J.J.I. | That Lives in Carolinas | 03/04/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Well for me this is my first and I enjoyed it very much thanks to my Amazonian friends who had already seen this and recommended it to me. As beautiful as the direction and cinematography is this story revolves around the office employees John (Kristopher Joner), whose girlfriend Ingrid (Anna Bache-Wig) is recently separated from him. This has its already fragile psyche another missed kick. His life still revolves entirely to the woman who left him; withdrawn, he now lives alone on the top floor of a tenement house. His tidy, clean, even sterile housing is a desperate held upright on the contrast of dark labyrinth, which is its soul. Suddenly he meets two mysterious neighbors, which he has never noticed, even though they live right next door. When visiting the two women Anne (Cecilie A. Mosli) and Kim (Julia Schacht), a strange interest in having him appear, he loses more and more in the long, winding corridors of his comfortable environment to a sinking nightmare of sex and violence.

This movie's does have one of the most violent and vile consensual sex scene in movie history, containing a beating that only leads to more arousal. It's pretty ailing stuff, and you'll be just as disturbed as John is when he looks in the mirror afterwards, and sees himself covered in his mishap.... that's not all his. It really is an unsettling moment, and probably the defining one of the film. Julia Schacht and Ceclie Mosli did a great job in their roles even though I don't know much about them.. The lead character of John is not only convincing in the role, but you find yourself as a viewer putting yourself in his shoes. I was very sympathetic with John throughout this film and pretty much had no feelings towards Kim/Anne's except for their maze-like apartment which I fine really cool and something I like to invest in.

Other reviewers had mention the pacing of this film and that too is my only problem with it. Though it's over 70 minutes but somehow manages to drag. Sure, mood permeates most of it, but it doesn't help once you realize that nothing much happens throughout the film. This could've been a great short film. Those who want to sit through it will ultimately be satisfied by the atmosphere, but it will be a little hard at points. The film ends on the interesting note, a nice, mind-bending twist that might be somewhat obvious but is no less effective.

Norwegian "Rooms of the Mind"...
Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 02/17/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I've seen a fair share of excellent psychological thrillers; The Korean hit "Spider Forest", David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive" and the mind-bending Japanese cult hit "Strange Circus". "NEXT DOOR" is a Norwegian film that follows the same vein as the aforementioned films. When I think of a so-called "psychological" thriller, I rather believe it refers to the screenplay being focused on the main character who is placed in a very bizarre and frightening situation that may cause him to question the thin line between fantasy and reality. Fellow amazon reviewer C. Christopher Blacksheare peaked my interest on this film and I found it very note-worthy of my time.

John (Kristopher Joner) is a nice young man who had recently broken up with his girlfriend; Ingrid (Anna Bache-Wig). It is fairly obvious from the get-go that the relationship didn't end on good terms. John wants to patch things up but Ingrid just wants to get her stuff and leave. She goes as far as suggesting to John that her new boyfriend Ake is waiting downstairs.
The next day, John encounters two very attractive neighbors; Anne (Cecilie A. Mosli) and Kim (Julia Schacht). The two young women behave very peculiar. Not long after, John finds himself locked in the maze-like apartment next door with Kim who exhibits some violent, very sexual and disturbing advances on him.

It would be rather unfair to give you any more hints of the film's proceedings because its plot hinges on the screenplay itself. The style is reminiscent of "Pulp Fiction" and writer/director Pal Sletaune does an incredible job in mixing up timeline in the structure of the film. The film's biggest strength is its awesome structure. At first glance, I thought that the main premise is the relationship between John and Kim, and then John and Anne; the film jumps around to different conversations that give subtle clues and details (example: Anne's undergarment). However, the film's premise is actually the reason for John and Ingrid's break up and the factors surrounding both before and after timetables.

However, that's all similarities to "Pulp Fiction" end. "Next Door" is a study of a man's inner psyche. A man's inner subconscious is struggling to wake the consciousness. The film is a lot about obsession and deliverance, and eventual descent into madness and rise back to reality. There are quite a few graphic images of violent sexual behavior that may turn off a lot of viewers. The director does an excellent job in the film's pacing; it starts off a little slow then when you witness the violence, you will realize that the film isn't a sappy psychological mind-bender. The wierdness and the occasional graphic images escalate from that point on.

"NEXT DOOR" does a lot of things right, but it is not perfect. There are two flaws that may hamper the film. 1) It is a bit too short, it is about 78 minutes long including credits and 2) the shock-ending is a little predictable. I figured out the film's ending 15 minutes into the film. Despite these minor flaws, I did realize that the film isn't so much as a mystery, but rather how and when the "hidden" if subtle clues are about. It is more a character study of John and his "sexual" state of mind. There is quite a few details that the average movie-watcher may miss, but the director does a very excellent job in putting the clues and details all together.

Nevertheless, I found "Next Door" a well-made film. It does contain certain darkness to it that I was thoroughly pleased that the director had the guts to follow through with the shocking images. The film is very successful in applying a sinister and atmospheric mood to it. It may have played its hand a tad early but the film is definitely a nice piece of challenging cinema.

RECOMMENDED! To people who fancy mind-benders...[4 Stars]

Much better than expected.
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 05/14/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Naboer (Pål Sletaune, 2005)

I'd always heard Naboer (released in this country under the title Next Door) referred to as OMGTORTUREPORN, and with so much of it on the market for a couple of years there, I let this one slip by despite its decidedly appealing box art, which features two rather dirty-looking nymphs wearing, well, not a great deal and giving us come-hither looks. I did finally get a chance to sit down and watch it, however, and what I got is not in any way what I was expecting to get from this tight, clever (if somewhat derivative) little picture, which is in no way torture porn, nor even a horror film; Naboer is a pretty straight psychological thriller. Among those who actually watched it with an open mind, a number of comparisons have been made to the films of Roman Polanski (though Sletaune, in interviews, has said that his main influence for this film was Hitchcock, specifically Psycho). What makes this all the more interesting is that it seems that everyone who comes up with the Polanski comparison looks at Naboer through the eyes of a different Polanski flick--Repulsion, The Tenant, Knife in the Water. (No one, thankfully, has compared it to The Fearless Vampire Killers. But I probably speak too soon.)

The story centers on John (rising star Kristoffer Joner, of The Sky Is Falling and the upcoming Skjult), an office drone whose girlfriend, Ingrid (Fallen Angels' Anna Bache-Wiig), has just left him for a chap named Åke. There's one hell of a consolation prize, though; it seems that two lovely young things, Kim (Julia Schacht in her first film role) and Anne (Abide with Me's Cecilie Mosli), have just moved in next door, and need John's help moving some heavy furniture. As John gets to know his neighbors, however, he starts thinking that, perhaps, this setup is a little too good to be true...

This is one of those flicks where you pretty much know from the get-go that something is very, very wrong in good old John-town, and the mystery is not so much whether it is as what it is. And this film follows the classic psycho-thriller structure of the first half of the film making us anticipate that things will not end well, and the last half of the film slowly unraveling all the things we thought we knew and putting them into different contexts to get at something that would seem to be closer to reality. (The haunting, and yet pathetic [in a good way] last shot of the film separates this from other psychothrillers in this vein; it is entirely unambiguous.) Think, yes, of the Polanski films above, or Bergman's Persona. Not that I mean to put Sletaune on the same shelf one would find either of those two directors; the kid's obviously got some talent, but he hasn't honed it to the point where he can be shelved with the immortals quite yet. Still, the writing and direction are competent at worst and pretty far above average during a few moments here. But a good script can only take a project so far; one has to have the actors to breathe life into it. Joner, Bache-Wiig, and Mosli, all rising but established stars, were pretty safe bets here; where Sletaune and his crew went out on a limb was with Schacht, who as far as I can tell had never even seen a camera before appearing in this film (can't find anything else on the web, and her site--which, of course, is in Norwegian--is still under construction and has no bio as of this writing). There are times when a director takes a big chance on an actor whom no one's ever heard of before and gets a grand slam. (Daniel Radcliffe, anyone?) This is one of those times. Schacht absolutely steals this film, top to bottom. Her character, who seems dangerously unstable (but is she really?), whips from cowering, abused girl to ingénue to psycho to sweet-and-innocent to porn star in the space of about five minutes of film time, and we completely buy it. Even if everything you've heard about the movie's subject matter repulses you (and while it isn't torture porn, there's at least one scene here that's definitely not for the weak of stomach), it's worth checking out just so you can say you knew who Julia Schacht was way back when. This woman's career is going places, and fast.

It's ugly, it's dirty, it's nasty, it will make you want to take a shower after you see it, and it is entirely mesmerizing. Check it out. You'll probably regret you did, but check it out anyway. *** ½