Director: D.J Caruso
Screenplay: Christopher Landon, Carl Ellsworth
Producers: Jackie Marcus Schaffer, Joe Medjuk, E. Bernett Walsh, Ivan Reitman
Starring: Shia Lebeouf, David Morse, Sarah Roemer, Carrie-Anne Moss
Year: 2007
Country: USA
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 105 Min

Plot: When kale (LeBeouf) is placed under house arrest for attacking a teacher, he finds himself with nothing to do. To entertain himself, he spies on his surrounding neighborhood, and starts to suspect that one of his neighbors is a serial killer.

Disturbia is an adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film, Rear Window, which basically has the same premise, a man confined to his apartment after an accident and spies on his neighbors, to find that one of them is a killer. Whilst the film doesn’t gave an original storyline, it’s content differs greatly from Hitchcock’s classic. The film starts with the tragic death of Kales father, sparking off various ‘Daddy issues’ for the character and essentially setting the story up. Shia LeBeouf had plenty of room for emotional development on Kale, but I feel that he squandered this. The peak of his emotions is limited to the excellent punch to the Spanish teachers face in the opening twenty minutes.

Another negative about Shia LeBeouf’s performance is that he plays the same character in every movie that he features. The smart yet rebellious teenager, who’s laddish charm always gets the girl (I.e the Transformer movies). He is however quite amusing, and has some genuinely funny moments, but he has become too generic. His sidekick/bestfriend (Aaron Yoo) and his love interest (Sarah Roemer) are also typical teen movie characters, but their performances are fairly respectable.

I was quite impressed with the acting of the serial killer (David Morse). He came across to the audience as quite calm, sophisticated and intelligent whilst also being quite sadistic and unhinged. For the first three quarters of the film, it is a smart, well thought out, slightly different thriller. The way the three friends set up shifts with the video cameras is quite smart, perhaps a little bit Scooby-Doo for a 15 rated film. The finale of the film was slightly reminiscent of various horror movies (Scream, Halloween etc), but was quite pacy.

I was impressed with the intensity and intelligence of the film, but I feel that they could’ve done alot more to make the film different from the generic horror-slasher features.

Written by Eammon Jacobs

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