Disturbia My Reviews 25 SEP 2007

DisturbiaSaturday evening saw Chantelle and I head out to catch Disturbia, a movie that, after hearing the radio advert for, Chantelle simply had to see. I on the other hand was for more interested in seeing the Last Legion, but I guess Ill get to that at a later stage. Ratouille must come first! :)

Okay, back to Disturbia. Interesting note: Disturbia is a portmanteau of disturb and suburbia, which pretty much sums up my interest in the movie. I liked the title. (Okay, perhaps I’m being a little biased here because I really don’t enjoy watching thriller/horror/scary movies. I’m big enough to admit to that.)

Okay, seriously now, back to Disturbia.

Disturbia is a 2007 thriller film from DreamWorks Pictures, starring Shia LaBeouf as Kale, a teen placed under house arrest who thinks he witnesses a murder while spying on his suspicious neighbour. The film is inspired by the likes of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Rear Window, but in truth it acts out more like a mixed comedy, romance and thriller story, putting it very much into a kind of sub genre all by itself.

As I mentioned above, the story revolves around Kale, whose father is killed in a car accident a year earlier. Kale is struggling to come to terms with his death, making him very much a problem child, exasperating his mother and leading to numerous brushes with the authorities. After one incident too many, he is placed under house arrest, barred from leaving the premises thanks to a high tech device attached to his leg. The boredom attached to this incarceration is huge, and Kale soon finds himself spying on his neighbours, discovering all the dirt that goes on in his neighbourhood. Things become even more interesting with the arrival of the beautiful daughter of his new neighbours, and Kale quickly becomes attached to her, even if he cant go out and meet her in person.

But things take a more disturbing turn when he begins to correlate the actions of his one neighbour to the news reports surrounding a series of unexplained murders. Paranoia sets in and we are soon faced with a tense game of cat and mouse as Kale battles to uncover the truth is he going mad or is there indeed something far more sinister going on right next door to him.

Despite the negative sentiments I expressed at the beginning of the movie, I must say that Disturbia is in fact a well put together package. Shia is extremely natural in his role and you can relate quite easily to him. He puts in a great performance, which can pretty much be said of most of the actors (apart from maybe Sarah Roemer as Ashley Carlson who is a little wooden in her acting as far as I’m concerned. She was definitely cast for her looks, and that is about that for her).

The story moves along very slowly (apart from the opening crash scene of course), acting out more like a teen comedy or romance flick, but all the while picking up the pace without you noticing it, until it switches gears right at the end to provide a decent slasher/thriller ending, much in the vein of a Scary Movie type of film. In fact, the director D. J. Caruso has done a great job of providing a little of everything for everyone in this movie, even if they themselves don’t realise it.

The filming is tight and manages to move effortlessly from teen angst and romance, to comedy, to thriller sequences, capturing the feel and mood of all of these different themes without making the film appear disjointed at all. The sound track compliments the movie, again being pretty varied in content so as to match up with the different segments of the movie.

I guess, looking at what I’ve written above, Disturbia is a slickly produced, decent movie that unfortunately doesnt do enough to satisfy fans of any one particular genre, but ends up instead to be mass consumption entertainment for the masses, something which the movies producers might just like if it boosts tickets sales enough.

It is easy to watch (painful if you were expecting a thriller/horror though) and provides enough tension and suspense to keep you on your seat for a few moments throughout the movie, but not bad enough to scare anyone away.

I didnt enjoy it, but the movie doesnt run in my tastes, so I’m guessing you might just have some fun with it.

Unless of course you enjoy good thriller movies like Chantelle then youre going to hate it for lying to you through its clever marketing tactics.

Disturbia 1 Disturbia 2 Disturbia 3

Related link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disturbia

Related Posts:

About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.