Action / Drama / Mystery / Thriller


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September 29, 2011 at 03:07 AM



Shia LaBeouf as Kale
Viola Davis as Detective Parker
Sarah Roemer as Ashley
650.78 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 45 min
P/S 3 / 48

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Dave (freaky_dave) 8 / 10

A Terrific PG13 Horror thriller

Disturbia is one of the best PG13 thrillers that I've seen in a long time. After all the other rated PG13 thrillers that have come out in the past six years or so, DJ Caruso, who directed, proves that it has always been possible to make a good suspenseful thriller these days without all the gore.

Shia Labeouf plays Kale Brecht. After witnessing the death of his father in a car accident, he becomes sullen and withdrawn. This leads to him being put under house arrest after he punches out an unsympathetic teacher. Imprisoned in his own house, and unable to go beyond 100 yards, he finds himself turning into a peeping tom and spying on all the neighbors. One of them is the attractive new girl in town named Ashley (Sarah Roemer) and another may be a killer named Mr. Turner (David Morse). With the help of the new girl Ashley, his friend Ronnie (a great comedic turn by Aaron Yoo), Kale goes about investigating Mr. Turner to see if he is the killer or not. The three teenagers use cell phones and the internet as well as video cameras in the investigation, and DJ Caruso shows some of his sly wit by using these same devices in the film to not only investigate the spooky neighbor, but also to create some humor to go along with everything else.

The plot is a familiar one. That would be because the great Alfred Hitchcock used it first with his famous suspense thriller Rear Window. Yes Disturbia is a blatant rip-off of that movie, but it is done with skill, and the acting by all, including Carrie Anne Moss as Kale's mother, was very good. All the characters are likable, and David Morse's turn as the creepy Mr. Turner was well done as well.

Disturbia may not be a great movie, but it is definitely one of the best PG13 thrillers in years. It outshines such horror thrillers as Cursed and Pulse, as well as the recent horror thriller The Messengers. Disturbia also once again proves that you don't need a bunch of gore to make an effective horror thriller. Horror directors take note.

Reviewed by shiner310 5 / 10

A major disappointment

The first half of this movie is really promising with its solid establishment of the characters and plot. yes, it's a rehash/ripoff of "Rear Window" but that's okay. And for those of you who haven't seen that classic, rent it immediately.

The last 30 minutes of this movie feels like another movie. The filmmakers abandoned their slow and methodical escalation of suspense and throw us a wicked and stupid twist. All of the sudden, without any provocation or motivation (spoiler alert), the David Morse character goes ballistic. He goes on a senseless rampage which allows the filmmakers to give us some gratuitous and ridiculous "shock sights", such as the bodies in the pool of water under the basement.

what's even more ridiculous is the fact that Morse was all along a very smart if brutal killer and yet, at the end, he acts totally irrationally. Why? because the filmmakers couldn't think of anything clever to do.

a waste of the talents involved.

Reviewed by xander34 8 / 10

Solid and Entertaining

Disturbia star Shia LaBeouf appears to have a great future ahead of him. In the past few years, amidst forgettable roles in I, Robot, and Constantine, he contributed strong performances in films like A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, and now in the thriller Disturbia. Although it is basically a remake of Hitchcock's Rear Window, Disturbia is unique in that it mixes elements of teen comedy, romance, drama, and gripping suspense in an entertaining way. Not to say the film is perfect, as it definitely isn't, but it accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do and then some.

All of the acting is decent and believable, with standout performances by the aforementioned LaBeouf as Kale, and David Morse, as the suspected villain, Mr. Turner. Serving as great comic relief is Kale's friend Ronnie (Aaron Yoo) while the new girl next door, Ashley (Sarah Roemer), provides a romantic interest. Also notable is The Matrix's Carrie-Anne Moss as Kale's mother who is great as always, yet underused.

Kale gets put on house arrest after punching his Spanish teacher in class. It's his third run in with the law since his father died in a car accident a year earlier. Under house arrest, he begins to learn the secrets of everyone surrounding him through the use of binoculars and video cameras. His most important realization in his voyeurism is that his somewhat reclusive neighbor shares many suspicious similarities to a wanted serial killer whom the police have not yet identified.

It's generally difficult to create such suspense under the restrictions of a PG-13 rating (do not watch this at the theater between 7-9 PM to avoid the loud middle school crowd), but instead of just trying to shock, the film conveys paranoia and fright through the use of mood and mere suggestions of menace. The script could have used another rewrite to further develop the cast of characters, as the only one who is fleshed out at all is LaBeouf's.

LaBeouf, who turns twenty-one in June, is looking to join Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ryan Gosling as one of the few great actors under the age of thirty if he keeps turning in strong performances in interesting projects. His star is certainly rising with Transformers due this summer and the fourth Indiana Jones film in the summer of 2008.

We have to realize that even though there is so much that makes Disturbia unique, at heart it is a very commercial effort. The twists are quite obvious, many characters are underdeveloped, and there's product placement everywhere (which is realistic nonetheless). However, at a brisk 104 minutes, it would be a lie to say the movie wasn't extremely satisfying, and an undeniably entertaining film.

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