64 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2007
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.
31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2007
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.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
"Disturbia" isn't original. It isn't too scary or gory either. What it is, though, is a fun popcorn yarn about a teen named Kale (Shia LeBeouf) who's placed under house arrest for taking out a little internal anguish on a Spanish teacher. His mother (Carrie-Anne Moss) takes away his television, his music and his X-box. What's a bored teen living in suburbia to do to pass the time? Spy on the neighbors, of course. It helps that his newest neighbor, Ashley (Sarah Roemer), is a knockout and takes regularly scheduled swims and rooftop reading breaks. Once he has all of his neighbors' daily lives timed perfectly, he introduces his friend, Ronnie (Aaron Yoo), to his voyeuristic world. The duo gets caught spying on Ashley but she ends up befriending them when they tell her that they believe one particular neighbor, Mr. Turner (the underused David Morse), might be a serial killer from Texas who was never captured.
This sets the film into motion. The three friends try to uncover the truth about their very private neighbor. The only problem is that with each clue they find that might lead to the truth, Turner seems to be one step ahead of them. Things get even crazier when the police think that Kale is crying wolf over everything.
What I really enjoyed about this film is that it's very funny. I'm not talking about it being funny in a sophomoric, slasher movie way, there's some very smart humor here. Director D.J. Caruso keeps the humor spread just thin enough to keep the suspense at an acceptable level. The cast is very likeable. LeBeouf has an ever-present goofiness about him, but when he needs to be afraid or angry, he pulls it off perfectly. Morse is sneaky and sinister at the same time. Whether he's a murderer or not, the guy will creep you out. Moss is solid, but has a very small role to fill. LeBeouf's pals do a good job as well.
The DVD doesn't have much to offer outside of the film that's worth more than one look. There's the standard "Making Of" featurette, outtakes, a forgettable music video, deleted scenes, and a photo gallery. The digital transfer is good, and the audio is nice as well.
Overall, "Disturbia" is a very fun suspense flick. It's not Hitchcock-caliber, but then again, so few films are. If you want Hitchcock, don't watch "Disturbia." If you want a good film to watch for a quiet evening at home, this film's the one for you.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2007
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.
23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
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...<grin>).
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2007
Alfred Hitchcock just won't go away. It has been 30 years since Hitchcock directed his last film, "Family Plot", but his work still seems fresh and original as it continues to inspire young directors. In 2007 we have already had two Hitchcockian rip-offs, "Vacancy" and this film.
"Disturbia" follows Kale (Shia LaBeouf) who is sentenced to three months house arrest after hitting his Spanish teacher, after the teacher made insensitive remarks towards Kale's dad who passed away in a suspious car accident in which Kale was also part of.
Kale is about to go stir crazy after his mother, Julie (Carrie-Anne Moss) takes away his x-box, TV and itunes, now Kale may actually have to do something constructive! But don't worry, Kale is not going to fall for that, he creates a nice diversion for himself by spying on his neighbors who include a new family to the neighborhood and their very pretty daughter, Ashley (Sarah Roemer) as well as Mr. Turner (David Morse), whom Kale suspects is actually a serial killer responsible for the recent disappearances of several young girls.
Now if the idea of a person locked up in their house, spying on their neighbors and thinking they have unwittingly stumbled upon a murder scene reminds you of anything it should be Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window".
"Rear Window" has Jimmy Stewart as a wheel-chair bound photographer whom after spying on his neighbors thinks he has seen one of them kill their wife. Now, with the help of Grace Kelly and Thelma Ritter, the trio will try to solve the case the police seem to ignore.
I guess that makes Shia LaBeouf the Jimmy Stewart of this movie, Sarah Roemer is our Grace Kelly and LaBeouf's best friend in the movie, Ronnie (Aaron Yoo) is our Thelma Ritter. Of course the obviously fault with the film, when compared to the work of Hitchcock is, the movie isn't nearly as suspenseful or well crafted.
"Disturbia" suffers from two problems. Number one it goes for cheap scares. It follows the basic formula most thrillers follow and because of that it leads us to our second problem. The movie is predictable. We know Mr. Turner is going to be the killer and Kale was right all along if for any reason, does it seem logical for a movie to take us down this path, build up all this "suspense", devote so much time to this idea, and then suddenly it turns out not to be Mr. Turner? Also, what other suspects does Kale have? So, since all the chips are placed on Mr. Turner being the killer, it simply must be.
So okay, right now you are saying, well you know what moron, when I saw "Rear Window" I knew Raymond Bur was the killer. Here's the difference. Since we know how the film is going to turn out, the only thing which will keep our interest will be the characters. It's all we have left. Unless the film is smartly written and strongly acted we have no reason to continue watching. And that is where "Disturbia" goes wrong. I didn't care about these characters. Whether they live or die had no impact on me. I was never fully involved in what was going on.
Shia LaBeouf seems to be getting a lot of work lately. He has already created a persona for himself. In nearly every film he is in he plays the same character. The geeky, well meaning, loser who lust after the pretty girl who doesn't notice him. In his world he think he is cool, to the rest of us, he is out of touch. Watch him in "I, Robot" or "Transformers" and you will see what I mean. I'm not saying LaBeouf has no talent. He does, but just like any other actor, he needs a good script. His persona worked in other films, but here he doesn't seem compelling on-screen.
The rest of the cast actually out shines LaBeouf. Supporting players like Roemer and Yoo are far more interesting to watch. Yoo is given better jokes and Roemer is simply better looking than LaBeouf so my eyes tended to follow her more when the two were both in a scene together.
The film was directed by D.J. Caruso. Caruso is a good director. A few years ago he directed a Val Kilmer movie called "The Salton Sea". It was a truly great film. He followed it up with an Angelina Jolie thriller, "Taking Lives", which I didn't like. But Caruso has talent. He can direct a scene and know how to get the most from his characters as was the case with Kilmer and Jolie. But what hurts him here is the script. Carl Ellsworth co-wrote the film, and even he too has done better. He wrote the thriller "Red Eye" which worked much better. That film had interesting characters and had a few suspenseful moments.
"Disturbia" may have a nice look to some but really isn't a very engaging picture. The cast and director are both talented but there is little anyone could do with this weak script.
Bottom-line: An Alfred Hitchcock knock-off that isn't anywhere near as suspenseful as the master's films. Good cast and director but the weak script brings everything to a halt.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
First things first, the only similarity this 2007 movie has with Alfred Hitchcock's classic voyeuristic thriller, 1954's Rear Window, is the basic concept of a temporarily immobile protagonist who sees highly suspicious activity from a distance only to find he may be endangered by what he may have witnessed. Other than the central plot device, the comparison falls apart since director D.J. Caruso (The Salton Sea) seems intent on making a teen-oriented thrill ride driven by angst and hormones. The focal point is teenaged Kale Brecht who has to spend his summer under police surveillance through a motion-detection ankle bracelet. The laborious set-up for this situation takes a good half-hour, though this is likely the best part of the film as it begins with a car crash visceral in impact and impressive in technical execution.
Reeling from the tragic results of the accident, Kale punches his Spanish teacher in the face, for which the bracelet is his punishment. Increasingly bored and incorrigible, he has his electronic toys taken away by his exasperated mother, leaving him nothing to do but watch his neighbors with binoculars. Two figures new to the neighborhood come into focus - Ashley, a comely neighbor who becomes Kale's object of pubescent desire, and Mr. Turner, a taciturn bachelor whose suspicious behavior peaks Kale's interest and imagination. What happens next is unfortunately predictable and downright lazy, as screenwriters Carl Ellsworth and Christopher B. Landon eschew much of the psychological elements of the supposedly tense situation in favor of overly familiar, crowd-pleasing scare tactics.
The violent, drawn-out finale is beyond absurd and further saddled by the restrictions of the film's PG-13 rating. In a role almost identical to the one he plays in Transformers, Shia LaBeouf brings energy and at times surprising gravity to Kale though not enough to compensate for the script's shortcomings. Sarah Roemer, looking like a cross between Kate Hudson and Jessica Biel, plays Ashley as a stock Lolita figure at least until she is called on conveniently to become resourceful. Even though he has the funniest lines, Aaron Yoo's role as goofball best pal Ronnie is poorly conceived to fit the plot machinations, and bereft of her Matrix coolness factor, Carrie-Anne Moss seems ill-used as Kale's put-upon mother. With his soft voice and unshakable manner, David Morse looks like he is having a good time playing Turner, but the character's revelations toward the end unravel any momentum of fear he was able to muster before.
The 2007 DVD has the standard set of extras with the most prominent being a rather flat, undisciplined commentary track from Caruso, LaBeouf and Roemer and a marginally better fifteen-minute making-of featurette. "The Making of Disturbia". There are four deleted scenes, all serving to deepen the relationship between Kale and his mother, and a few outtakes, mostly around the opening fishing sequence. Also included is the theatrical trailer, a pop-up quiz that is really a series of pop-up bubbles and a Caruso-directed music video of "Don't Make Me Wait" by This World Fair.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2007
As thrillers go (especially ones garnered toward the younger population) they're either hit or miss. With the revival of teen horror/thriller films, most as of late have been a rather large rotting pile of miss. In the beginning, I was highly skeptical and quite annoyed with Disturbia, especially when it gained so much success in the box-office. ["Shallow teenagers strike again" I thought.] So naturally, my curiosity was aroused and thus I decided to find out how I would like the movie myself. If you don't concern yourself with the popularity (or a particular someone starring in it) of this film, or its surprising success given its genre, then you just might find yourself enjoying the Non-Rear Window-'inspired' ---its not a remake of the elder film, as most people assume though its obviously inspired by it--- film. Honestly it reminded me of "What Lies Beneath", another Hitchcock inspired film, minus the cheating/vengeful husband and lurking ghosts). Unlike "Stick It (2006)" it nearly manages to fall away from its cliche Teen-movie atmosphere before tumbling back down the slope into mediocrity.
The beginning of the film introduces us to Kale Brecht (Shia LaBeouf) on a fishing trip, of his own volition, with his father, Daniel Brecht (Matt Craver), attempting to catch an illusive fish to no avail. The two are heading home when they become the unfortunate victims of a car accident (caused partly by a distracted Kale, partly by a large SUV, though its debatable) which only Kale manages to survive. Fast forward one year later, we find a depressed Kale asleep in class and unable to answer a seemingly simple question in his Spanish class. However, Señor Gutierrez (Rene Rivera), unwilling to let Kale off the hook when given an undecided answer and decides to guilt-trip the boy by inquiring "What would your father think?" and his rightfully popped in the face for his troubles. Although justified, Kale is let off easy by the courts and is placed under 3 month house arrest for the assault. Should be easy right?
Not for Kale.
Kale's attempts to keep himself busy are derailed when his stern-but-loving mother, Julie Brecht (Carrie-Ann Moss), cancels his iTunes and X-BOX Live memeberships (he doesn't even consider playing games offline. Idiot) and cuts the cord to Television when he decides to get smart with her [that was priceless scene]. Now without a 'constructive' thing to do, Kale takes vengeance on the washing machine and dishwasher, whilst attempting to get news from the outside world via Ronnie (Aaron Yoo), but to no avail. After peering upon a young woman, Ahsley Carlson (Sarah Roemer), moving into the Suburbs with her family and immediately taking attraction to her, it is then, that Kale dares to venture into his father's study to retrieve his red-tinted Binoculars and do some spying on the neighborhood --- or rather peep in on Ashley through her open window. (Apparently the Suburbs don't have a problem with thieves and peeping toms.) He pays little attention to the docile Robert Turner (David Morse) until spots Mr. Turner coming home one night with a dented 1960's/1967 era Ford Mustang as described like the one missing in a murder case of a young woman. Aided by newcomer Ashley and best friend Ronnie, Kale attempts to unravel the mystery enshrouding Mr. Turner when, what started out as a game to dispel boredom becomes far too real for him to handle.
Post-House Arrest, DISTURBIA focuses the first half-hour on Kale's painfully obvious inability to cope with the fact that he is virtually cooped up in his house without the simple pleasures of an out-and-about boy, save his Sixty-Gigabyte iPod and Television. It takes its time to build on Kale's character, which at times felt like I was watching an obnoxious, sometimes moody "Shia LaBeouf" and not "Kale Brecht", [I.E., the character felt far too similar to the personality the actor emits to the public instead of 'Kale', a character we know little about aside from the beginning of the movie], before introducing the romantic interest played Sarah Roemer. Ironically it doesn't even focus on the source of Kale [and Julie's] problems (his dead father). The plot is nothing of the unexpected nature, the trailer tells you right off what its about to an extent, but it is handled intelligently. In the first time watching it, the film does make one jump with the sudden raise in tensity in the music or the usual one-time only cheap scare ploys. Instead Disturbia plays off its story to the audience in a way that doesn't behave as if the viewer isn't supposed to know what's going on. It also manages to surprise you every now and again with tiny plot twists or deceptions. However, as this 104 Minute movie reaches the climax, the slow and steady pace is dropped for a rushed ending of the expected kind and that disappointed me greatly. The movie is great and yet the editor and director decided that they were tired of taking their time and just dropped all semblance of patience and destroy the atmosphere (cut out "What Lies Beneath"s chloroform scenario/bath tub scene and you've got yourself an unsatisfying ending to a otherwise excellent movie). Either that or they ran out of ideas on how make the movie another hour longer. With the way it ended, with its lame cliche-happy ending suck-face session, DISTURBIA really made me believe they could've gone another way with it.
The acting in this film is top notch from some of the actors, while others are just less than convincing. First off, Carrie-Anne Moss as Julie Bracht makes a convincing mother whom, for once, isn't portrayed as stupid and completely unawares of the situation her son has gotten himself into. However, Moss' character is under utilized in this film and watching the Deleted Scenes ("Do you want to Talk?" - "I Forbid it" - and - "You Are Breaking my Heart") showcase this point clearly with amazing scenes between Moss and LaBeouf. These scenes also touch on the fact that Julie was supposedly dating Mr. Turner and how the loss of her husband created a rift between mother and son. David Morse, the memorable bad-cop from "16 BLOCKS", is convincing as the unsettling Robert Turner, a seemingly kind man and understanding person. Like, Carrie-Anne Moss, Morse is also an under utilized actor who performs to the best of his abilities with so little he has for a character. Aaron Yoo as Kale's quirky and typical sidekick buddy [in way of EVEN STEVEN's Twitty], Ronnie (the only main character in the movie with one name aside from "Greenwood") is funny and convincingly serious though moments like that are few and far between. Shia LaBeouf, surprisingly, has managed to become a convincing actor since "HOLES", and while his past and recent (when I say recent, I meant "Surf's Up" recent. He was excellent in TRANSFORMERS) films are shy of interesting or compelling, and while his performance in this film is good, the character he plays is a more mellow version of Sam Witwicky, only Sam Witwicky is the more interesting character. Whilst the circumstances between the two characters are majorly different, their quirks and end results (geek gets the girl) are practically the same. LaBeouf's performance in DISTURBIA is nearly identical to that in TRANSFORMERS. He's got a ways to go before he becomes a truly great character actor, but he defiantly is one of the better actors of his age. And lastly, Sarah Roemer's presence in this movie is completely forgettable (but given her movie resume in the industry, I'm not surprised). Her performance Ashley Carlson is composed of slanking about in that would-be sensual way with her shoulders half-hunched, drawling out her words, and appearing shallow to the rest of the world while Kale sees a much more complex person. If Ashley was 'more than meets the eye' then the writers should've portrayed as such, instead of the actually shallow "your mom's hot" conformist romantic interest. The only time she actually hit me was a character of some depth is when she was spying on and went against Mr. Turner at the end of the movie.
Acting aside, Geoff Zanelli's score for DISTURBIA is without a doubt a score I would invest money in buying. Naturally, it reflects the atmosphere and the characters it surrounds, with quirky up-beat themes to tense and action packed themes suitable for a fleeting thriller movie such as this. The theme used for Kale and Daniel's fishing trip is probably the best amongst the more lighter themes (aside from 'Poofoot' ^_^). The 'Voyeurism' theme, while symbolical and emotionally moving, was missused in wrong the scenes and played almost repetitively whenever Ashley Carlson would show up, which was irritating to say the least. Another irritating, yet amusing, and repetitive theme used is the one whenever Kale would enter his father's study (especially after he lays out the guidelines of his Ankle's monitor's 100ft limit and sees Ashley again). As for the 'Various Artists' soundtrack; If you want a bad soundtrack just pick up Disturbia's second CD Release. While I commend the use of elder bands (from the year 2000), the music chosen is terrible, especially the theme for 'Kale and Ashley' they decided to make a Music Video for (do you see a pattern here?). Compared to the awesome pile of crap they call music they have featured in this, TRANSFORMERS - THE ALBUM is a gem (and it is).
So all in all, DISTURBIA is an great movie, but with a little more time spent on fleshing out the characters and the storyline overall, it would've been excellent. But as it is, its probably one of the better thrillers of 2007 since "Premonition". ---- [a 4 out of 5] ------ [8/30/31/07]
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2007
Ever watch a movie that you think will be terrible like the recent genre has been dishing out only to find it's actually...good? Well in Disturbia's case I wouldn't use the word "good" but considering the amount of bad horror/thriller films released lately, you're kind of surprised Disturbia's at least memorable. While it does have its flaws and spots of stupidness on some characters' part, it's fairly engaging if sort-of familiar thriller.
Kale Brecht is a 17 year old kid who loses his dad a year earlier when their vehicle gets into a pretty brutal car accident. Now, he's still pretty sore and emotionally turned off which doesn't help when his Spanish teacher makes a comment about his dad, prompting Kale to hit the guy. Instead of jail, he's put under house arrest with an electronic bracelet attached to his leg which alerts the police should he leave his yard.
Now completely bored since his mom cancelled his iTunes and XBox-Live, he decides to start spying on some neighbours, including new hottie Ashley. But there's someone else in the neighborhood, namely Robert Turner who Kale believes is a serial killer. With the help of Ashley, his friend Ronnie and some high-tech gadgets, Kale tries to figure out whether his neighbor really is a wanted killer.
First off, it's nice to see a thriller actually develop characters and ideas rather than just go off to the races and start amping up the tension. While it doesn't really work because the characters are still one note by the end of it, you still gotta appreciate a more slower opening. But that doesn't mean the characters are exempt from dumb ideas and illogical decisions. For instance, why put a camera on a car when you want to actually film something else, and then there's smaller stuff like why be bored because your X-Box is taken away yet not hook it up to a different TV? Or keep manipulating the camera to get better views when it's already hooked up to the TV. Or why he takes so long to figure out how far the safe distance is from the bracelet receiver?
The film though at least is a bit more active than its obvious spirit and homage to Hitchcock's "Rear Window". But whereas that film had an incapacitated James Stewart, Kale is more active and just as likable thanks to Shia Lebeouf who has that everyman quality without being that sort of too-bright-for-his-years wisdom most have. Everyone else is fine but no one particularly special. While David Morse seems the logical choice for the soft-spoken Mr. Turner, it seems like lazy casting since he's played shady characters before so there's not a lot of doubt on whether he really is the killer or not. Then we have a character, played by former Muchmusic VJ Amanda Walsh who practically disappears from the story and yet didn't contribute anything anyways. Why bother including her?
It's suspenseful and its certainly better than stuff like the Texas Chainsaw prequel and Saw III but taken on its own, it's a pretty good but not exceptional thriller.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2009
Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window" is an absolute classic. It ranks with "The Birds," "Psycho," and "North by Northwest" as one of his finest films. "Disturbia" on the other hand . . . well I will honestly say that I still think "Rear Window" is far superior to this fairly horrible re-imagining. And I mean "fairly" horrible, because Shia LeBeouf, Carrie-Ann Moss, and David Morse give very good performances. But aside from that, "Disturbia" is pretty much a weak thriller. It involves cheap scares, lame humor, and a really mediocre script. It did have some decent moments, but other than that, I consider this as bad as other thrillers that have been released in this certain decade that we're living in right now. I still choose "Rear Window."