Director: D.J. Caruso
David Morse/Mr. Turner
A teen duder (LeBeouf) in mourning who’s under house arrest sees his miserable life sink even lower when he begins to suspect that his gentle giant of a neighbor (Morse) is in fact a serial killer. At least he has that firm butt-cheeked hottie (Roemer) that just moved in next door to keep his spirits and his unit up!
There’s was a grey cloud pissing on my melon when I walked in the theatre to wrestle DISTURBIA. Why? Teeny bop thriller + PG 13 rating usually equals: ME F*CKING BORED! Life’s too short to waste on cookie cutter drivel (When a Stranger Calls remake anyone?) Shockingly enough though I found myself getting hooked in by the film’s premise and its characters off the bat thus (yup…”thus”…why the f*ck not) I had a decent time with it all. Didn’t see that one coming!
Although far from novel (Think Rear Window or Fright Night for today’s generation) or groundbreaking for that matter; the evenly paced Disturbia had its charm starting with a wonderful performance by Shia LaBeouf (Kale). The dude rang in a credible and likeable show that kept me peeping the screen. To be honest, I never thought much of the lad until now. He owned this movie and carried it like a champ! Props man! The film’s sly use of today’s technology came through as well. We live in an age when you can’t take a corn laced dump without it winding up on YouTube and this sucka capitalized on that jive efficiently to serve the plot twists and the suspense. Speaking of "sus" and "pense"; this one slam dunked a couple of nifty nail biting scenes my way that worked me like a lady and a tramp on their knees earning their dimes fervently…. all two of them! NICE!
Another aspect that I boogied to was that the story really took its time in setting up its peeps, their relationships and its situation. That’s rare gold in teen movies. I appreciated that as it definitely upped my involvement in the shenanigans and contributed to the horror’s impact at the end. And what’s a teeny flick without a love story? I usually groan at these types of subplots but the cutesy lovey-dovey stuff went down smooth; an outcome of the credible dialogue and swell chemistry between our love birds at play. Finally the last block of the picture delivered some minor spills and chills that hit the spot! The scare bits were well staged and executed. I had a blast with them! NOTE: Lets see if you pick up on the room from SAW, Michael Myers’ wardrobe and the skeleton pit from Poltergeist making appearances! Homages or blatant rip-offs? You be Judge Judy on that! I was amused by them though!
Alas, I so felt like I had seen this movie before. If it wasn’t for the fleshed out peeps and bang-on acting; this one would’ve been branded “disposable fluff” by yours truly. Predictable was the word and lack of surprises was the outcome. The fact that they didn’t run with the “electronic ankle bracelet” plot device far enough sure didn’t help in that department. There was so much to be done with that angle! Not much was done. The flick also held off on its punches a little too much for my liking when it came to getting down and dirty but that’s PG 13 for ya! And what was up with characters disappearing for long periods of time? The mother and the girlfriend both vanished at some point to serve the plot. Felt awkward to me! Moreover, suspension of disbelief had to kick in a couple of times. Lets face it; there's no way that tiny Shia LaBeouf could take on 6' 4" and massive motherf*cker David Morse. No freaking way! But I let it go. I had to. Will you? Lastly I could've gone without the “he’s dead but no he’s not” move as to one of the players. I hate that move. No you don’t get it…I HATE IT! Why play it so damn safe and happy? It’s a serial killer opus man not Dora the Explorer! COME ON!
All in all Disturbia did the “been there done” that cha-cha with more panache than the norm due to its tight dialogue, easy pacing and solid acting. Would I recommend it on the big screen? NOPE! But it has gnarly DVD rental written all over it! You gonna disturb this Disturbia or tell me to go f*ck myself for actually using that pun?
Its PG 13 land hence we don’t get more than after the fact corpses, stabbings (mostly off-screen) and blood here and there.
Shia LaBeouf (Kale) held his own like a pro, giving us a layered and very human performance. Sarah Roemer (Ashley) had the sizzling looks, charm, fine derriere and acting chops to pull the part off. Carrie-Anne Moss (Julie) did what she had to do with talent; I would’ve liked more of her though. You can’t go wrong with David Morse (Mr. Turner) as a nut-ball. The man’s subdued demeanor mixed in with his imposing physical presence jacked up the character’s menace factor big time! The dude always classes up a film!
T & A
I can think or worse ways to waste time than gawking at shots of Sarah Roemer’s gorgeous flat belly and firm buttocks in a bathing suit. Funnily enough, I can’t think of “better” ways to waste time either…
D.J. Caruso put out an admirable show. He knew when to visually play it down, therefore emanating realism and when to play it up atmosphere wise, to juice up the horror. He also handled his tension charged sequences proficiently. A big improvement over that turd Taking Lives.
We get an involving and moody score and some knee slapping “lets sell that soundtrack” ditties. Dug it!
Disturbia was what you’d think it would be but with superior dialogue, character development and acting in tow. I mean déjà vu, connect the dot narrative structures usually make for bland watches, especially when they’re geared towards a younger audience i.e. playing it non-lubed condom safe with its horror. But this pup managed to supersede that shite to deliver a riveting, quality inclined and enjoyable ride. Not awesome stuff but good stuff!
Director D.J. Caruso also helmed the underrated The Salton Sea (2002) starring Van Kilmer.
Sarah Roemer also played the blonde bitch in The Grudge 2 (2006).
Shia LaBeouf just locked a role (Indy's son?) in the upcoming Indiana Jones 4.
David Morse is a freaking great man!
VISIT THE OFFICIAL DISTURBIA SITE HERE