Saturday, April 14, 2007

Movies: Disturbia

• It's Rear Window for the MTV crowd.

Genre: Thriller
Director: D.J. Caruso
Run time: 1:44
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Sarah Roemer, Aaron Yoo, David Morse, Jose Pablo Cantillo
Verdict: &&1/2

Between this moderately entertaining thriller and the upcoming likely blockbuster Transformers, up-and-comer Shia LaBeouf is poised for a breakout year. In Disturbia, he is troubled teen Kale, who becomes the center of a highly Rear Window-esque tale after he is sentenced to home confinement due to circumstances that occur in a rather painfully overwrought opening act. With a monitoring device attached to his leg, he cannot wander beyond the confines of his own lawn, and boredom soon sets in. His interest piqued by a young lady whose family moves in next door, Kale takes binoculars in hand to get a better view from the windows of his upstairs bedroom. He soon notices unusual occurrences at the home of another neighbor (David Morse) who seems to fit the mold of a killer in the news. As the girl next door (Sarah Roemer) joins him behind the binoculars to spy, the two develop a relationship while becoming convinced that they mysterious neighbor, Mr. Turner, is up to something nefarious. It's nicely jolting, then, when Turner suddenly turns up downstairs with Kale's mother, and Morse is icily effective in the role. The movie at least acknowledges its obvious influences with music that, in tense moments, occasionally references the Hitchcock cannon. While LaBeouf is engaging as the nosy teen, the movie doesn't have as much fun with the voyeurism angle as it could in its early stages, and the final act fumbles a decent head of momentum in a string of thriller movie clichés.

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