Thursday, May 6, 2010

Archive: "Disturbia" (2007)

"Disturbia" has the refreshing feel of a movie that's cool and hip. This nifty little number of a fright fest updates an already used idea with current things like webcams, cell phones, Xbox 360, PSP, iTunes, and YouTube. I had no clue watching and catching a killer could be this much fun, and even more: Something for a group of bored teenagers over the summer to tackle with. However goofy this may sound, it's really a lot better than you walk in expecting, and it is actually more gripping than it should be. This is the most coherent thriller aimed at teens to come out for a while, and it'll have you thinking twice about who your neighbors are.

Kale (Shia LeBeouf) is not having a good summer. Right before school lets out, he punches his Spanish teacher in the face for treading on uneasy grounds in relation to his father who he witnessed die in a car accident. As a result, Kale is put on house arrest and is strapped with a bracelet on his ankle that will flash red if he's out of his house's range for more than ten seconds, sending the cops on their way. At first Kale occupies his time doing usual teenage things, but soon his mother rids him of his video games and his TV. What is the only thing to quench this "chronic boredom" of his? To spy on his seemingly average suburban neighbors, of course!

While spying on his neighbors with a pair of binoculars, he witnesses pretty amusing things such as cheating wives, porn-obsessed youngsters, and things of that nature. What really catches his attention, though, is a new neighbor, Ashely, who just moved in; he admiringly watches her sun, stretch, and swim on the poolside. Then there's his neighbor, Robert Turner, who may just so happen to be a serial killer living across the street. Just in time, too, because Ashley happened to stop by because she caught both Kale and his buddy, Ronnie, watching her through their window. She knows, and they know that she knows, and it's all humorous and witty fun. The hormone-fueled teenage dynamic here is just presented so well. They divert the conversation, however, to this Robert Turner guy and immediately begin to keep a close eye on him mainly just for kicks.

This seemingly innocent game, though, turns sinister when they dig deeper into this creepy man's life and begin following him. Soon the watchers through the windows become the ones being watched, and that's when things start getting violent. All the events leading up to this point in the movie are all clever and smartly paced with persistent building tension. The jumps and jolts that start happening are also well timed and used sparingly enough to not become too much, which makes the movie actually pretty thrilling for merely a teen thriller. The overall mood of the entire affair, too, is not too dark or grisly and keeps a good-natured tone. The only time it gets a little grisly is near the end, but the setup is always better than the conclusion anyway.

Although there are not any real twists and turns and the ending is still predictable, both the ride getting there and the standard ending full of brutal escape scenes are fully enjoyable on their own. The movie knows what needs to be done and gets it done with no strings attached. Surprisingly sharp performances from the young actors also keep things fresh and moving. "Disturbia" is slick, flirty, and clips along at a lively and brisk pace that keeps your pulse racing. This is the ideal thing teens are all going to see on a Friday night, so thank goodness for that oh so sly teen-appeal it has going on. This is pure popcorn excitement and a surefire crowd pleaser for a creepy good time. And besides, Shia LeBeouf has an undeniable rising young actor appeal, and he's got some cool shoes, too.

1 comment:

  1. I have seen the film a few times and i think its very good, i agree it is a pure popcorn thriller and one that everyone should see in their life time