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Movie Reviews




Released: 2007

Director: D.J. Caruso

Stars: Shia Laboeuf, Carrie Anne Moss


Reviewer: Richard O’Toole

A year after losing his father in a tragic accident, Kale (Shia LaBeouf) is sentenced to a three month house arrest for hitting his Spanish teacher. Not wanting him to waste his time, his mother, Julie (Carrie-Anne Moss) cancels his iTunes account, closes his subscription to Xbox live and cuts his television’s plug off. Bored, lonely and limited to a one-hundred distance from his house, he begins to watch the world around him. This leads to him falling in love with his new neighbour, Ashley (Sarah Roemer), continuing his bromance with best friend Ronnie (Aaron Yoo) and accusing his neighbour, Mr. Turner (David Morse) of being a serial killer.

The film is inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Based in different eras the films obviously have major differences, Xbox, iTunes and other modern day luxuries were obviously not around in the 1950s. The reason of being housebound is different too; the protagonist in Rear Window is housebound because of a broken leg, not because of violent behaviour. Despite these differences, both films still explore the same emotions and issues that surround being confined to a select place. One thing that was kept exactly the same was the suspense. Hats off to director, D.J. Caruso, as Disturbia certainly kept me on the edge of my seat, and in parts I really had no idea as to what was going to happen. Caruso also deserves praise for keeping the voyeurism to a minimum, in the wrong hands this film could’ve easily turned into perv heaven. There was obviously sexual interest from Kale towards Ashley, but it was within bounds, often Kale was caught in the act, leaving the audience smiling.

In my opinion this film really kick started Shia LeBouf’s career as a lead actor. He was able to show off his ability, and yes, his characters since have been similar but when you’re good at something, stick to it. Aaron Yoo provided much needed laughs throughout the film and broke the tension effortlessly. David Morse’s character, Mr. Turner, made the biggest impression. He may be one of the creepiest men ever; throughout the film he had a dead look behind his eyes, which still gives me chills. When he was on screen I had a feeling anything could happen. His cunning character had no bounds, unlike house arrested Kale and this was really played upon throughout Disturbia.

Though not the most original narrative ever, there is something about Disturbia that left me wanting more. There is a lot of negativity towards the film, partly due to it being aimed at a teenage-thriller audience, but even with the restrictions of keeping the age rating to a minimum, Disturbia still delivers a dramatic what-is-going-to-happen suspense flick. This is without the use of nudity, foul language and over the top violence. The genius of Disturbia is its ability to keep the audience guessing and by doing this it leaves the spectator restless and on-edge throughout.

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