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DVD Review: Disturbia

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If Alfred Hitchcock and D.J. Caruso were in the same room watching this film, I imagine the conversation would go something like this:

Hitchcock: I like the girl.

Caruso: What about the movie?

Hitchcock: Do you think I could get the girl for one of my future films?

Caruso: But we are in here to watch a movie.

Hitchcock: My good man, this IS my movie. The only difference is the titles person accidentally put your name there instead of mine.

I’m not sure he would say that exactly about Disturbia, but I would assume it would be something like that.

The film stars Shia LaBeouf as Kale, a teenager who, after losing his father in a two-car accident, winds up a violent mess. After beating the crap out of his Spanish teacher, he is put under house arrest and is forced to wear a monitoring collar at all times. He plays his Xbox, makes goofy statues, and tries to get some kind of contact with the outside world through his friend Ronnie (Aaron Yoo). Things don’t look too good for him until his boredom leads him into his father’s room.

When he acquires a pair of binoculars, he starts playing voyeur on his neighbors, particularly a Mr. Turner (David Morse), who may or may not be a killer that the police in his area are looking for. In addition, he froths over Ashley (Sarah Roemer) who recently moved into Kale’s neighborhood and takes an interest in Kale. When Ashley discovers what he’s been doing, she, Ronnie, and Kale begin playing stakeout and decide to go on a little mystery adventure by figuring out if Turner is really as ordinary as he appears.

It could be just me, but I think two cars is a bit much to kill someone. Anyone’s family who topples over their car is going to come out dead. Why add another car to the mix?

The transition after that into angry violent teen doesn’t seem to fit with the other transition into voyeuristic detective. If it does, I must have missed it. Someone who is that hurt from losing their father is going to want to help anyone, especially the police who are hunting for a killer.

I also think that unlike an apartment (as used in Rear Window) there doesn’t seem to be as much tension when this sort of story takes place in a house. You get a better sense of that transition into the voyeurism when your living space is smaller. A house that big? Man, I’d have parties like you wouldn’t believe.

LaBeouf feels a bit one-note with his performance as Kale; he doesn’t change expressions much and rather turned me off because he never broke from his sullen teenager act. Yoo kept my interest as the goofy Asian best friend cliché, but I got tired of that as well. Roemer has sex appeal, that’s it.

David Morse, who is a good actor in his own right, gets his character of Turner ruined by speaking some Saturday morning cartoonish lines in an early scene in the film. Kale attempts to spy on Turner by looking through a hole at the bottom of his fence. He notices at first that Turner sees him. Fortunately for Kale, it’s a rabbit in his garden he’s after. Nothing wrong with that scene, but just listen to the words he speaks as he goes towards the rabbit. Pure camp.

For this DVD, you get commentary with LaBeouf, Roemer, and director D.J. Caruso, then a trailer, deleted scenes, a making of, bad trivia, and a never-seen-in-life music video.

Let’s hope they don’t remake Vertigo next.

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About Matthew Milam

  • Rob

    I saw this last night and enjoyed it. It was entertaining. My niece and her friend thought it was great. I’ve never seen Rear Window (outside of a Simpson’s spoof), so I can’t draw any connections to that film. I think it’s worth renting.