Release Date: April 13th, 2007 by Paramount Pictures.
The Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Sarah Roemer, Carrie-Anne Moss, David Morse, Aaron Yoo, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Matt Craven.
Directed by D.J. Caruso.
BASIC PREMISE: Kale (LaBeouf), a teenager under house arrest, suspects that his neighbor, Mr.Turner (Morse), might be a serial killer.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Disturbia has decent performances and great cinematography, but lacks suspense and surprises. Kale spends his time with his widowed mother (Moss) while under house arrest for a punching his high school teacher. He spies on his sexy, new neighbor, Ashley (Roemer), and befriends her. Right around that time, he notices his other neighbor, Mr. Turner, acting suspiciously and getting into a fight with a woman inside his house. Kale and his hyperactive friend, Ronnie (Yoo), learn that there’s a killer on the loose and realize that the neighbor has similarities to the killer—i.e. they both drive same car. The rest of the by-the-numbers plot follows Kale, Ronnie and Ashley as they spy and stalk Mr. Turner. Screenwriter Carl Ellsworth spends too much time setting up the tension and includes a contrived romance between Kale and Ashley. David Morse gives a very creepy performance as Mr.Turner, but the lack of kindness in his face and voice gives away his true intentions. Morse doesn’t have enough material to work with to make his character more interesting and memorable. Shia LaBeouf comes across as likeable, but bland. Director D.J. Caruso does his best to add some tension through interesting camera angles and an eerie musical score. If only Disturbia were anything like Rear Window and Arlington Road, two similar thrillers that actually managed to be suspenseful and surprising until the very end.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: By-the-numbers and lacking suspense and surprises.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 5
IN A NUTSHELL: Decent performances, especially by David Morse, and creepy cinematography doesn’t compensate for the lack of suspense and surprises in the by-the-numbers plot.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: DVD
The "D" Menu