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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner11/09/2007

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 104 mins

Smartly directed thriller with a witty script, a great performance from Shia LaBeouf and some hugely enjoyable suspense scenes.

What's it all about?
Shia LeBeouf plays Kale, a teenager who's placed under house arrest after punching his Spanish teacher. With his video games confiscated and his ASBO-style ankle bracelet ensuring that he can't go further than his own garden, Kale passes the time by goofing around with his best friend Ronnie (Aaron Yoo) and spying on the neighbours, notably new girl next door Ashley (Sarah Roemer).

Ashley proves surprisingly susceptible to Kale's bad boy charms and soon the three of them are hanging out together, with Ashley enthusiastically joining in with the spying. However, when they turn their attentions to Kale's creepy neighbour (David Morse), they begin to suspect that he might be a notorious serial killer and are compelled to investigate.

The Good
A teen version of Rear Window with an ankle bracelet replacing a broken leg is an inspired idea and the witty script has a lot of fun with the premise in the first half before ramping up the tension in the second. In addition, director DJ Caruso orchestrates some superb suspense sequences and keeps us on our toes with some unexpected twists.

LeBeouf makes an extremely likeable lead and the script ensures that Kale's initial delinquency is mitigated by circumstances, making him even more sympathetic. There's also strong comic support from Aaron Yoo and Sarah Roemer is much spunkier than the girlfriend part usually calls for, as well as being easy on the eye.

The Great
Morse can do creepy in his sleep, but his talents are put to good use here, while Carrie-Anne Moss is good value as Kale's exasperated mother. Admittedly, the plot strays into overblown psycho territory in the final reel, but that's easily forgivable when the film is this much fun.

Worth seeing?
Disturbia is a thoroughly enjoyable thriller that delivers plenty of humour and suspense. Recommended.

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Content updated: 15/12/2019 23:05

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