Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Disturbia Review

Disturb-ia Enthusiasm

Disturbia in ten words or less: Tagged Kale discovers serial killer whilst perving on hot chick.

Horror movies suck. And you know what? - Hitchcock sucks as well. Master of Suspense? Master of the Sucky Ending. The Birds – what the hell? Any explanation? Psycho – staring at the fly on the wall: not an ending! Rear Window – a wheelchair bound perv defeats a murderer by taking pictures of him with the flash on; what is he, King Kong?

Not so much plucked as massaged gently from the story of Rear Window, we have a hybrid of a teen movie and a suspense thriller. The role of a modern day James Stewart is played by Shia LaBeouf (on my spell check that comes up as laboured. Huh.) and Grace Kelly has evolved into comedy Asian, Ronny, played by Aaron Yoo.

Thankfully the set up of Kale being ‘spatially challenged’ is established within the first ten minutes, after a shocking opening death, and some painfully realistic classroom troubles, he is confined to a summer of gaming, lounging, and wanking over hot girl next door, Ashley (Sarah Roemer), a girl whose window romping gets so exasperating you just feel like shouting ‘Do the curtains, love!’ at. After a few exercises in tedious voyeurism, Kale is suspect to observe his neighbour of suspicious activity, which eventually proves to be a concrete suspicion, and Kale ends up fighting for his mother’s life against the vicious psychopath.

What makes this movie better than most horror movies that are released today is that it doesn't rely on excessive gore and gross out tactics to frighten you. It relies on mood and suspense, which works so much better, which is why Hitchcock is bumlicked by all. As the film went on, the tension got so high that I was literally on the edge of my seat rubbing my hands together because I was so anxious to see what was going to happen next. You actually felt the adrenaline rush that the characters in the film must have been feeling when they were snooping around in the neighbour's garage. Disturbia has a very likeable cast and the acting and direction is of such good quality that the on screen chemistry between everybody feels wholly genuine. Watching LaBeouf, you forget his roles in I, Robot, Charlie’s Angels and Constantine (did you ever remember?) and he proves once again that he can carry a film as a leading, albeit flawed, man

Unfortunately, the good work in the tension department that the film had been increasingly ramping up is forsaken for a typical forgettable ill-lit set-piece and loud slashing metallic noises, where the lapses in rational behaviour start to make an irresistible impression on your mind. In fact you start getting maddened that David Morse’s isolated murderer goes on a senseless rampage which allows the filmmakers to give us some gratuitous and ridiculous "shock sights", such as the bodies in the pool of water under the basement. And there’s another problem: the film is not really scary, either. Miles better than Hostel, but not better than The Ring. You will find your heart will beat faster, but nothing to make you jump out of your chair. The film isn’t very cinematic, and I would save watching a kid laze around his house for the small screen. But this film is by no means bad. Aaron Yoo was great, and the moments where he was in peril was when I was on the edge of my seat the most.

Quizás this is a lesson to the Hollywood schlubs who think Gore = Horror

At least the killer wasn’t defeated by a flash bulb.

Grading: B


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