Saturday, September 8, 2007


Every so often a movie comes out of nowhere and pleasantly surprises you so much that you just want to grab its head and pull it in for a nice wet kiss.

That's what I wanted to do with Disturbia.

When it came out last April, I knew little about it except that it had the kid that was going to be in Transformers (Shia LaBeouf) in it and it looked kinda lame.

However, the reviews were positive and the movie stayed at the top of the box office list for a few weeks. So I admitted I could have been wrong and made a mental note to check it out when it came out on DVD.

So the wife and I popped it in and watched it tonight, buzzing from the good word of mouth surrounding it, and I must say, it was well deserved.

The film starts with a shocking set-up that realistically explains why LaBeouf's character, Kale, is under house arrest. It also takes time to establish Kale's surroundings, when most movies want to get right to the action. The main plot of the film, for instance, doesn't begin until about 45 minutes in, and I was vibing off the characters so much that I almost wasn't ready for it to begin.

Anyway, the plot centers around Kale getting bored under house arrest and spying on various neighbors and realizing that the creepy guy next door who likes to bring club chicks home with him could possibly be a serial killer. The possible killer is played by veteran actor David Morse who ironically comes off creepier than Michael Myers ever has in any of the Halloween sequels, and probably even the remake.

What is so good about Disturbia is the streamlined professionalism it contains in every aspect of the film. LaBeouf is charismatic as always. Morse is creepy. Sara Roemer is sexy. And Carrie-Ann Moss is the anti-Trinity as Kale's concerned but absent mother. Director D.J. Caruso (Taking Lives) just lets the actors go to work, but drapes a suspenseful curtain over the film, so that anything can happen at any time. Again, it's nothing we haven't seen before, but do cheeseburgers cease to be good even though you've had those before?

In the end, Disturbia won't win any awards that aren't out by MTV, and it will probably be completely forgotten about in a few months. But it is a fun movie to watch with a date, who will no doubt be clutching your arm during the numerous tension-filled scenes toward the end of the movie.

Plus it gives us another look at LaBeouf, who will play Indiana Jones' sidekick in the new Indiana Jones movie coming out next year. LaBeouf will no doubt bring a youthful energy to that film, picking up where Harrison Ford left off.

FILM SCORE: *** (out of ****)
BEST SCENE: Tension filled climax.
STATUS: Professional thriller for teens and adults.

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