Disturbingly Unthrilling

A two-hour movie, and he still cant find the time to clean his room.

A two-hour movie, and he still can’t find the time to clean his room.

Michael Hogan

I’ve heard D.J. Caruso’s new film, Disturbia, called a rip-off of the Hitchcock classic Rear Window. Unfortunately I can’t really say much to dispute that. It is the story of a guy, played by Shia Lebouf, who is confined to a small space. Sure, it’s because of one of those ankle bracelets that keep criminals in their houses, but does that make any difference, really? And, like Jimmy Stewart’s character in Rear Window, Kale is convinced that he was witnessed a murder. Unlike Rear Window, there is very little response, very little back and forth.

So, no. It’s not a rip-off of Rear Window. It is a poorly executed, would-be thriller that happens to have some Rear Window qualities.

LeBouf and Aaron Yoo as two friends who spy on the neighbors, especially the cute new girl-next-door Ashley, are the shining spots in Disturbia. LeBouf plays Kale, a kid who has lost his father and, in an act of regression, assaults a teacher and is confined to his home by an electronic bracelet. Yoo plays Ronnie, Kale’s best friend who keeps him company and provides a much-needed comedic outlet.

Newcomer Sarah Roemer plays Ashley, the token eye candy. She is in the movie to walk around in a bikini and to wear wet clothing, and she does her job well. Davis Morse plays Mr. Turner, the suspected killer and, sure, he’s pretty creepy, but I think that may just be who David Morse is.

Disturbia is a non-spine tingling un-thriller. It is a film that should keep you on the edge of your seat and fails to do so. For the first three quarters of the movie I watched eagerly waiting for some nugget of brilliance. I was never given that nugget. The last quarter was really just ridiculous.

The film jumps from a suburban world of teenagers and killers, much like the one found on Wes Craven’s Scream, to something out of Indiana Jones, a subterranean world of foolishness. There are a few moments that might make you jump a little and a few that may make your skin crawl, but no enough by any means.

Maybe it serves as a reason to get out of the house on a rainy day or a reason to hold the person next to you close, just in case there are any scary moments, but it does little else. Maybe it is something to pad Lebouf’s resume or to make you want to look deeper into your neighbors’ lives, but that is all that there is. Do yourself a favor and rent Rear Window or any other Hitchcock thriller, or rent From Justin to Kelly for that matter, you won’t be as disappointed.