Disturbia Review
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Following his father’s death, Kale (Shia LaBeouf) can’t seem to pull himself together. He becomes withdrawn and often violent. And after he punches his Spanish teacher—his third offense in a year—he could even be sent to jail. But the judge decides to go easy on him and sentence him to three months of house arrest instead.

Trapped in his house for the summer, Kale entertains himself with “reality without the TV.” And by the time his friend, Ronnie (Aaron Yoo), returns from a family vacation, Kale knows all of his suburban neighbors’ secrets. With the help of his trusty binoculars, he figures out his neighbors’ schedules. He knows when the wives leave and when the husbands show up to spend a little time with the housekeeper. He knows when Ashley (Sarah Roemer), the gorgeous new girl next door, practices her yoga. But he doesn’t know much about Mr. Turner (David Morse)—except for the fact that he mows his lawn a lot.

While watching the news with his mother one night, Kale hears about the mysterious disappearance of a local woman—a case that the police say might be connected to a series of murders that took place a few years ago in Texas. And the more he finds out about the killer, the more Kale suspects his neighbor, Mr. Turner.

Disturbia is basically a modern teenage version of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Like the 1950s Jimmy Stewart classic, it takes a bit of time to develop the main character before jumping into the real action. There’s a little bit of drama and a little bit of goofiness (thanks to Yoo), and it takes a while for the actual suspense to build. Eventually, though, it does—and the teen goofiness falls away (which, for a while, left me with the strange feeling that I’d fallen asleep during a teen movie and had woken up in the middle of a thriller). And once the action starts, there’s no stopping it.

Okay, so Disturbia might be a little bit predictable, despite its plot twists (actually, even those are a little bit predictable and formulaic). And the story might not be as smooth and cohesive as it could be. But when you’re sitting there in the dark, clutching your armrests and leaning forward a little bit in your seat, you won’t really care. Morse does an excellent job of being totally eerie, and LeBeouf holds his own as the troubled teen. And even though I’m not exactly in the film’s target audience, I found it to be deliciously creepy and delightfully disturbing.

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