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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Disturbia Movie Review – Shia LeBouf

A teenager , Kale (Shia LeBouf), is sentenced to three months house arrest for hitting a teacher. During his house arrest he wanders the house alone all day and is desperate to fill his time with some sort of activity.  To break the monotony he begins spying on his neighbors through his bedroom window. His voyeuristic focus is on the beautiful teenage girl Ashley (Sarah Roemer) and their mutual neighbor who may or may not be a serial killer (David Morse)

There is nothing unique about this film. This flick is a collage of so many of the teen thriller movies you’ve seen so many times in the past. Nerdy, somewhat outcast types stumble upon exceptional circumstances that break up the monotony of their otherwise affluent, posh, suburban lifestyle.

Along the way a gorgeous, popular, teenage girl moves in across the street and begins an implausible relationship with the socially awkward young man.

Like so many thrillers, he bad guy is big, brooding and somehow manages to be everywhere at once. He moves slowly but keeps up easily with the light speed, reckless pace of the fleeing good guys. It is as if the bad guy has the ability to teleport himself everywhere at once without breaking much of a sweat.

Shia Lebouf does a nice job as Kale. He is a troubled teen but to the credit of Lebouf and director J.D. Caruso do not let this character become sinister. Kale is basically a good kid that needs direction. Anything more would feel contrived and take away from the somewhat light hearted feel of the film.

One thing I wondered about “Disturbia” is what did more financially strapped audience members think of it? Kale’s environment is not remotely sympathetic. He lives in a huge suburban home surrounded by video games, televisions, and just about every electronic luxury a child (or adult) would ever  want. He goes to an affluent public school. He has a beautiful mother (The Matrix’s Carrie-Ann Moss), great friends and a hot chick that likes him. Kale’s father is no longer living at home (I won’t spoil it by saying why) but otherwise he has everything in life. His 3 month house arrest sentence feels like a sentence to some posh teenage resort rather than a punishment.   

If you watch a lot of thrillers and something with a completely new twist, you might want to skip Disturbia. You won’t find anything original here. That said, if you are looking to pass the time with a familiar film that won’t leave you too queasy in the end, check it out. This isn’t the worst teen thriller I’ve ever seen, just the most predictable.

105 Minutes

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