Disturbia (2007) Film Review


It’s always a risk, watching something that’s been screened on commercial free-to-air television. You don’t know if it has been edited for content or time, or just to fit more advertising in. I watched Disturbia assuming and hoping that I saw all of it.

Essentially, the film is a modern take on the concept of Rear Window, the Hitchcock classic. In this case, the protagonist is a teenager, Kale (Shia LaBeouf) who is put under house arrest after attacking a teacher who snidely refers to Kale’s recently deceased father. Wearing an electronic ankle bracelet, Kale must stay within a limited distance to his house, and becomes obsessed with his neighbours. Of particular interest is the teenage girl, Ashley (Sarah Roemer) who has just moved in next door and another relatively new neighbour, Mr Turner (David Morse) who they suspect is a serial killer. With kooky mate Ronnie (Aaron Yoo), the three get into all kind of trouble.

I should not watch suspense or horror films. Ever. I just shouldn’t. Even this film (which is not very good despite having the marvelous David Morse at his chilling best) made me extremely tense. It’s not well written, and the concept is preposterous. Yet, I kind of liked it; it was a little scary without stopping me from sleeping.

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