MOVIE: Disturbia (2007)

This movie is a modern-day retelling of one of my all-time favorite Hitchcock films (Rear Window) and though it’s really geared towards younger people — 15 year old girls, in specific, I’d say — I found it pretty effectively suspenseful.

The movie focuses on a teenaged boy, Kale, who recently lost his father in a devastating car accident. A year later, he still hasn’t adjusted to the loss, and in a moment of fury during class, he punches his teacher. The teacher presses charges, and Kale soon finds himself on house arrest for the entire summer. The cops slap an ankle monitor on him, and make a point of telling him two things that will come into play later on: first, that if he wanders more than about 50 feet from home, they’ll know and will immediately come to arrest him; and second, that the monitor has a GPS chip in it that will tell them exactly where he is at all times.

Within a few days, Kale’s going pretty stir-crazy, until he realizes how entertaining spying on the neighbors can be. To the left, a gorgeous girl his age who has just moved in and whom he quickly befriends and then develops a crush on (hi, Grace Kelly character!). To the right, a sinister man (played by David Morse) that Kale soon comes to believe is the serial killer everybody’s been hearing about on the news.

Anybody who has seen the Hitchcock version, or who has half a brain, will know exactly where this movie is headed and pretty much exactly how it’ll turn out. Nevertheless, while the story may be predictable in general, the finer details are often quite clever (they even managed to work in a moment involving a camera flash, which was a nice nod to the original, I thought). The teenagers are all cute and funny, and the suspenseful parts are pretty successfully thrilling. All in all, I really enjoyed this movie. There’s very little blood or gore, which is kind of refreshing, really, and the acting is really good. I now understand why there’s been so much fuss over relative-newcomer Shia LaBeouf (whose next big picture will be the upcoming Indiana Jones sequel). When I first heard of him and saw his photo on the web, I didn’t really get it — but in action, he’s quite adorable in a charmingly dorky kinda way and he’s also a very talented actor to boot.

I definitely recommend this one, especially if you’re looking for a good thriller to watch with your teenaged kids. I think it’s something both younger and older movie lovers will enjoy. Do your kids a favor, though, and make it a double-feature with the original — a little Jimmy Stewart now and then does a body good!

[Buy me | Netflix me]

Genre: Thriller
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, David Morse, Sarah Roemer, Carrie Anne Moss

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5 Responses to “MOVIE: Disturbia (2007)”

  1. cheesepuppet Says:

    I actually haven’t seen Rear Window! But I know I like Hitchcock. Should I see the original first?

  2. megwood Says:

    Nope, I think you could watch in either order. But definitely get “Rear Window” at some point too, because it’s GREAT!

  3. Catherine Says:

    Thanks for letting us know there’s not much blood and gore. That’s why I avoided seeing this in the theaters. Based on your review I will definitely rent it! Shia is awesome. I’m a full-grown adult, but I watched his Disney Channel show Even Stevens because he was so phenomenal (and won an Emmy for it). I hope he’ll return to his comedic roots, because he really shines there.

  4. megwood Says:

    I’ll have to see if I can catch an episode of “Even Stevens” somehow — I had no idea he started out in comedy (shows you what I know, eh?), but I can really see that in him just from watching “Disturbia.” He’s quite adorably sarcastic at times! Hope you enjoy the movie too! Definitely come back here after you watch it and post your thoughts in the comments again! 🙂

  5. Eva Says:

    I watched him in “The Battle of Shaker Heights” recently, since it’s about a WWII reenactor kid, and I’m a huge fan of reenactors. The movie was so-so (good effort, muddled plot and message), but Shia’s talent was immediately apparent. He’s like a friend’s younger brother, who turns up while you’re waiting for your friend to get ready to go out, and instead of being a slacker teen, he strikes up a polite and intelligent conversation, and by the time your friend is ready and you leave, you feel renewed hope for the kids of this world, as clearly not all of them are brats.

    Um, yeah. That’s what he’s like.

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