Reviewed by: Darren Amner

Disturbia is a modern reworking of the Hitchcock classic Rear Window. I believe the decision to bring this new imaging to the big screen was due to the fact that most of the current cinema going audience today would have never actually seen the original. With this in mind director DJ Caruso decided to update the movie and target a younger demographic to huge success in the states and now Disturbia arrives on these shores.

When Shia LaBeouf assaults his Spanish teacher one day at school after he passes a quip about his recently deceased father, a judge rules that he must be committed to house arrest. Stuck at home playing xbox, surfing the net and listening to his ipod, his life is good until his mother (Carrie-Ann Moss) decides that his slobbish ways must come to an end and cuts him off, quite literally.

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No gadgets to amuse himself – surely Kale could read a book..? Hell no. Instead he decides to pick up a set of binoculars and voyeuristically spy on his neighbours' day to day lives to cure his boredom and pass the time.

One particularly popular image he enjoys focusing on is his beautiful new neighbour, played by Sarah Roemer, especially when she goes for a dip in the pool outside. Dividing his time between trying to win the affections of his new neighbour and battling the limitations of his confinement, he makes an alarming discovery.

Mr Turner, the quiet loner next-door, seems to fit the description of a wanted serial-killer who is all over the local news. Could he really be the man wanted for these hideous crimes? With time on his hands, Kale decides to investigate his every move.

Disturbia is a good mesh of suspense and thrills. Director Caruso balances humour with intense set-pieces to craft a fun thrill-ride. He is aided by a top cast whose performances deliver on every level. Shia LaBeouf as the lead is magnetic; it’s hard to take your eyes off screen when he is on it. His portrayal is likeable and real and you root for him all the time whether it be to get the girl or discover the killer’s identity. Comparisons are already being made to a young Tom Hanks or John Cusack, which can’t be bad, and you can clearly see it. Aaron Yoo plays Ronnie, the comic relief and sidekick, rounding out the best friend role extremely well. Sarah Roemer (Ashley) is the eye-candy and does what she needs to do. She looks to be a good actress but this role doesn’t really stretch her much.

David Morse as the creepy neighbour (Mr Turner) is marvellously menacing – but I have seen him play this bad-guy role quite a few times so I am starting to wonder if this character is almost second nature to him.

Disturbia is pure-popcorn entertainment and will act as a showcase for the talent involved to all go onto much better things. I liked the movie, but it will not be a classic like Rear Window. It will no doubt get some younger viewers to seek out the original, though.

Reviewed on: 21 Aug 2007
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A teenager becomes convinced his neighbour is a serial killer.
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Read more Disturbia reviews:

The Exile ***1/2

Director: D J Caruso

Writer: Christopher B Landon, Carl Ellsworth

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Sarah Roemer, Carrie-Anne Moss, David Morse, Aaron Yoo, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Matt Craven, Viola Davis, Brandon Caruso, Luciano Rauso, Daniel Caruso

Year: 2007

Runtime: 104 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US

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