Disturbia (2007)

Lesson to all killers – CLOSE YOUR CURTAINS!

Kale (Shia LaBeouf), a troubled teen sentenced to house arrest, begins watching his neighbors out of boredom — only to discover evidence that a serial killer lives a stone’s throw from his home. As his suspicions of his neighbor (David Morse) grow, Kale enlists the aid of friends Ashley (Sarah Roemer) and Ronnie (Aaron Yoo) in his increasingly dangerous snooping.

Right away from just looking at the premise you know that this is going to be a rip-off of Rear Window. However, the film is not denying the fact that they are, and it works in their advantage much to my surprise.

Director D.J. Caruso takes this premise and actually makes a lot of it fun in a way. There is some nice suspense to the story because you never know what quite is going to happen at what exact moment and Caruso puts the camera to good use and cuts away every so often to gain further tension.

My main problem with this film is that it’s nothing spectacular and very forgettable, especially because of the last 20 minutes of the film suck. The whole film was all tense leading up to the last 20 minutes and then it just turns into another cliched slasher flick resolution. This disappointed me because Caruso actually kind of brought a whole subtle feel here to all of the action that happened here, and then these last 20 minutes came up and I thought I was watching a cheesy Halloween sequel. I knew there wasn’t going to be any actual real surprises here with this film but to say the least, I didn’t like how it all ended.

Shia LaBeouf is incredibly likable as Kale Brecht, and mostly carries this film the whole way through. Say what you will about this dude back from his days on Even Stevens, but Shia knows how to act and he can be very charismatic which is something I’ll give him a lot of credit for. Sarah Roemer is just here for a romantic love interest but a good one at least; David Morse is very good as the subtle but terrifying Robert Turner; and Carrie-Anne Moss is here as Shia’s mommy, and I’m guessing this is what happens to your career when you do two crappy sequels to The Matrix.

Then again, you have to think of the audience this film is made for….teens. Teen thrillers are PG-13 thrillers that have enough humor as well as thrilling moments to keep the crowd on the edge of their seat and have teenage girls screaming in their seats. This film does those elements put together nicely in a way that would seem more fun than irritating. However, if you were to look at this film in a more serious and serious way, you probably would be pissed off that you wasted your time. That was not me however.

Consensus: Though it’s last 20 minutes may be a bit of a bummer, Disturbia is an often entertaining teen thriller, that is good if you want some cheap laughs and cheap thrills, as well as see a very good performance from LaBeouf.



  1. This was actually entertaining to watch until the final minutes. LaBeouf was surprisingly good here and kept me hooked to watch it. But Disturbia doesn’t feel like a thriller film for the most part.

  2. What are you guys talking about… the mystery is filled to the brim, and the climax is exciting as ever! (or maybe I need to watch it again…)

  3. I haven’t seen Disturbia in a few years but I really enjoyed it. I loved the fact that you knew the villain was a villain the entire time but the film kept you waiting for a payoff.

  4. Nothing groundbreaking but I thought this was pretty decent overall until the last 15 minutes or so. I think the bad guy wasn’t nearly creepy enough so that kind of killed the movie once the final confrontation came.

  5. You are right about the target audience being teens, because the whole love angle is geared towards them. For me, more than the end moments the excessive mushiness was a bummer. In totality I liked the film.

  6. i take your point Dan about the ending, gets a bit silly, but apart from that this is a great little flick, with a genuinely shocking opening. i never understand the hate for LeBeef, i think he’s a good actor. in ten or 15 years he’ll be winning oscars.

    • He’s very good and actually has some charisma. People just hate the Transformers films, which I guess would make you hate him as well. Thanks Ross!

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