Take an Alfred Hitchcock classic, remix it for generation youtube and you've got Disturbia, a smart and involving thriller about the perils of voyeurism. The film follows troubled teen Kale (Shia LaBoeuf) who has been placed under house arrest for punching his teacher. Confined to a 100 foot circle around his home, Kale spies on his sexy neighbour to relieve the boredom. But wait a sec, is that a blood spattered body bag in next door's garage? Uh-oh.
An elegant bit of grave-robbery, Disturbia exhumes the premise of Hitch's Rear Window and updates it with ubiquitous 21st century camera technology. Add a couple of horny teenagers to replace Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly, and you've got a guaranteed multiplex hit with just a touch of zeitgeisty angst for the critics. Fortunately, Disturbia is also a really good thriller, one that pays appropriate homage to its sources (Blow-Up and The Conversation are obvious touchstones) without slavishly copying them.
"A POPCORN CLUTCHING TREAT"
The script is tight and surprisingly funny, while director DJ Caruso, a veteran of pacey TV shows like The Shield, knows exactly how to wring the last drop of suspense from his scenario. LaBoeuf is as likeable as ever, and he's well supported by Sarah Roemer as his lonesome neighbour, while veteran character thesp David Morse delivers a delightfully creepy performance as the is-he-or-isn't-he psychopath next door. We could quibble with the overextended climax, and the basic stupidity of the heroes (call the cops already, guys!) but overall Disturbia is a popcorn-clutching treat. You get the impression that Hitch would have enjoyed it.
Disturbia is out in the UK on 14th September 2007.