I decided to see “Disturbia” the first weekend it was released, and the theater was packed. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect since the advertisements made it look like a cheesy, stereotypical teenage thriller. But after seeing it, I couldn’t have been more wrong. It constantly built suspense and kept me on the edge of my seat (and digging my fingernails into my boyfriend’s arm). “Disturbia” lacked the gore that usually dominates horror/thriller movies, and yet it still managed to have scream-worthy scary scenes.
The basic plot revolves around a teenage boy named Kale Brecht (Shia LaBeouf). In the opening scenes we see him fishing with his father. On their way home, he crashes their car, killing his father, after which he withdraws. He eventually is put under house arrest after punching his Spanish teacher.
With his iTunes, the Internet, and his Xbox Live taken away, he finds a new pastime: spying on his neighbors. Brecht is surprised by how much he learns just by watching them from his window. Ashley Carlson (Sarah Roemer) is his new neighbor, and he quickly develops a crush and frequently spies on her. Ronnie (Aaron Yoo) provides comic relief as a hilarious prankster and Brecht’s best friend.
Ashley and Ronnie begin hanging out at Kale’s house since he cannot leave. One night, Kale is watching a neighbor’s house when he sees things that make him suspicious. With a murderer in the area kidnapping and killing women, he believes this neighbor is responsible. It is up to these three friends to get to the bottom of things. The plot takes viewers through intense scenes that will leave them shaking.
The cast is, for the most part, unknowns, except for LaBeouf who was a Disney Channel star. I was really impressed by his portrayal since the role was more serious and not what I was used to seeing him in. Yoo perfectly depicts Ronnie’s quirky and amusing personality, and his actions and remarks kept me laughing. Roemer also proves her acting skills as Kale’s love interest and friend. But the most interesting character by far is the suspicious neighbor, Robert Turner (David Morse), who is flawless in his creepiness and mysteriousness.
In conclusion, “Disturbia” breathes new life into the thriller genre. It is a film that people of all ages will enjoy.
So the next time you’re bored and trying to find something to do, rent “Disturbia.”