April 22, 2007

Disturbia (2007)

I had to think about "Disturbia" for quite a long time before writing this review. It's yet another one where I was fooled into liking it for its duration but, looking back on it now, it wasn't really all that satisfying.

I remember thinking half an hour into it that it wasn't very good. The opening fishing trip bored me rigid, then the accident was as contrived as possible, and then I sat perplexed as to what happened to Shia LaBoeuf's facial scarring which should have resulted from that accident. He's not the handsomest of young actors anyway so I suppose if he'd had the massive cheek scar that his character sustained earlier on, it would have made him even less appealing to look at. I also didn't care about his Spanish class, his lack of acting ability when he went "berserk" and punched the teacher, and I certainly didn't care about his house arrest or his lack of domestic skills. 30 minutes of all this characterisation was making me ready to switch the film off in disgust.

Then things started to pick up. No, I'm not talking just about the presence of Sarah Roemer who was probably the most beautiful creature I've ever seen. All of a sudden, I just got sucked into this rip-off of "Rear Window" and started to play along. I'm not sure if I was enjoying it or whether I was being duped by the director into thinking that I was watching something cleverer than it was. I started seeing parallels between this and "Brainscan" and then I started to wonder if Shia LeBoeuf would look like Russell Crowe when he was older... and that was it, I was well and truly being sucked into caring about the characters and whether they would manage to foil David Morse's evil plans to insulate his cavity walls with red-headed girls.

Amidst more product placement for Red Bull and Ipods than I've ever seen before, the plot wasn't too bad at all. It couldn't be, it's been done to death a million times before. Once all the finger pointing started, all of a sudden I was thinking of "Fright Night" and then images of Max with Sam's mother in "The Lost Boys" started to fill my mind. Could this film be any more derivative? Could it be any less original? The teenager who nobody believes who has a killer next door is a story as old as the hills.

David Morse was probably the least credible person to play the bad guy. I suppose that was why he cast because he just doesn't look as if he has it in him to do anybody any harm. I just didn't find his trying to be menacing very convincing.

I also still don't believe that Shia LeBoeuf would ever get a girl who looked like Sarah Roemer in real life nor did I totally understand what he did to the video camera to make it transmit a fuzzy signal back to his computer. I'll try breaking some of my expensive electronics later to see if I can replicate it. Maybe not. There were just too many things that didn't add up for me to shake this feeling that I was being fooled into believing what all reason was telling me to reject.

And so when the ever so exciting yet totally predictable finale occurred complete with music pumping away to stimulate what little grey matter was still active in my brain, I could no longer struggle against it any more and actually started to care if Carrie-Anne Moss got rescued or not.

Yup, it got me hook, line and sinker... a bit like the fish at the start of this 105 minute adventure into Stupidland. I'm not giving it more than 3 out of 10. In fact, I'm giving it 3 out of 10 just for Sarah Roemer. I might have given it 8 out of 10 if I hadn't thought about it. That makes me feel dirty inside.

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