Friday, May 04, 2007

DISTURBIA - Hitchock meets The OC

Oh, the marketing genius that combines the conceptual hook of a Hitchcock film with the pop-cultural references and hormonal teen angst of The OC! As distasteful as this REAR WINDOW remake may seem to us old cinephiles, Grinch-like critics are missing the point. Even as diluted and dumbed-down as this teen-thriller is, isn't it better that teens are getting their rocks off to Hitchcock-lite than to woeful spoofs like EPIC MOVIE?!

Clearly not one for adults or people who have any familiarity with the original, DISTURBIA is a reasonably well put together movie for the target demographic. Shia LaBeouf plays another troubled teen - he witnessed his father's accidental death and punched out a school teacher. As a result, he's under house arrest and resorts to spying on his suburban neighbours when mum (Carrie-Anne Moss) cancels cable. Lucky for him, the neighbours include hottie, Sarah Roehmer and for the first hour DISTURBIA plays like a goofy teen dating movie, complete with a charmingly inept side-kick played by the scene-stealing Aaron Yoo. In the final furlong, the screen-writers wake up to the fact that DISTURBIA is meant to be a thriller and put in some mildly tense scenes involving David Morse's serial killer next door.

Director D.J.Caruso handles the project with competence but no memorable visual signature. Christopher Landon's script may be derivative, but he is convincingly "down with the kids". Overall, a slick, undemanding movie that is not as completely dumb as most teen fare.

DISTURBIA is on release in the US, Australia, Argentina, Mexico and Russia. It opens in Icelasnd on May 18th; Malaysia, Singapore and Bulgaria on July 26th; Norway and Turkey on August 3rd; Denmark on August 10th; Germany, Italy on August 16th; Belgium, France, the Netherlands on August 23rd; Spain and Hungary on August 31st; the UK on September 7th; Brazil, Estonia and Finland on September 14th and in Sweden on September 21st.

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