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Thursday, October 25, 2007

FILM: Shia LaBeouf in 'Disturbia'

As a fan of suspense films, this little movie caught my eye when it was released in theaters April 13, 2007. Disturbia stars Shia LaBeouf as Kale, a teenager who is placed on house arrest after striking a teacher in school. His outlash was the latest in many that occured in the months following his father's death.

After his mother disables his technology (iTunes subscription & X-Box Live), he turns to spying on his neighbors to pass the time. This voyeurism leads to his paranoid thinking that one of his neighbors just might be a notorious serial killer. Stuck with an ankle monitor that alerts police every time he leaves his yard, he's stuck watching his murderous neighbor carry out what might be a series of murders. Throughout the course of the action, he develops a crush on neighbor Ashley (Sarah Roemer) and is helped along the way by his class clown friend Ronnie (Aaron Yoo), his link to life outside his house-arrest restrictions.

Disturbia has some good chills and a few scenes will make you jump out of your seat. In the end, it devolves into pretty familiar territory with basic slasher-film style suspense, as Kale tries to take down his neighbor (played by David Morse) and solve the mystery without ever leaving his yard.

At the end of the film I found myself feeling as if I had just watched a longer "serial killer" episode of a typical television procedural, such as Criminal Minds or CSI. The first two thirds leave you wanting more and sets you up pretty good before the typical killer-chases-Scooby-Doo-like-gang ending. However, the film does most of this in a pretty stylish way.

Disturbia opened at #1 when it premiered at the box office with $23 million, which quickly covered it's $20 million production price tag. It stayed in the top spot for the next two weeks. Comparisons and inspirations for this film are drawn mostly from Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, and comparisons have also been struck between the movie posters for both films. The Burbs is also mentioned as an inspiration.

The most memorable aspect of Disturbia may be the casting of rising star Shia LaBeouf, who just months later would star in Michael Bay's Transformers. The official movie website can be found at http://www.disturbia.com/. Check out the Disturbia trailer below.

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