[Movie Review] Disturbia

DisturbiaStarring: Shia LaBeouf, Carrie-Anee Moss, David Morse, Aaron Yoo, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Matt Craven
Director: D.J. Caruso
Genre: Thriller
Cert: 15
Released: 2007

Who is Shia LaBeouf? Well, I thought he was a girl to be honest. Turns out he was in “Transformers”, “Constantine” and “I, Robot”. He seems to be a bit of a pin-up for the young girls and perhaps that’s why I’d never heard of him.

In “Disturbia” he plays the main protagonist, Kale, who, a year after losing his father in a tragic accident, gets in to a bit of trouble by punking out his goading Spanish teacher.

Because he’s under 18 a Judge puts him under house arrest, unable to leave the confines of his garden. Bored to tears, Kale spends his time eating junk food and playing video games until his mother, Julie (the MIA Carrie-Anne Moss), snips the TV power cord and cancels his internet game subscriptions. With time to pass Kale grabs his binoculars and takes up spying on his neighbours.

Maybe it’s Kale’s overactive imagination but one night he notices that neighbour Robert Turner (David Morse) drives a car that matches the description of a murder suspect’s car on a local news report. With suspicions aroused, he convinces his best friend Ronnie (Aaron Yoo) and next-door neighbour Ashley (Sarah Roemer) that something is going on. Although they are dismissive at first, further events lead them deeper in to the mystery. But things are complicated for Kale who wakes up one morning to find Robert in his kitchen, happily chatting to Julie.

With Officer Gutierrez (Jose Pablo Cantillo) eager to settle a score for his Spanish-teaching cousin, Julie becoming more and more disillusioned with her son’s selfish behaviour and Robert shooting some uneasy glares in Kale’s direction is the troubled teen biting off more than he can chew?

“Disturbia” (directed by DJ Caruso who was also responsible for the five-star “Salton Sea”) can be firmly categorised as a teen thriller, carried by the emerging LaBeouf and Roemer and with a lightweight plot to boot. Think “Rear Window” with a lite-tech “Mission Impossible” edge and you’re almost there. The plot doesn’t really go for the twists and the few question marks there are can be quite easy to see through.

Having said that, it would be disingenuous of me to dismiss it out of hand. Caruso does his best with the material and directs effectively, certainly well enough for most 15-20 year olds to be entertained. They will also pull for the angsty LaBeouf and Roemer to get it on. For the older folk like me we can get a kick out of the always excellent David Morse (sporting a mini-mullet) and the beautiful Carrie-Anne Moss who seems way too young to play the mother of a 17 year old character.

Overall “Disturbia” is watchable fare but it will try the patience of those of us who think they are a bit old to relate to the teen romance storyline. Yeuck!


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