Disturbia D.J. Caruso

Disturbia D.J. Caruso
My chops were regularly licked after I heard about Disturbia, with its plot so clearly similar to Rear Window that a comparison would surely be in order. Imagine my disappointment to find a teen movie crossed with a psycho thriller and none of Hitchcock’s awareness about the perils of voyeurism.

Tortuous plot devices get us to the point where teenage badass Shia LaBeouf winds up under house arrest, complete with a radio device to monitor his movements. Bored to tears, he turns to spying on his neighbours, where he makes discoveries about a couple in particular: one, that shifty David Morse could very possibly be a serial killer, and two, that comely Sarah Roemer looks lovely in a bathing suit.

The film is better crafted than it has any right to be — the early scenes of LaBeouf adjusting to home-prison life aren’t badly handled — but it fumbles the ball in its ethical stance in regards to the hero’s peeping tom-ism, which isn’t even investigated despite all sorts of queasy-making overtures towards Roemer. Though this is perhaps not inappropriate to a hormonally accentuated teen pic, it does mean the movie fails to have a coherent point of view beyond "David Morse is creepy,” and while the movie manages to be nominally entertaining it eventually collapses in confusion and implausibility.

While LaBeouf is surprisingly forceful in his role (and Roemer’s come-hither manner will have boys in the audience swooning), there’s still the matter of Aaron Yoo’s marginalised Asian comic relief role blemishing the interplay. The whole affair is rather average and nothing more; it’s for killing time on cable, not for actual investment of hard-earned dollars. (Dreamworks)