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Disturbia is a American thriller film directed by D.J. Caruso and executive produced by Ivan Reitman. It is an updated version of Alfred Hitchcock's classic film Rear Window. Disturbia stars Shia LaBeouf as a teenager who thinks he witnesses a murder when he was spying on his suspicious neighbor while serving house arrest.

Plot

Kale Brecht (Shia LaBeouf) is the only child of Daniel (Matt Craven), an author, and Juliet Brecht (Carrie-Anne Moss), a school administrator. Driving home with his father after a fishing trip, they are suddenly caught in a car accident that results in Daniel's death. A year later, a noticeably indifferent Kale is reprimanded in high school Spanish class by his teacher Señor Gutierrez (Rene Rivera) for an incomplete assignment. He becomes enraged at an insulting mention of his father and punches his teacher in the face. Kale is subsequently charged with assault but is let go easy with three months house arrest after the judge takes pity on him.

Now fitted with an ankle monitor which prohibits him from roaming beyond the boundaries of his lawn, Kale keeps himself entertained by surveying his surrounding neighborhood with his binoculars and keeping track of their tendencies and schedules while dealing with the police officer assigned to him, who is coincidently Señor Gutierrez's cousin who treats him harshly in retaliation. Kale slowly becomes suspicious of Robert Turner (David Morse) after he returns home in a dented 1960s Ford Mustang, matching the description of the car owned by a brutal serial killer from Austin, Texasmarker. Along with his friend Ronnie (Aaron Yoo), the two begin to snoop his house. His next-door neighbor, Ashley Carlson (Sarah Roemer), notices them and joins their investigation.

One night, a camera malfunction reveals Kale's spying on Turner, who then flirts with his mother and subtly threatens him. That evening, Kale becomes jealous of boys flirting with Ashley at a party she is hosting next door and attempts to ruin the party by blaring Minnie Riperton's "Lovin' You" out his window at considerable volume. She angrily confronts him and his voyeurism habit. The two confess their attraction to each other and kiss.

The following afternoon, Kale gets Ronnie to break into Turner's car parked outside, after Kale and Ashley witnessed Turner put a bloody blue bag inside his garage the previous night. Ashley keeps track of Turner at a tool store buying a shovel (and is later confronted and threatened by Turner), while Ronnie manages to get Turner's garage door opener code off the device in Turner's car. A few hours later, Ronnie realizes that he left his cellphone in the car and enters Turner's garage to retrieve it, fitted with a portable camera hooked up to Kale's television. He finds it and the bag but the garage door suddenly shuts and the camera turns off. Kale runs out of his house to rescue his friend, and by crossing the invisible barrier around his home, alerts the police. They arrest him for violating house arrest but search the Turner garage to verify Kale's suspicions. The officers on the scene find the blue bag and open it to reveal the carcass of a deer that Turner had hit on the highway, explaining why he was purchasing a shovel. Now that Kale is facing trial in the morning for twice violating terms, Kale's mother goes to talk to Turner in the hope of avoiding criminal charges. Adding insult to injury, Kale later finds the missing Ronnie hiding cowardly in his closet to avoid being caught by the police. Kale watches the recording of his friend's escape, but notices something Ronnie himself didn't see while he was fleeing: the face of a dead woman in a plastic bag, stuffed behind an air vent. At the same time, Kale's mother is suddenly attacked by Turner and taken into the depths of the home.

Turner then breaks into Kale's house, knocks out Ronnie with a baseball bat and after a struggle knocks out Kale and binds and gags him with duct tape. He reveals to Kale that he plans on framing him for the murders of both Ronnie and his mother, taking advantage of his unstable behavior over the past year. Turner tries to force Kale to write a suicide note to Ashley, but is distracted when Ashley enters the room suddenly, giving Kale an opportunity to escape. After Ashley frees Kale and the pair escape, Kale orders Ashley to call the police while he rescues his mother. Upon searching Turner's house, Kale finds evidence that Turner murdered the women he dated, and staged their exits from his house by dressing up in their clothes and wearing wigs. Meanwhile, Officer Gutierrez enters the house and is killed by Turner, but not before calling for backup and piecing together that Kale was telling the truth. Kale eventually finds his mother tied up in Turner's basement, which is full of female corpses in various stages of decay. Turner returns after Kale frees his mother, but Kale manages to kill the murderer by stabbing him with a pair of garden shears and pushing him into a hole full of dead bodies. Kale and his mother exit the house scratched and bruised.

The next morning, Kale is released from house arrest for "good behavior" (actually for his heroic actions of defeating the murderer and rescuing his mother). He gets revenge on neighborhood kids who pranked him twice throughout the movie by revealing their covert viewing of adult films to their mother. The movie concludes with a bruised but alive Ronnie videotaping Kale and Ashley kissing.

Cast

  • Shia LaBeouf as Kale Brecht, a 17 year old high school junior. Carouso auditioned over hundred males for the role in five weeks before settling on LaBeouf as he was looking for someone "who guys would really like and respond to, because he wasn’t going to be such a pretty boy". LaBeouf was attracted to the role because of the director's 2002 film The Salton Sea, which he complimented as one of his favorite films. Before filming started, the two watched the thriller films Rear Window, Straw Dogs and The Conversation starring Gene Hackman. They also viewed the 1989 romantic film Say Anything... and "mixed all the movies together.


LaBeouf says he spoke to people on house arrest and locked himself in a room with the bracelet to feel. He commented in an interview, "it’s hard. I’m not going to say it’s harder than jail, but it’s tough. House arrest is hard because everything is available. [...] The temptation sucks. That’s the torture of it." Carouso gave him the freedom to improvise whenever necessary to make the dialogue appeal to the current generation During filming, LaBeouf began a program that saw him gain twenty five pounds of muscle in preparation of his future films Transformers and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.





Production

Disturbia was filmed on location in the cities of Whittier, Californiamarker and Pasadena, Californiamarker. Filming began on the morning of January 6, 2006 and ended on April 28, 2006. The homes of Kale and Mr. Turner, which were supposed to be across from each other, were actually located in two different cities. Most of the movie was filmed in Whittiermarker, Californiamarker.

Reception

Box office

Disturbia was released on April 13 in the United States and opened at #1 in its first week at the box office with $23 million. Despite a 10 million decrease in its second week, it remained on top of the box office. In its third week, it held on with $9.1 million. In its fourth week, it earned $5.7 million and finished second behind the record-breaking Spider-Man 3.

Critics

On the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, 67% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 165 reviews, with the consensus that the film is "a tense, subtle thriller with a noteworthy performance from Shia LaBeouf". On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 62 out of 100, based on 28 reviews.

The film earned a "two thumbs up" rating from Richard Roeper and A.O. Scott (filling in for Roger Ebert), with Roeper saying, "This is a cool little thriller with big scares and fine performances." However, many have criticized the change of atmosphere two-thirds of the way into the film, when the initial pacing and action morphs into that of a "run-of-the-mill slasher horror film".

The film won 3 Teen Choice Awards including Choice Movie: Horror/Thriller, Choice Movie: Breakout Male (Shia LaBeouf) and Choice Movie Actor: Horror/Thriller (Shia LaBeouf) .

Lawsuit

The Sheldon Abend Revocable Trust filed a lawsuit against DreamWorks, its parent company Viacom, and Universal Studios on September 5, 2008. The suit alleged that Disturbia infringed on the rights to Cornell Woolrich's 1942 short story "It Had to Be Murder" (the basis for the classic Alfred Hitchcock film Rear Window), and that DreamWorks never bothered to obtain motion picture rights to the intellectual property and evaded compensating the rights holder for the alleged appropriation. (Ownership of the copyright in Woolrich's original story "It Had to Be Murder" and its use as the basis for the movie Rear Window was previously litigated before the United States Supreme Courtmarker in Stewart v. Abend, 495 U.S. 207 (1990).)

Home media

The film was released on DVD and HD DVD on August 7, 2007 and on Blu-ray Disc on March 15, 2008.

Soundtrack

  1. "Always Love" - Nada Surf
  2. "Don't Make Me Wait" - This World Fair
  3. "One Man Wrecking Machine" - Guster
  4. "Whoa Now" - Louque
  5. "Gangsta Boogie" - Love Stink
  6. "Next to You" - Buckcherry
  7. "Because I Got High" - Afroman
  8. "We Love Reggae" - Noiseshaper
  9. "The Great American Napkin" - The Summer Skinny
  10. "Dream" - Priscilla Ahn
  11. "Lovin' You" - Minnie Riperton
  12. "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" - Lou Rawls
Lonely Day by System Of A Down and Taper Jean Girl by Kings of Leon are not featured on the soundtrack even though they were in the movie.

Score

  1. "Disturbia" - 7:02
  2. "Fishing" - 3:52
  3. "Poofoot" - 1:15
  4. "Voyeurism" - 2:35
  5. "Every Killer Lives Next Door to Someone" - 3:35
  6. "I Like to Play" - 1:46
  7. "Stealth Ranie" - 5:10
  8. "Walking Ashley Home" - 2:01
  9. "The Club Girl" - 2:47
  10. "Stalking a Killer" - 7:15
  11. "The Basement Graveyard" - 8:50


References



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