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Disturbia

DJ Caruso

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Disturbia
Directed by: DJ Caruso
(Dreamworks/Universal)
The high-school suspense thriller Disturbia (a modernization of Hitchcock classic Rear Window) opens with a touching fishing trip between protagonist Kale (Shia LaBeouf) and his father. In movie shorthand, this means that the father's subsequent death in a car accident is pretty much inevitable. A year later, Kale punches his Spanish teacher and is placed under house arrest, but he's absolved of our censure for his actions through plot contrivance. After all, Kale's troubled, and dealing with issues! (Kale's likeability is also enhanced by the fact that he's played by LaBeouf, who excels at making mediocre movies better.) Bored and housebound, Kale starts spying out his windows, using binoculars and a video camera to leer at his sexy neighbour and to catalogue community happenings. Then, he thinks he sees a murder. That's why Kale's designed to be sympathetic—in order for Disturbia's plot to be effective, we need to find possible murderer Mr. Turner (David Morse) creepy, not Kale. The movie is mildly entertaining and LaBeouf's great, but it doesn't have much to say about themes like paranoia and voyeurism. It's funny; the audience is pushed into finding Kale endearing. But Disturbia would be more interesting if we didn't like Kale so much.
Lindsay McCarney

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