When Kale (Shia LaBeouf), a teenage rebel haunted by the memory of a traumatic car smash, punches out his Spanish teacher in class, he ends up electronically tagged and trapped in his suburban home. His activities are further curtailed by his concerned mom Julie (Carrie-Anne Moss), who cancels his X-Box and iTunes accounts, forcing him to tune in to the rhythms of his neighbourhood for entertainment. But among the family squabbles and undressing girls, the murky activities of Mr Turner (David Morse) lead Kale into mounting a fully-fledged surveillance operation that reveals a lot more than he bargains for.
Remaking Hitchcock’s Rear Window as a teen flick is a nice idea and the slow burn of the film’s creepy first hour certainly hits all the right notes, with lead actor and experienced TV director DJ Caruso ratcheting up considerable tension. The film’s slasher-movie denouement does, however, go too far over the top, but Disturbia earns its sleeper hit status through its considered account of modern teenage life – detached from his on-line opiates, Kale’s anxious amateur stake-out offers a fresh slant on Hitchcock’s original theme – that our preoccupation with entertaining ourselves is distracting us, while the world’s villains go about their business unchecked. (Eddie Harrison)
General release from Fri 14 Sep.