Ryan Chartrand

So I have to admit that I have a journalistic bias with this movie review because I have a hardcore crush on Disney Channel show “Even Stevens” child star Shia LaBeouf.

And when he showed up as a mature, older headliner for the thriller movie “Disturbia,” I was instantly locked in and ready.

The movie follows high school junior Kale who gets into some trouble at school, causing him to be put under house arrest for three months.

His distress stems from a car accident that caused the death of his father and Kale feels somewhat responsible. As he closes himself off emotionally and physically, he becomes the ultimate stalking neighbor armed with binoculars and loads of junk food.

There is the neighbor who cheats on his wife with the maid, but only Kale knows. There is the group of mischievous kids who secretly watch porn in their room, and only Kale knows.

And, oooof course, there is this girl-next-door who is ridiculously hot, swims in the pool all day and does yoga in her sports bra with the blinds open, and once again, only Kale knows.

But the twist comes in when a creepy neighbor seems to be up to suspicious things with mystery late night women, sharp objects and splattered substances.

Although this seems like the formula for your typical, predictable screamer film, there are a few aspects that put this movie above the over “Scream-Last Summer-Chainsaw Massacre” genre.

First, this movie is easy to relate to, especially for a teenage/early 20s crowd. Witty jokes, typical 18-year-old hormones and references to YouTube and Call of Duty keep the film grounded.

One scene shows Kale in Spanish class and watching him stumble over his “Hola. Estoy bien,” can bring any student back to those awkward high school moments. The humor used by Kale and his best friend Ronnie is very clever and sounds very similar to dumb jokes that my guy friends laugh about.

Second, specific scenes bring out such high emotion and, as pathetic as this sounds, really make you feel for the characters. The beginning intense car crash hits hard and that draw of emotion helps hook the viewer throughout the entire movie. Shia wears his emotions on his sleeves and his facial expressions do wonders for the high-strung scenes.

The action in this film doesn’t obsess with a half-naked girl running from an axe murderer or a superhero jock running miles through a dark forest.

Some parts involve the intense chase scenes and the killer-behind-the-door moments, but there are a lot of other action scenes that keep the movie light-hearted. Too many “scary” movies try too hard to maintain that terror atmosphere throughout the entire movie, leaving the viewers bored and definitely not scared. Plus, any time you find yourself “Don’t do that!” at the screen, you know the movie is a dud.

“Disturbia” is not so predictable because of its unique plot line but not too complicated either like those movies that you have to watch four times to finally figure out. It puts out a suspenseful plot with interesting twists but nothing too overdramatic.

Third, I’ll go back to my beginning point: Shia is hot in this movie. I’m not going to lie, I feel kind of a like a cradle robber because we all have come to know him as the 13-year-old kid of “Even Stevens” (even though he is our age, born in 1986). But either way he looks good and has a slight sex appeal that will have anyone from 12 to 60 years old eyeing him. Sure, he’s not your typical lead male with amazing abs or sculpted arms. He’s actually kind of nerdy but he’s got that look of the guy next to you in bio (except he’s still hot).

Plus, he has a career of likeable characters, and with his goofy background, he’s definitely expanded his horizons. He still maintains that quirkiness about him, giving viewers that same recognizable character but he’s got a serious side too (plus he’s hot and yes that is my fifth reference to his attractiveness).

My only cry-for-help in this movie is the typical female character, the neighbor girl Ashley. Of course, she lives next door, and of course, she is hot, and OF COURSE she is constantly scantily clad. She just happens to move in next door, and by mere coincidence likes to swim in the pool that is overlooked by Kale’s window. She is quite the tease and, of course, jaws drop for her.

I was a little burnt-out by her in the beginning with her intensified mind games and 90-pound body but she pleasantly falls into character as the movie goes on and she becomes a part of the actual storyline.

Overall, I would recommend this movie because it’s easy to watch, entertaining and relatable. It has action, suspense, terror, a little romance and gives viewers an hour and 44 minutes to sit back and enjoy a simple thriller. And if I haven’t already mentioned it, Shia is hot.

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