Disturbia 

2007

There's no way around it: Without "Rear Window," the sleeper smash "Disturbia" would not exist. It's not an official remake, but it may as well be, albeit with teenage characters and all their inherent hipness. Call it "Extreme Rear Window."

 

Current It Boy Shia LaBeouf stars as Kale, whose slugging of his Spanish teacher lands him under house arrest "? ankle bracelet and all "? with little to do but survey the neighborhood via binoculars. The only thing more interesting to his eyes than the hot new girl next door (Sarah Roemer) is what's going down at the home of menacing Mr. Turner (David Morse): murder.

 

Confined to his property, Kale enlists the help of pals to do things they really wouldn't do. All the shocks are telegraphed well in advance, offering little suspense, despite more-than-competent direction by D.J. Caruso; the screenplay is too by-the-numbers and initially sluggish.

 

Yet its squeaky clean inoffensiveness makes it a passable way to spend an evening, with much of the credit going to LaBeouf, who's such a genial presence onscreen that I'd bet he made millions of moviegoers hate "Transformers" much less than they would have otherwise. The boy can carry a film on his own shoulders.

 

The DVD contains the usual deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes stuff, none too special.

 

"?Rod Lott

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