Shia LaBeouf has acted in many films, but my earliest memory of seeing him perform is in DJ Caruso’s 2007 film Disturbia. I remember watching it on CD and feeling a wave of shiver mixed with fear. Since, LaBeouf has been in the news a lot more for his controversial antics that its work. While he’s starred in better movies than this (Fury, Nymphomaniac Vol I, American Honey, Honey Boy, and The Peanut Butter Falcon), Disturbia has really shown his talent and potential.
The film had a good cast, LaBeouf and David Morse really suited their roles with the T. What also played in favor of the film was the way it was shot. It works both as a 2007 film and as a current commentary on voyeurism, essentially tracking down and recording every little thing you do out of boredom. The story revolves around a high school student Kale (Shia), who was sentenced to house arrest after assaulting his teacher. With nothing to do and plenty of time to kill, Kale begins to randomly spy on his neighbors, one of whom is a pretty girl and the other is an aging man with a mysterious aura around him. Now, one fine day, after he befriends his crush and sits idly in his room with his best friend, the trio decide to do more harassment. Later, Kale realizes that maybe he saw something dangerous. So, should he follow his instincts? Or is his loneliness getting the better of him?
Renowned executive producer and filmmaker Steven Spielberg apparently picked LaBeouf himself for the role. And as it happened, the actor did the final cut. Morse, who played the Mysterious Neighbor, apparently didn’t speak to any of the actors during the filming of the film as he didn’t want to be influenced by his interactions with the younger ones. The IMDb Q&A page quotes Shia as saying, “When we finished filming he was very nice. But he’s an actor of method, and as long as we were filming, he didn’t say a word to us. (SPOILER) The result: We get a deadly villain with a menacing, terrifying aura about him. Meanwhile, Carrie-Anne Moss, unlike her Matrix films, didn’t have much to do here as she was painted as a young mother figure, slightly exhausted and concerned about Shia’s character.
Hollywood rewind: Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse | Free Willy | Carrie | Crash | Persepolis | The Brotherhood of Travel Pants | Philadelphia | Mrs. Doubtfire | Easy A | Romeo + Juliet | Coraline | Girl party | Spaceship soldiers | Bridget Jones Diary | Almost famous | Inglorious Basterds | Beginners | Girl with a pearl earring | Juno | Nightcrawler | Little Miss Sun | Moana | The sound of music | Benny and Joon | Crimson Woodpecker | The Holidays | My blueberry nights | Help | Mission Impossible | Cook | revolutionary road | I’m not here | Donnie Brasco | Sicarion | edge of tomorrow | Spy on children | Godzilla of 1998 | The others | telephone booth | wild | to shout | The Godfather II | A beautiful day | True Romance | little women | Confrontation | Pulp Fiction | Crouching tiger, hidden dragon | The Age of Innocence | mean girls | Die hard | never been kissed | Citizen Kane | Kill Bill Volume I | Terminator 2 Judgment Day | Titanic | Heat | Home alone | Jerry Maguire | Brief meeting | The Truman Show | The deer hunter | The brilliant | Without idea | Ferris Bueller’s Day Off | Blue Velvet | Taxi driver | The Lord of the Rings I | Zero Dark Thirty | The Godfather | Say anything | Hot bodies | shining star | Malcolm X | Stardust | red eyes | Notting Hill | Fargo | Virgin suicides | The Breakfast Club | Nice to meet you | Follow the line | Blood diamond | Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban | Mortal combat | Madison County Bridges | Edward in the Silver Hands | Breakfast at Tiffany’s | She must have it | forever | The Devil wears Prada | The matrix | Creed | Mulan | Ratatouille | Shutter Island | She | Society of the Dead Poets | Insomnia in Seattle | Waitress | Pride and Prejudice | The Dark Knight | before sunset | School of Rock | About a boy | Some good men | 50/50 | start over | Brooklyn | To drive | Chocolate | Batman begins | 10 things I hate about you | The deceased | Freedom writers | Pretty woman | Dan in real life | Jurassic Park | Tangled | Meet Joe Black | Monster Ball | Eternal Sunshine of the Flawless Spirit | You have a mail | Demi Nelson | Fight Club | Doubt | American psycho | Julie and Julia | Forrest Gump | The Silence of the Lambs | Finding Neverland | Roman Holidays | American History X | Tropic Thunder | Before sunrise | perfume of a woman | Finding Forrester | Sixteen candles
There’s a very Hitchcock feel to the movie too, with its use of the voyeuristic angle and a constant underlying creepy feeling that something bad is lurking just behind the proverbial curtain. And it makes sense to have that Disturbia vibe since it was apparently modeled on the rear window. Upon release, the film received acclaim for its lead performance and made a good box office profit.
You can rent Disturbia on Google Play.