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DJ Caruso
Shia LaBeouf, Sarah Roemer, Carrie-Anne Moss, David Morse, Aaron Yoo, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Matt Craven, Viola Davis
Writing Credits:
Carl Ellsworth, Christopher B. Landon

A teenager under house arrest becomes convinced that the guy living across the street is killing young women.

Box Office:
$20 million.
Opening Weekend
$23.025 million on 2925 screens.
Domestic Gross
$79.305 million.

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English Dolby 5.1 EX
English DTS-ES 6.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1 EX
French Dolby 5.1 EX
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 104 min.
Price: $14.99
Release Date: 6/3/2008

• Audio Commentary with Director DJ Caruso and Actors Shia LaBeouf and Sarah Roemer
• Serial Pursuit Trivia Pop-Up Quiz
• Deleted Scenes
• “The Making of Disturbia” Featurette
• Outtakes
• Music Video
• Photo Gallery
• Theatrical Trailer


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Disturbia [Blu-Ray] (2007)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 22, 2017)

Previously best known for kid-oriented fare like 2003’s Holes and the Disney Channel show Even Stevens, in 2007 Shia LaBeouf took steps toward becoming a star with widespread appeal. Of course, he appeared in Transformers, one of the summer’s biggest hits, and he became arguably the best part of that flick.

However, that movie took in the big bucks mostly due to the rock-em-sock-em action, so I don’t know how much effect its success had on LaBeouf’s career. On the other hand, his starring turn in the spring’s Disturbia increased his prospects.

The Little Teen Thriller That Could, this one earned $78 million with US viewers. That’s not a killer sum, of course, and Transformers earned more than that in its first few days. However, for a low-budget effort like Disturbia, the returns were surprisingly strong, and the film showed great “legs”, as it stayed in the box office top ten for weeks.

LaBeouf plays Kale Brecht, a sullen teen. Kale used to be better adjusted, but his father’s (Matt Craven) death left him bitter and morose.

Kale also shows a temper, so when the subject of his father arises, he punches his Spanish teacher (Rene Rivera) and ends up in court. The judge (Charles Carroll) sentences him to three months of house arrest.

Stuck inside for the summer, Kale tries to make the best of it. When his mother cuts off a number of entertainment venues, he resorts to voyeurism and keeps tabs on the locals.

His favorite? Sexy new neighbor Ashley (Sarah Roemer). She catches Kale and his buddy Ronnie (Aaron Yoo) spying on her as she swims, but she doesn’t get angry. Instead, she becomes part of their “stakeout” of suspicious neighbor Robert Turner (David Morse).

Kale becomes convinced that Turner is a murderer but his homebound nature makes it tough for him to follow up on his suspicions. The movie follows his sleuthing and the repercussions that follow.

On the surface, Disturbia looks like nothing more than a teen-oriented update of Hitchcock’s 1954 classic Rear Window. And you know what? Beneath the surface, Disturbia is nothing more than a teen-oriented update on Rear Window. Oh, it doesn’t create a literal remake, but the similarities abound.

A lack of originality aside, Disturbia works perfectly well for what it is: a lightweight thriller, one that LaBeouf embues with his deft performance as Kale. The role requires him to take on a number of different moods and attitudes, all of which LaBeouf handles well.

LaBeouf also shows good chemistry with Roemer. She flirts and teases more than she acts, but she interacts well with LaBeouf and they create an interesting couple.

One factor that allows Disturbia to prosper stems from the fact that it doesn’t purely steal from Hitchcock. It also borrows from the Eighties teen flick vein, which makes it work like a combination of Rear Window and Say Anything.

Disturbia melds the two genres surprisingly well and may actually prove most successful when it stays within the teen romance side of things. While I like LaBeouf’s performance in all ways, he does best when he can show personality and quirks. The action segments tend to negate those elements, so he’s at his most enjoyable during quieter scenes.

Indeed, the thriller climax of Disturbia ends up as the flick’s least successful element. Earlier suspense pieces come across pretty well, largely due to David Morse’s quietly spooky performance.

However, when all hell breaks loose at the end, logic flies out the window and the movie just becomes too absurd. It’s not a terrible conclusion, but it robs the film of some punch.

Despite that misstep, I think Disturbia offers a pretty good update on the Rear Window formula. It integrates new technology in a satisfying way and spices up the story with a teen romance twist that actually adds to the tale. This is a light pleasure but it’s enjoyable nonetheless.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus B

Disturbia appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray disc. This became a pleasing presentation.

Overall sharpness worked well. A few interiors showed a smidgen of softness, but the movie usually boasted nice clarity and accuracy.

I witnessed no signs of jagged edges or shimmering. Edge haloes remained absent, and I saw no print flaws.

Much of the time the palette of Disturbia went with an amber/orange tint, though it often brought us more of a sickly green hue or a cold blue for shots that involved Turner. Across the board, the colors fit with the design and came across well.

Blacks seemed deep and firm, while shadows showed good clarity and delineation. This was a consistently positive transfer.

Though not as impressive, the audio of Disturbia seemed more than acceptable. The disc included both Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and DTS-ES 6.1 soundtracks – and I couldn’t discern any real difference between the two. The soundfield added a little spark to the proceedings, though it never really excelled. The car crash early in the flick offered its biggest impact; none of the later scenes seemed quite as dynamic.

Still, music showed good definition, and the various environmental bits presented nice movement and spatial delineation. The surrounds brought out decent reinforcement along with occasional instances of unique info like doorbells.

Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, with no edginess or other problems. Music was lively and dynamic, and effects worked the same way. They appeared clear and accurate, as distortion never interfered with the presentation. This wasn’t a particularly involving mix, but it was pretty good.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? Due to the lack of a lossless track, audio remained similar, though the addition of the DTS mix added variety.

Picture quality showed improvements, though, as the Blu-ray offered superior definition and color reproduction. While the DVD was good for its format, the Blu-ray seemed superior.

When we check out the disc’s extras, we open with an audio commentary from director DJ Caruso and actors Shia LaBeouf and Sarah Roemer. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific chat. They discuss cast and performances, sets and locations, stunts and action, music and other anecdotes from the shoot.

Expect a loose and lively chat here. For good or for bad, the tone remains playful. This means the track moves at a brisk pace, but it also comes with lots of adolescent humor and goofiness.

We also get interruptions when Caruso takes cell phone calls – shut it off for the commentary, dude! – and when the participants eat. Tangential info includes a disgusting story about why Roemer doesn’t eat meat off the bone. Anyway, despite some ups and downs, this usually amounts to a fairly interesting piece.

For another option while you watch the movie, we get a Serial Pursuit Trivia Pop-up/Quiz. This uses the subtitle track to tell us about cast and crew and the production as well as concepts seen in the movie like house arrest, video games, serial killers, and voyeurism. We also get “counters” that tell us how many skulls and red lights we see in the movie.

All of this is pretty inconsequential but fun. I’m not clear where the “quiz” part of the presentation comes in, as a few questions pop up as part of the track, but they don’t really make it a “quiz”.

Instead, it operates as a pretty standard text commentary. In that capacity, it gives us some nice notes and adds to our knowledge of the flick.

Four Deleted Scenes fill a total of four minutes, eight seconds. These include “Do You Wanna Talk?” (1:10), “I Forbid It” (0:43), “Operation Stupid” (0:48) and “You’re Breaking My Heart” (1:27).

Carrie-Anne Moss gets much of the extra time, as three of the clips expand her role as Kale’s mother. None of them really add anything, though, and they probably should have been cut. “Stupid” shows a little more of Kale and Ronnie, and it fails to bring anything useful to the table.

A featurette called The Making of Disturbia runs 14 minutes, 51 seconds and offers info from Caruso, LaBeouf, Roemer, producer Joe Medjuck, screenwriters Christopher Landon and Carl Ellsworth, production designer Tom Southwell, stunt coordinator Manny Perry, and actors David Morse, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Aaron Yoo. We learn a little about the film’s theme and script, Caruso’s work on the set, the cast, characters and performances, tone and visual design, and stunts.

“Making” does little to rise above the level of standard promotional featurette. Actually, it’s a bit better than the average puff piece, but I can't say it reveals much about the film or its creation. It progresses in a disjointed way that makes it awkward. Though we get enough useful material to make the show worth a look, it’s not a particularly memorable piece.

For the record, as you go through the commentary, the text trivia and the featurette, you will never once notice any mention of Rear Window. Is that because those behind Disturbia don’t think the two share that many similarities, or did the suits decree that no one would mention this flick’s obvious influence? That I don’t know, but it seems odd that no one would at least nod in Hitchcock’s direction.

A few minor components complete the disc. Outtakes run one minute, 26 seconds and offer some of the standard goofs and giggles. However, since it also includes a few improv lines from LaBeouf and Matt Craven, it’s a little better than most of these collections.

We find a music video for “Don’t Make Me Wait” by This World Fair. Much of the clip alternates between movie scenes and lip-synch bits, though we do get some shots of the girlie lead singer as he deals with a hot blonde. The song seems whiny, and the video isn’t much better.

In addition to the film’s trailer, a Photo Gallery includes 47 images. These present a mix of shots from the set and publicity stills. None of them come across as very interesting.

Disturbia offers an erratic but usually entertaining thriller in the Hitchcock vein. It sags at times – especially during the climax – but it compensates with enough charms to make it enjoyable. The Blu-ray offered very good picture with positive audio and a fairly nice selection of supplements. Disturbia becomes an engaging thriller.

To rate this film, visit the DVD review of DISTURBIA

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