‘Disturbia’ leaves viewers guessing

Kale Brecht takes his first look of many across the street. Only time would tell if what he saw was reality. (Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

When boredom-induced people-watching turns dark, there’s nothing you can do but bear witness to the nightmares across the street. D.J. Caruso’s “Disturbia” left me on the edge of my seat, leaving me wondering if the man outside the window was everything I feared and hoped for.

“Disturbia” tells the story of troubled teen Kale Brecht (Shia LeBeouf) being placed under house arrest after a misdemeanor assault charge. Forced into the confinement of his home as punishment, Brecht does all he can to stave off the boredom. Playing games and watching TV were his only forms of escape until his mom cuts cable and internet access. How could a mom be so cruel?

Without TV or internet, Brecht moves on to donning a pair of binoculars and watching all that goes on in his neighborhood, such as his next-door neighbor and crush, Ashley Carlson, and his other neighbor, Robert Turner. As time passes and news reports of a serial killer in the area rage on, Brecht gets more and more suspicious of Turner, watching what his neighbor is doing late at night when he thinks nobody else is watching. However, a killer who’s getting away with literal murder couldn’t be that obvious of a suspect, right? You’ll have to watch on and find out for yourself.

“Disturbia” is truly a terrifying and suspenseful experience. I remember watching this a long time ago, close to its 2007 release (really shouldn’t have been watching it when I was that young), and more recent viewings have still left me with that same thrilling feeling of being scared while watching a classic “whodunit” scenario play out before me.
Without spoilers, all I can say is that this is probably one of the best movies that I have seen Shia LaBeouf play in. No need for muscle car-turned-Transformers when you have a creepy George Washington across the street (Turner’s actor, David Morse, played George Washington in HBO’s “John Adams”).

If you are looking for a creepy thriller outside of the typical Halloween fare, “Disturbia” is a great choice.