When Disturbia hit theaters and surprised the world with its quality back in 2007, a friend of mine went out of his way to declare, “That was such a better movie than I was expecting……really original story, too.” To which I could only shrug my shoulders, shake my head, and chalk up the entire conversation as a “loss” in my thought-bank. If I felt the nerve to counter-argue, I would’ve presented my boy with two simple words: Rear Window. As in, Alfred Hitchcock’s magnificent 1954 thriller starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly (who, on top of being an exceptional actress, really was just dynamite to look at). A film that’s as exciting and wonderfully-paced now as it must have been for audiences back in ’54, an exercise in voyeurism, love paranoia, and increasing suspicions. The acting is spades all around, the direction is visually-inventive and assured.
The press surrounding Disturbia included several quotes from those involved with the film stating how they intended it to be a Rear Window for today’s younger generation. Noble, sure. Put side by side, though, the two flicks are similar to the point of pilfering from Hitchcock’s grave. Stewart’s “man secluded in a claustrophobic apartment due to a broken leg” is like a more charming, weathered predecessor to Shia Labeouf’s house-arrested ruffian, and Kelly’s loyal love interest provides the “sexy ally to the lead’s investigation” for Sarah Roemer’s girl-next-door in Disturbia. Disturbia even totally swipes one of Rear Window‘s beefier moments—a character snooping around the possibly-homicidal neighbor’s home as said neighbor quickly approaches his front door.
Fair is fair, though, so it must be said that Disturbia a totally capable and entertaining film. Clearly, not even in the same vicinity as Rear Window in terms of overall excellence, but we shouldn’t hold that against the flick. Comparing Alfred Hitchcock to Disturbia director D.J. Caruso is like pitting Kobe Bryant versus your local high school’s starting two-guard. Rear Window is a great amalgamation of Hitchcock’s best cinematic strokes: tightening suspense, drops of humor, dark human nature, and believable romance. Most importantly for this post’s sake, though, is his one-of-a-kind camera trickery, seen in 20/20 vision in the film’s finale…..[posted after the jump, Spoilers Abound]:
Sidenote: I can’t be the only fella who wishes that across-the-way neighbor Miss Torso (Georgine Dancy) would’ve been given more screen time, up-close shots preferred. One of the sexier dancers-in-film ever, bar none.
Here is Rear Window‘s Scene of Mine: