I'm just going to get something out of the way: Shia LaBeouf is the best of his generation of actors—for now. There's just something indescribably charismatic about the former Disney Channel star turned big screen hunk. He starred in the special-effects-a-thon Transformers this summer, but earlier, played an angst-ridden teen in this quality thriller about a bored boy on house arrest who believes his neighbor is a serial killer.
Most of Disturbia's dialogue is supplied by a trio of "teens," all played by twenty-somethings, LaBeouf the youngest among them. There are some kissing scenes and high school partying portrayed that may make aging parents scoff. Producers maintained a PG-13 rating, meaning they were probably hoping to cash in big with high-schoolers. But that's the only thing I found to complain about.
LaBeouf adds immediate credibility to his portrayal of Kale, a troubled youth not coping with the death of his father. Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) leaves her sexy side behind to play Kale's mom, and David Morse (The Green Mile) captures the vibe of the questionable neighbor to eerie perfection.
Every other week, I find myself complaining about being forced to watch another shoddy horror film. This title's more suspense than horror, but it did loads of things right and was both scary and creepy in oh so many ways. I henceforth give it my full stamp of approval.