19 August 2020

Imagine Being Stuck Inside With Nothing To Do!

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Disturbia is a film about a guy, played by Shia LaBeouf, who is put under house arrest for living the dream and punching out one of his teachers. We've all been there, haven't we? An authority figure has given us a shitty look or a pissy comment and then we've spent the rest of the day just fantasising about what it might have been like to roundhouse kick them into the fucking road. Just imagine if you could do that and the worst thing that would happen to you is that you get told to stay in the house and to stop being naughty for a while. I haven't assaulted anybody and I'm having to go through that same punishment simply because somebody developed a sniffle after boning a fucking bat. As I write this now we're in the middle of the Coronapocalypse and being told to stay in our houses and my God it's fucking boring. What the fuck is there to do? There's nothing is there? Well, there's all of our gaming consoles, streaming services, social media, and I'm basically at the point where I've accidentally wanked my dick down to the size of a fucking toothpick. But other than that what else is there to do but to look out of the window and wonder what our neighbours might be up to? In the case of Shia LaBeouf, he's convinced that the bloke across the road from him has started to kill people for fun and I know how he feels. The other day I had a look out the window and saw Joan from across the road coughing her guts up into the face of our local postman.

You might think that the plot of Disturbia sounds slightly familiar and that's likely because you probably saw the film about fifteen years ago when it first came out. Oh, how the world has changed in that time. Just look at Shia LaBeouf and the evolution he's been on. When Disturbia was released he was doing pretty well for himself. Those were the days before he went mad and started wearing a bag on his head that read “I'm not famous”, as the rest of us looked on and thought, “no, but you are a tit”. After a few rough years, he's seemingly back on his feet for now and doing his best work in the kind of small indie movies that most people will sadly never bother to see. Probably because right now the rest of us are too busy just trying to get about our daily lives whilst wearing a bag over our faces that says, “I'm not infected”. Disturbia is arguably the best of his more mainstream films with him displaying just enough charm for you to occasionally forget how creepy his character is. A girl moves in next door and he spends so much time staring at her that for a brief chunk of the movie I forgot that it was about a serial killer over the road and assumed it was about a soon to be rapist under house-arrest. At one point he even tells the girl that he's been watching her before reciting her daily routine to which she responds, “that's either the creepiest thing I've ever heard or the most romantic”. Obviously, it's the creepiest! Now mace that pervy little worm in his shrewy little piss eyes and remember to start closing your fucking curtains when you change from now on!

Of course, the real reason that the film probably sounds quite familiar to you is that it's an obvious and unashamed rip-off of Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 film Rear Window. Both films feature a protagonist that's stuck in their house and whose boredom leads them to start staring out of the window. In the case of Rear Window's James Stewart, it was a car crash that left him debilitated and stuck whereas the only car crash that Shia LeBeouf has been involved in was the entire Transformers franchise. Wahey!! Take that you stupid robot movies! All joking aside though, LeBeouf's character is actually in quite a serious car crash at the start of the film in which his father is horribly killed and it really is quite tragic. Should we... should we take a moment's silence for Shia LeBeouf's character's dead father? Nah. Fuck it. Who cares? Fuck him. In the case of both Disturbia and Rear Window, the two lead men spot a neighbour that they suspect of being a murderer and so decide to investigate further but from the discomfort of their own home. Disturbia might not be the classic that Rear Window is but it was still a lot of fun. I'm sure old Hitchcock would be looking down from his cloud at this film with pride if it wasn't for the fact that he was a massive sexual predator and so would be more likely looking up from the fiery pit of Hell. Hitchcock's original may have been a nail-biting thriller that explored the nature of voyeurism by drawing parallels between the actions of its lead characters and ours as a viewer watching their lives through our screens. But there was quite a funny bit in Disturbia in which Shia LeBeouf cleans his ankle tag in a way that makes it look like he's tugging one out in his room. I suppose there's room in cinema for both types of film isn't there? Rear Window might be an undisputed masterpiece but Disturbia does have the edge when it comes to its quantity of fake-out wank scenes.

Disturbia might only be as deep as a puddle of piss but it is still smarter than the average teen thriller and so definitely worth checking out. Who remembers The Kings Of Leon? Are they a thing still? Their brilliant song Taper Jean Girl was in the movie and I'd forgotten how brilliant it is. It actually inspired me to go back and listen to their albums, and do you know what? They're shit. But that is a good song! They did another song called Milk which is genuinely one the worst things that I've ever fucking heard if I'm honest. The lead singer just kind of wails like a cow when you're trying to see how far you can stretch its udder. Disturbia not only had the good sense to use Taper Jean Girl but it also has Carrie Anne-Moss as LaBeouf's Mum and David Morse as the film's villain. They're not involved in Kings Of Leon as far as I'm aware but they're really good actors that are always worth celebrating whenever they show up on our screens. At one point Carrie Anne-Moss cuts the cable on LaBeouf's TV to stop him from enjoying his house-arrest and I remember seeing that for the first time as a teenager and gasping. It was the worst thing that I had ever witnessed a person do. Optimus Prime punching Megatron in his cogs means nothing to me but a mother cutting the cable on her son's TV is a relatable pain. Other than walking up to his mouth as he slept and taking a shit into it I couldn't think of anything worse that a person could do to a loved one. I'm in my thirties now and so obviously that scene has lost some impact now that I'm fully aware that you can reattach a plug to a cut wire with relative ease. By the time I watch this film again in my forties, I might even know how to actually do that too. 

Perhaps the one thing that this film does that James Stewart's main character was obviously restricted by in Rear Window is to have its main characters utilise a wealth of technology as they go about their spying. The gang in Disturbia use camera phones to text pictures to each other and they use the internet to research their sinister neighbours potentially shady past. It's cute. Technology has moved on so much now that a lot of what they're doing already feels quite primitive and nostalgic. Watching them follow the man around a shop to snap the occasional photograph now only feels one step above doing a quick doodle of him before attaching it to a fucking raven. What are you crazy kids from 2007 up to now? Just have a drone fly into his apartment to retrieve a spunk sample from his underwear drawer and then you can see if there are any matches when you hack into the FBI database. God kids have it so easy nowadays when it comes to stalking those around them. Back in the olden days of 2007, you had to be in the same building as the person you were spying on like an actual fly on an actual suspected piece of shit. There doesn't seem to be any huge comment on how easy modern technology is making it for us to stalk each other which is a shame. A bit of subtext would have been nice and this seems like such an obvious target. Especially when you consider that if I match with somebody on Tinder then within three minutes I've tracked down so many online pictures of them that I have to be careful not to mention their 2012 beach holiday is now a well-used entry of the wank-bank. 

The end of Disturbia does somewhat drop the ball by having the man they're spying on make a few illogical choices before the whole thing descends into a typical jump-scare style slasher. But for the most part, I'd say that the film has held up pretty well. Or maybe this pandemic has just thrown my judgement off and I started to relate too much to a character that's bored and stuck inside his house. I was on the computer upstairs the other day when there was a flash of light from outside. I assumed it was lightning because the rain was absolutely lashing down but when I failed to hear any thunder and the flash happened again I decided to look out of the window to see what it was. What I saw was a girl in about her early 20s skipping down the road as what I assumed was her boyfriend followed behind. The flash that I'd been seeing was him taking photos as she pranced practically naked in the rain. Of course, I had to watch the whole thing to ensure that he stayed a safe two meters away from her during this time of social distancing. Although what I saw might not have been as exciting as all of the potential murders that Shia LaBeouf thought that he might have been witnessing, I did wonder what the couple would have thought when checking their photos back the next day only to spot my face pressed right up against my window in every single fucking one. Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time. 

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