Clip It: Each day, Jon Davis looks at the world of trailers, featurettes, and clips and puts it all in perspective.
I like this premise. A couple guys decide to create a haunting for the creepy old man (James Caan) across the street, only his reaction is strange, like he always expected to be haunted by ghosts. That leasts the guys to suspect he's got a secret in his basement, and I think he probably does.
It owes a lot to Rear Window, the classic Hitchcock movie about a man who is stuck at home and ends up spying on his neighbors for entertainment, only to discover one of them might be a murderer. Disturbia updated Rear Window a few years ago. But Disturbia is really just a remake. Shia LeBouf has a restrictive ankle bracelet, which story functionality-wise isn't much different than Jimmy Stewart's leg cast.
The Good Neighbor has changed the peeping tom premise. The two leads aren't passive observers. They instigate the problem by faking a haunting. There's clearly a bit of meta commentary here. They are trying to make their own horror movie but the movie has a mind of its own, and veers into a direction they can't control.
I can't necessarily tell if this is a good movie or another shrill entry in the horror genre. But I am enjoying this “old men living alone are secretly crazy bad asses” subgenre, which Don't Breathe succeeds at so beautifully. James Caan is a sleeping giant, a great actor who historically hasn't chosen enough challenging roles to demonstrate his talent. It's great to see him take advantage of the 'ole Jimmy Caan short fuse, which we haven't seen in a long time.
So I'm in. Are you?