A to Z Challenge – Disturbia

Disturbia - PosterDisturbia


Directed by D. J. Caruso

Quick Synopsis… In this modern retelling of Hitchcock’s thriller Rear Window, a troubled teen sentenced to house arrest begins watching his neighbors out of boredom — only to discover evidence that a serial killer lives a stone’s throw from his home.

  • The beginning of this movie is a tragedy.
  • I mean, it starts off great. Very touching. A father/son fishing trip.
  • But on the way back home, there’s a horrific car accident which results in the death of Kale’s father.
  • In the theater, it was at this point where I looked over at the friend I was with as we both realized this was the wrong movie for us to see.
  • Because this was about six months after my dad passed away. And only a few weeks after her dad passed away.
  • Watching the main character’s father die in the first few minutes was rough.
  • Fast forward a few months (in the movie) and Kale is dozing off in Spanish class.
  • Clearly, he’s having a rough time since losing his dad.
  • He gets called out in front of the class for not doing his homework and then the teacher, Sr. Gutierrez, says something that you should really NEVER say to someone grieving the loss of their father: “What would your father think?”
  • All right. Kale should not have punched his teacher in the face. It was a stupid move because it was not, as we learn in the courtroom soon after, his first offense.
  • However, the Spanish teacher is an insensitive jerk who probably deserved to get punched in the face.
  • Seriously, who says something like that to a kid whose dad just died?!
  • Anyway, Kale is sentenced to three months of house arrest. The judge really threw him a bone here.
  • Something else I think is a little messed up is the police officer that will be looking in on Kale throughout his sentence is the Spanish teacher’s cousin.
  • Isn’t that some kind of conflict of interest?
  • Mom adds to Kale’s sentence by disconnecting X-Box, iTunes, and cuts the power cord to the TV in his room.
  • This kind of sets things up for Kale to be super bored on his house arrest which will, of course, lead to spying on the neighbors.
  • Because what else are you gonna do?
  • Convenient that a pretty girl moves in next door.
  • When a couple neighborhood kids prank Kale with the classic flaming bag o’ poo gag, he momentarily forgets about the ankle monitor when he runs after them in a rage.
  • He’s outside the zone just long enough for Officer Gutierrez to show up and arrest Kale.
  • Well, he’s not really arrested… they just put cuffs on him to scare him.
  • This inspires Kale to map out the exact radius from the monitoring station to discover how far out into his yard he can actually go.
  • Ronnie, Kale’s best friend returns from his vacation and Kale is able to show him all that he’s learned about his neighbors so far.
  • Across the street there’s an affair happening. The guy next door, Robert Turner, seems pretty boring, mowing his lawn every other day. And then there’s the new girl next door.
  • Kale finally gets a chance to meet her, finding out her name is Ashley.
  • Late one night, Kale discovers that Robert Turner may not be that boring.
  • Kale witnesses him pulling into his driveway in a classic Mustang with some damage to the front driver’s side.
  • This happens to match a suspicious car connected to a recent missing persons case.
  • The boys do some research and discover that this case may be connected to a recent string of missing girls in Austin, Texas.
  • Ashley comes over and joins the guys on their stakeout of Robert’s activities.
  • That night, Robert brings home a young lady… And they seem to be having a lovely evening.
  • When Ashley’s mom calls for her to come home, Kale walks her to his boundary.
  • When he gets back inside, he sees Turner’s date panicking and looking as if she’s trying to escape the house, but can’t.
  • And then he accidentally activates the flash on his camera.
  • Of course, this gets Turner’s attention and he creepily makes eye contact with Kale.
  • One of those I know you know kind of moments.
  • But then the girl seemingly leaves Turner’s house unharmed.
  • The next morning, Turner just happens to show up in Kale’s kitchen.
  • Because he just happened to run into Kale’s mom at the grocery store when her tire just happened to be flat and she just happened to need help changing the tire.
  • Ashley lets Kale know about a party she’s throwing. Apparently the popular kids want to welcome her to town by trashing her house.
  • Kale gives her a hard time about “conforming” so quickly. Probably just jealous that he can’t go to the party, too.
  • During the party, they start having a music war which, of course, leads to their first fight which, of course, leads to their first kiss.
  • It’s not often that a girl will actively make out with her stalker.
  • But the make out sesh is cut short when Turner is seen dragging something heavy into his garage. Something wrapped in a tarp smeared with something red… Blood?
  • Ashley follows Turner around in a hardware store while Ronnie tries to break into Turner’s other car to get his hands on Turner’s garage door opener.
  • But then Ashley loses sight of Turner, meaning he could be on his way back home.
  • Except he’s not. He’s being creepy. He confronts Ashley and lets her know she’s been following him.
  • Turner claims he’s shy and he enjoys his privacy. But it’s a lot more sinister sounding the way he says it.
  • “You’re not the only one who’s watching.” Then he tells her she’s free to pass that along.
  • Things escalate when it turns out Ronnie dropped his phone in Turner’s car, leading to a need to break into the garage.
  • Ronnie disappears and Kale freaks out.
  • He crosses his boundary to try and find Ronnie. This brings the police.
  • They don’t find Ronnie in the house, but they do find the body that’s wrapped in the bloody tarp.
  • Turns out it’s a deer.
  • Turner apparently hit it, which caused the prior damage to his classic Mustang. He was planning to dispose of the dead deer himself.
  • So is Turner guilty or not?
  • I won’t spoil it.

Overall, I do think this is a pretty good movie. It’s heavily influenced by Hitchcock’s Rear Window, which is my absolute favorite Hitchcock film. Tomorrow’s movie is a fairly recent teen rom com that is also heavily influenced by another classic, The Scarlet Letter. Any guesses? Let me know in the comments!


Click here to check out how other folks are tackling this year’s A to Z Challenge!

10 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge – Disturbia

  1. I loved this movie when it first came out; not enough to see it in theaters though. We got free Stars movie channel one weekend and I recorded it and watched it dozens time over my summer break. It’s the kind of scary movie I like-more suspense, not so much gore.

    I also love Easy A. That’s one of those movies I want to physically own, but only if I can find if for $1 at Goodwill or some other thrift store. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A to Z Challenge – Reflection | The Confusing Middle

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