The good kid Kale (Shia LaBeouf) loves his ma and pops. After a terrible, grisly tragedy, the kid becomes an unstable and volatile jerk -- punching teachers and being a spoiled brat to his struggling mom. He gets 3 months of house arrest for the teacher assault, and after ma (Carrie Anne Moss) gets tough, taking away all of his expensive toys, Kale starts spying on his neighbors. He falls for the cute, new neighbor Ashley (Sarah Roemer) -- who looks like Ellen Pompeo and spends much of the movie showing off her assets. But not all of Kale's window entertainment is fun. He starts to think that his other neighbor, Mr. Turner (David Morse), might be a serial killer on the loose. Getting the help of Ashley and his best friend, Ronnie (Aaron Yoo), Kale decides to spy.
While it all sounds like it could make for a fun flick, Disturbia is only disturbing in how not scary it is, and how many simple changes could've been made to make the thriller palatable. Sure, the film has good parts -- I particularly loved his party payback that involved reorganizing his stereo and turning up the iPod as a nice, romantic song played. But beyond that, the film is a sloppy movie trying to be Rear Window, Cherish and Say Anything.
I can suspend a lot of disbelief for a film, but sometimes, you just shouldn't have to. When watching a film about voyeurs, you should at least get the basics -- a kid who knows how to spy. Time after time, Kale and his friends spy during the evening, all the lights on and not one curtain drawn. He learns nothing each and every time someone catches him spying -- he doesn't pull the curtains; he doesn't turn off the lights. Instead, he stands in his window, illuminated by a number of lamps, openly spying on people. And this is the same kid who later re-wires a camcorder. Right.