You Now Have GOOD NEIGHBORS On DemandJuly 06, 2011
On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: GOOD NEIGHBORS (Magnolia).
GOOD NEIGHBORS On Demand
By Amy Slotnick
A serial killer in the city and a new neighbor in the building initiate the plot of thriller , GOOD NEIGHBORS. Set in Montreal in 1995, the film is lackluster and feels predictable; nevertheless it is semi entertaining.
Victor (Jay Baruchel) is new in town and moves into an old, French-style walk up apartment building, living directly above neighbors Louise (Emily Hampshire), a quirky waitress with too many cats, and Spencer (Scott Speedman), a wheel chair bound widower with a mischievous smile. The three apartments are connected by an exterior fire escape, adding an architectural spookiness as well as an alternate exit that is worked in nicely with the story’s plot.
Louise and Spencer are obsessed with the recent news stories about a serial killer who has murdered and raped several young women in the area, including a waitress from the restaurant where Louise works. Victor befriends them both and begins to walk Louise home at night, to prevent her from becoming another victim of the killer. For Victor though it is also a way to get closer to Louise with whom he has fallen almost suspiciously in love.
Each of these three characters has something dubious about them. Soon enough we find each lying, without it being completely clear why, creating some intrigue and a need to figure out what is really going on. But when a conflict with another neighbor leads to the murder of Louise’s cats, the story turns and increasingly becomes more predictable and familiar.
The man in the wheel chair, a murdered pet and creepy fire escape starts to resemble elements of the Hitchcock classic REAR WINDOW. However unlike that masterpiece, Victor’s love for Louise feels contrived and the tension begins to falter, rather than escalate, in the third act. Louise ultimately plays conductor and with barely any effort, she is able to twist the outcome to her advantage.
Not inspired, but also not offensive, GOOD NEIGHBORS feels more TV movie than cinema. If you are in the mood for something light and suspenseful, its not bad.
Amy Slotnick is a contributor to On Demand Weekly. She works as an independent producer and freelance consultant to film financing start-ups. Previously she was a Senior VP of Production at Miramax Films.
See GOOD NEIGHBORS (Magnolia) On Demand before it's in theaters on July 29.
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