Disturbia (film): Wikis



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Theatrical release poster
Directed by D. J. Caruso
Produced by Ivan Reitman
Steven Spielberg (uncredited)
Written by Christopher B. Landon
Carl Ellsworth
Starring Shia LaBeouf
Sarah Roemer
Aaron Yoo
David Morse
Carrie-Anne Moss
Music by Geoff Zanelli
Cinematography Rogier Stoffers
Editing by Jim Page
Distributed by DreamWorks
Release date(s) April 13, 2007
Running time 144 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million
Gross revenue $117,760,134

Disturbia is a 2007 American thriller film directed by D. J. Caruso and executive produced by Ivan Reitman. It is an updated version of Alfred Hitchcock's classic film Rear Window.[1] Disturbia stars Shia LaBeouf as a teenager who thinks he witnesses a murder when he was spying on his suspicious neighbor while serving house arrest.



The film begins with a teenage boy and father fishing together. Kale Brecht (Shia LaBeouf) and his father, Daniel (Matt Craven), are involved in a car accident while returning from their fishing trip, which takes Daniel's life. A year passes in which Kale remains in a consistent state of melancholy and lifelessness. One day near the end of the school year, he is reprimanded by his Spanish teacher, Señor Gutierrez (Rene Rivera) for sleeping during class. When the teacher goes on to ask Kale what his father would think if he could see him now, Kale punches him in the face and proceeds to attack him. For this assault, which under normal circumstances could lead to a year in a juvenile detention center, he is sentenced by a sympathetic judge (Charles Carroll) to a three-month house arrest period with an ankle monitor and a proximity sensor, which prohibit him from roaming beyond the boundaries of his house and yard.

He soon learns that one of the police officers monitoring him is the teacher's arrogant cousin, Officer Gutierrez, (Jose Pablo Cantillo), who takes delight in humiliating and embarrassing Kale in front of others. When a group of neighborhood kids put a bag of flaming dog feces on his porch, provoking him to give chase and setting off the monitoring device, Officer Gutierrez is there to force him to the ground & arrest him while the other kids watch and laugh. Initially, he satiates his boredom by playing video games, but shortly after, his mother, Julie Brecht (Carrie-Anne Moss), cancels his subscriptions to the iTunes Music Store and Xbox Live, as well as cutting the power cord of his television, to force him to help around the house more. His boredom leads him to spy upon the surrounding neighborhood. One night, Kale becomes suspicious of his neighbor, Robert Turner (David Morse), who returns home in a 1967 Ford Mustang with a dented fender. On the news, a woman was picked up by an unidentifed driver in a 1967 Ford Mustang with a dent near driver's side. Investigators feel that the unidentified driver's had something to do with the woman's disappearance. This Mustang matches Turner's car. Kale and his best friend Ron (Aaron Yoo) find out that the woman's disappearance is similar to disappearances of women 3 years ago in Austin, Texas. They begin to view the girl next door, Ashley Carlson (Sarah Roemer). Since she is alerted to their spying when Ronnie's binoculars collide with the window, Kale calls Ron a jackass. Ashley subsequently decides to join them.

Ronnie and Ashley dismiss Kale's suspicions initially, regarding them as based on circumstantial evidence. But they become gradually more involved when events inside Turner's house lead them to believe that he has been abducting women and murdering them there. He notices the kids who had harassed him watching porn on their television set during night. Kale observes Turner's girlfriend's leaving Turner's house in panicked state. Kale hears the woman yelling "help" loudly. It looks like Turner is killing his date. While Kale's videotaping, there's a sudden flash that Turner noticed. After Turner turns off lights, Kale uses binoculars to see what's happening in Turner's house. Turner is looking straight at Kale's bedroom window and appears angry. Turner probably feels that someone was spying on him ever since Turner's girlfriend showed up. After a time, Kale sees Turner's date leaving his house. The next morning, in sudden twist, Kale sees his mom flirting with Turner. Turner threatens but doesn't say exact words. Kale understands what Turner means. Thinking nothing is wrong, Ashley has a party, which Kale ruins by blasting Minnie Ripperton music out his window. The same kids also water bomb him the night of Ashley's party. After Kale and Ashley have a conversation, they start making out. A scene then shows blood splattering on Turner's window, which both teens fail to see. Later, with Kale and Ashley watching, Turner is seen to drag a heavy bag to his garage, which Ashley claims to have seen blood on.

Kale insists that Ronnie break into Turner's car to get his garage door opener to continue investigating. While Turner is at the store buying a shovel, Ashley's following Turner so Ronnie could get garage door opener code. When Turner turned around casually, Ashley took picture of him & sent it to Kale. She calls Kale and tells him that she couldn't find Turner anymore. As soon as she drives, Turner's in front of her car. He gets into her car and tells her that he wants some privacy. Ronnie gets garage opener code number but unfortunately leaves his cell phone behind. That night, Kale keeps spying on Turner and left a message on Ronnie's cell phone. When Ronnie realizes that he left his cellphone in Turner's car, they attempt to get it back by opening the garage door. Inside the garage, Ronnie finds the bag and says he can see hair in addition to blood, leading the two of them to conclude that it really does contain a human body. The garage door suddenly shuts. Ron probably closed it by mistake, but doesn't say if he closed on purpose or accident. Ronnie thinks somebody's in the garage. When Ronnie runs through Turner's house in panic state, Kale attempts to rescue him, in the process, alerting the police to the breach of his house arrest. As the police arrive, Kale mentions that Ronnie is in danger. They search the house & discover that Ronnie doesn't seem to be anywhere inside. Kale told them that there's a dead human in a blue bag in the garage. Officers check the garage. They find that the same bag but it contains the remains of a deer that Turner had hit on interstate. Since police don't believe Ron was there, Kale's going to get in trouble for breaking into Turner's house & assuming Turner was a killer.

Kale's mother, Julie, then goes across the street to talk to Turner herself, in hopes of steering him away from pressing charges. Kale spies on his mom and Turner talking to each other. Kale fears Ronnie's dead, but later discovers that he escaped, unharmed, fearing that he would be caught if he stayed. Ronnie was inside Kale's bedroom closet. If Ron sweared to cops that he wasn't being chased by somebody, then he would probably get into a lot of trouble. When Ron was talking to Kale, Ron didn't say if someone was chasing him. Ron's told that there was a dead deer in the bag. Ron probably said that he was going to bathroom. Kale watches Ronnie's tape, which he had left on the whole time he was making his escape from Turner's house. In the video, it looks like nobody's chasing Ronnie. If nobody was chasing Ron, then Ron mistakenly assumed that he was being chased due to fear. As Ronnie falls over in his haste in the tape, he accidentally filmed something hidden behind an air vent, but Ronnie didn't notice something inside the air vent. So Kale zooms in to see what it is. tells Turner that she believes or thinks Kale's blaming himself for his dad's death. It looks like clear bag, with something in it. He zooms in further and sees a dead body of female. At that same moment, Turner knocks Julie out by pulling her head from behind and slamming her face into the wall.

A few seconds after Julie got attacked, Turner walks towards Ronnie but when Ronnie turns around, Turner knocks him out with an aluminum baseball bat. He then goes after Kale, who tries to signal the police by unplugging his proximity sensor, then runs outside to trigger his ankle monitor, but his efforts fail. Turner knocks him out and duct tapes his limbs together. In the house, Turner & Kale accidentally made a mess downstairs. Turner reveals his plan: He'll frame Kale for the murders of both his mother and Ronnie. The motives will be his grief over his father's death combined with conflict with Ronnie over Ashley's affections. As Turner has Kale writing the letter, Ashley then runs up the stairs. Turner gets distracted, so Kale pushes Turner. Kale runs outside to Ashley, but Turner's about to stab Kale so Ashley jumps onto Turner and scratches his face. Kale pushes Turner over a rail and falls. Kale & Ashley hide in Kale's bedroom, avoiding Turner who was still on the ground after falling. Turner uses his baseball bat to break open the bedroom door but the teenagers manage to escape by leaping out of Kale's window, and landing in Ashley's pool.

Kale grabs a pair of garden shears and goes to search for his mother in Turner's house, while Ashley goes to warn the police. In a room resembling an operating theater, Kale finds credentials belonging to Turner's previous victim, the redheaded club girl, as well as a wig, suggesting that Turner wore the wig; he was the one that Kale saw leaving the house, 2 nights ago. Officer Gutierrez arrives at the scene in the hope of charging Kale for breaking & entering, but when he's walking through a small hallway, Turner sneaks up behind him & breaks his neck. Proceeding to the basement of the house, Kale falls through the floor and finds himself floating in a pool along with several dead bodies in various states of decay. He manages to climb out and finds his mother bound and gagged underneath the foundation. Turner suddenly appears from behind Julie and attempts to kill Kale and his mother. Julie stabs Turner in the leg, giving Kale time to kill Turner with the pair of gardening shears. As Kale and Julie exit the garage, the police arrive.

Kale's ankle monitor is finally removed and he is released from house arrest for "good behavior". He gets his revenge on the kids who had made his life difficult while he was on house arrest. As Kale and Ashley look into the boys' bedroom from Kale's bedroom to make sure that they are watching the porn movies, Kale calls the boys' mother acting as if he were an employee working for the supposed adult television network. He informs her that adult films or "skin flicks" are being viewed in one the television units in their house, to which the mother comes into the boys' bedroom to find them watching the porn movies. He apparently has other plans for them as well, as he states that this was only his first strike against them.

In the end Ashley and Kale begin making out on a sofa when they are interrupted by Ronnie, who is fine other than suffering a black eye. He is filming them with plans to put the video up on YouTube. Kale merely raises a half hearted middle finger at Ronnie. The film ends with the song (One Man Wrecking Machine).


  • Shia LaBeouf as Kale Brecht, a 17 year old high school junior. Caruso auditioned over hundred males for the role in five weeks before settling on LaBeouf as he was looking for someone "who guys would really like and respond to, because he wasn’t going to be such a pretty boy".[2] LaBeouf was attracted to the role because of the director's 2002 film The Salton Sea, which he complimented as one of his favorite films. Before filming started, the two watched the thriller films Rear Window, Straw Dogs and The Conversation starring Gene Hackman. They also viewed the 1989 romantic film Say Anything... and "mixed all the movies together."[3]

LaBeouf says he spoke to people on house arrest and locked himself in a room with the bracelet to feel.[3] He commented in an interview, "it’s hard. I’m not going to say it’s harder than jail, but it’s tough. House arrest is hard because everything is available. [...] The temptation sucks. That’s the torture of it."[3] Carouso gave him the freedom to improvise whenever necessary to make the dialogue appeal to the current generation.[4] During filming, LaBeouf began a program that saw him gain twenty five pounds of muscle in preparation of his future films Transformers and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.[5]

  • Sarah Roemer as Ashley Carlson, Kale's neighbor and love interest.
  • Aaron Yoo as Ronnie Kale's best friend


Disturbia was filmed on location in the cities of Whittier, California and Pasadena, California. Filming began on the morning of January 6, 2006 and ended on April 28, 2006. The homes of Kale and Mr. Turner, which were supposed to be across from each other, were actually located in two different cities.[6] Most of the movie was filmed in Whittier, California.


Box office

Disturbia was released on April 13 in the United States and opened at #1 in its first week at the box office with $23 million.[7] Despite a 10 million decrease in its second week, it remained on top of the box office.[8] In its third week, it held on with $9.1 million.[9] In its fourth week, it earned $5.7 million and finished second behind the record-breaking Spider-Man 3.[10]


On the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, 67% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 165 reviews, with the consensus that the film is "a tense, subtle thriller with a noteworthy performance from Shia LaBeouf".[11] On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 62 out of 100, based on 28 reviews.[12]

The film earned a "two thumbs up" rating from Richard Roeper and A.O. Scott (filling in for Roger Ebert), with Roeper saying, "This is a cool little thriller with big scares and fine performances."[13] However, many have criticized the change of atmosphere two-thirds of the way into the film, when the initial pacing and action morphs into that of a "run-of-the-mill slasher horror film".[14]

The film won 3 Teen Choice Awards including Choice Movie: Horror/Thriller, Choice Movie: Breakout Male (Shia LaBeouf) and Choice Movie Actor: Horror/Thriller (Shia LaBeouf) .


The Sheldon Abend Revocable Trust filed a lawsuit against DreamWorks, its parent company Viacom, and Universal Studios on September 5, 2008.[15][16] The suit alleged that Disturbia infringed on the rights to Cornell Woolrich's 1942 short story "It Had to Be Murder" (the basis for the classic Alfred Hitchcock film Rear Window), and that DreamWorks never bothered to obtain motion picture rights to the intellectual property and evaded compensating the rights holder for the alleged appropriation. (Ownership of the copyright in Woolrich's original story "It Had to Be Murder" and its use as the basis for the movie Rear Window was previously litigated before the United States Supreme Court in Stewart v. Abend, 495 U.S. 207 (1990).)

Home media

The film was released on DVD and HD DVD on August 7, 2007 and on Blu-ray Disc on March 15, 2008.


Disturbia: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack by Various artists
Released March 4, 2007
Recorded Various dates
Length 45:46
Label Lakeshore Records
  1. "Always Love" - Nada Surf
  2. "Don't Make Me Wait" - This World Fair
  3. "One Man Wrecking Machine" - Guster
  4. "Whoa Now" - Louque
  5. "Gangsta Boogie" - Love Stink
  6. "Next to You" - Buckcherry
  7. "Because I Got High" - Afroman
  8. "We Love Reggae" - Noiseshaper
  9. "The Great American Napkin" - The Summer Skinny
  10. "Dream" - Priscilla Ahn
  11. "Lovin' You" - Minnie Riperton
  12. "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" - Lou Rawls

Lonely Day by System Of A Down and Taper Jean Girl by Kings of Leon are not featured on the soundtrack even though they were in the movie.



Disturbia: Original Motion Picture Score
Soundtrack by Geoff Zanelli (Composer), Bruce Fowler (Conductor)
Released July 10, 2007
Genre Score
Length 46:08
Label Lakeshore Records
  1. "Disturbia" - 7:02
  2. "Fishing" - 3:52
  3. "Poofoot" - 1:15
  4. "Voyeurism" - 2:35
  5. "Every Killer Lives Next Door to Someone" - 3:35
  6. "I Like to Play" - 1:46
  7. "Stealth Ranie" - 5:10
  8. "Walking Ashley Home" - 2:01
  9. "The Club Girl" - 2:47
  10. "Stalking a Killer" - 7:15
  11. "The Basement Graveyard" - 8:50


  1. ^ Richard Roeper; A.O. Scott (April 2007). "Disturbia reviewed on Ebert & Roeper". Ebert & Roeper. http://bventertainment.go.com/tv/buenavista/ebertandroeper/index2.html?sec=6&subsec=disturbia. 
  2. ^ Johnson, Lisa (2007-04-03). "D.J. Caruso Is No Fool". FilmStew.com (FilmStew.com). http://www.filmstew.com/showBlog.aspx?blog_id=1023. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  3. ^ a b c Johnson, Lisa (2007-04-12). "Interview with Shia LaBeouf– Disturbia". biggie.co.nz (biggie.co.nz). http://www.biggie.co.nz/editorial/articles/shia_la_beouf.html. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  4. ^ Johnson, Lisa (2007-04-12). "He’ll Never Have Paris". FilmStew.com (FilmStew.com). http://www.filmstew.com/showArticle.aspx?ContentID=157703. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  5. ^ Hart, Hugh (2007-07-01). "Shia LaBeouf's Transformation". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/07/01/PKGJ7QJF141.DTL. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  6. ^ "Disturbia Filming Locations". http://www.seeing-stars.com/Locations/Disturbia.shtml. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  7. ^ Germain, David (2007-04-15). "DreamWorks No. 1 again with 'Disturbia'". Associated Press (USA Today, Gannett Company). http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/2007-04-15-1945988660_x.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  8. ^ Adler, Shawn (2007-04-23). "DreamWorks No. 1 again with 'Disturbia'". MTV (MTV). http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1557750/20070423/story.jhtml. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  9. ^ Adler, Shawn (2007-04-30). "'Disturbia' Does It Again — Better Luck 'Next' Time, Nic Cage". MTV (MTV). http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1558335/20070430/story.jhtml. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  10. ^ Adler, Shawn (2007-05-07). "'Spider-Man 3' Busts Box-Office Records With Amazing Opening Weekend". MTV (MTV). http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1558880/story.jhtml. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  11. ^ "Disturbia - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/disturbia/. Retrieved 2007-09-27. 
  12. ^ "Disturbia (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/disturbia. Retrieved 2007-09-27. 
  13. ^ Richard Roeper; A.O. Scott (April 2007). "Disturbia reviewed on Ebert & Roeper". Ebert & Roeper. http://bventertainment.go.com/tv/buenavista/ebertandroeper/index2.html?sec=6&subsec=disturbia. 
  14. ^ Jeffrey M. Anderson (April 13, 2007). "Combustible Celluloid film review - Disturbia (2007)". Combustible Celluloid. http://www.combustiblecelluloid.com/2007/disturbia.shtml. Retrieved 2007-09-27. 
  15. ^ Edith Honan (September 8, 2008). "Paramount ripped off Hitchcock Classic". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/filmNews/idUSN0844655020080909. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  16. ^ Chad Bray (September 9, 2008). "2nd UPDATE: Trust Files Copyright Lawsuit Over Disturbia". CNN Money. http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200809081651DOWJONESDJONLINE000605_FORTUNE5.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  17. ^ "Disturbia soundtrack". SoundtrackINFO. http://www.soundtrackinfo.com/ost.asp?soundtrack=6129&t=yes. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 

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