28 September 2016

THE NEIGHBOUR. (2016) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.




THE NEIGHBOUR. (2016) WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY MARCUS DUNSTAN. DISTRIBUTED BY ARROW FILMS. MUSIC BY CHARLIE CLOUSER. CINEMATOGRAPHY BY ERIC LEACH.
STARRING JOSH STEWART, ALEX ESSOE, MELISSA BOLONA, JACQUELINE FLEMING, BILL ENGVALL, LUKE EDWARDS, RONNIE GENE BLEVINS AND SKIPP SUDDUTH.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This is a deliciously tense, tight, taut thriller (yeah, all the t's...!) from the guy who apparently scripted no fewer than four of the SAW horror films. Now, I hated those movies myself, absolutely bloody hated every second I was made to watch of them, but there are millions more who don't hate them so, yes, that can be counted as an achievement, haha.

This film is set in a place called Cutter in Mississippi. I've never heard of Cutter, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. Or it could be fictional, we just don't know. Anyway, an ex-army chap called John is the lead guy. He's kind of cute in a scruffy kind of 'loser' way.

He lives on an isolated old ranch with his hot girlfriend Rosie and he makes ends meet by running dodgy errands for his even dodgier Uncle Neil. Fake license plates, drugs, stuff like that. Dodgy stuff. Thing is, though, Rosie and John daydream about doing one last dodgy job and escaping to Mexico forever on the proceeds, living the rest of their lives in comfort and anonymity.

Dontcha just love it when films have protagonists who are planning to do just one more dirty job, one more heist, one more bank robbery, etc., before they're out of 'the business' for good, free and clear with a nice little nest-egg under their belts to help 'em go straight and set 'em up for life in their new homes...? Yeah, when you hear that, you just know that things are gonna go tits-up for them in the biggest possible way, haha.

Remember Silvio Dante in brilliant HBO mafia drama THE SOPRANOS doing his 'bit' from THE GODFATHER to keep the rest of the outsized leisure-suited mob dons amused? 'Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in...!' Cue loads of insincere mafioso laughter. Yeah, that's what I'm talking about...!

In John and Rosie's case, the fly in the ointment preventing them from flying off into the sunset together is their titular 'neighbour,' Troy. Troy lives in the ranch next door (that's what makes him The Neighbour, see...?) with his two grown-up sons, Cooper and Harley.

On the night before John and Rosie plan to skedaddle forever with some of Unky Neil's hard-earned stealings, Troy comes over to the young couple's house with a coupla beers and essentially tells them that he knows what they did last summer. Or, to be precise, he lets 'em know that he knows that they're up to their tonsils in quare dealings, as we'd say here in Ireland.

You can practically see John's hackles rising, the way you would in a dog who senses the presence of an enemy. He doesn't invite the super-cocky Troy to stick around for a few more tinnies, put it that way. Troy's definitely cute too, by the way, in an older man kind of way. Anyone who knows me knows I like my older men, and Troy is at least a solid eight-and-a-half out of ten.

The next day, when Rosie inexplicably goes missing just before the couple are due to high-tail it out of town with a nice stash of illegal dough, John's Spidey-sense is not only tingling, it's telling him straight out that Troy-From-Next-Door is in it up to his, well, tonsils again.

John's got to break into Troy's house and see if Rosie's there. Well, he doesn't have to. I distinctly remember thinking at the time that he should have just buggered off with the money. He'd never have been short of hot chicks to share a tequila with. Women are such sluts for guys with a few quid in their pockets, if history- and the tabloids- have taught us anything...!

John seems to have a strong attachment, however, to his spouse or significant other so, whatever, let him go if that's what he wants to do. Off he toddles, anyway, but before long he's caught up in a situation he couldn't have imagined in his wildest nightmares. I'm dying to tell you guys what the deal is but that'd be too much of a spoiler for such a terrific film. In other words, I wouldn't want to ruin it for ye because it's just too good for that.

I will say, though, that from the moment John slowly turns the knob on Troy's front door, the tension is non-stop and nearly heart-stopping at times. I found myself screeching advice at various
characters at various junctures, something I only bother to do when a film is really, really exciting and suspense-filled. 

THE NEIGHBOUR certainly has suspense, excitement and tension by the bucketload, and flawless performances from all the lead actors don't exactly harm matters, either.

The set-up and shenanigans in Troy's house are everything you might have wished them to be (check out the home video scene!) but, again, I can't tell y'all what the deal is. I surely do wish I could but I can't. And, believe me, it hurts me way more than it hurts you guys, that's how involved I get with my reviews and how much of a big blabbermouth I am, haha.

If you missed this excellent horror-thriller in your local cinema in mid-September 2016, fear not. It'll be out on DVD courtesy of ARROW FILMS on 31st Oct., which of course is Halloween to all you crazed horror fans out there.

Treat yourself to THE NEIGHBOUR and watch it alongside all the Freddies, Jasons, Michaels and Chuckies I know you've got neatly lined up already for spooky viewing throughout October. It's not a supernatural horror but sometimes, all the horror you'll ever need is just right next door to your very own home...

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

 You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com









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