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Neighborhood Watch

Film One Star

This marked the last film that I would manage to see at this years Dead by Dawn, although it was far from the last on show. The combined factors of lack of sleep, impending Monday work, and the need to write all this up were just too much to be able to sit up and watch anymore. So I chose Neighbourhood Watch as my last movie.

I wish I hadn't. Neighborhood Watch definitely left a sour taste in my mouth, and that wasn't just with repulsion.

NeighborhoodWatch_Poster.jpgThe film is about a new couple moving into the bizarrest of neighbourhoods and how they begin to connect with their neighbours. I guess what this film is saying is that you never really know who they are, and the confines of your life and your house prevent you from getting to know them too well.

It's almost painfully slow throughout the character building and it takes a very long time for events to start to happen. Even when they do the film doesn't really start going anywhere until quite late on in its tale.

It also suffers from meandering plot lines that bring in characters and places which seem to have no relevance on the story. There are a couple of characters who seem to be brought into the story and developed with the purpose of going somewhere, in fact relationships are developed and a plot line built, and then they just disappear from the story never to be heard from again. It's quite odd.

The main couple start to settle into their new home and soon meet their very unusual neighbour Adrien, who happens to take great delight in some truly disgusting deeds. The scenes where Adrien satisfies himself or picks strange growths off his stomach to eat is enough to churn your stomach, but that's only a taste of things to come. He slowly begins to poison the couple, but perhaps killing them is not what he has in mind.

Something which threw me here was how quickly the couple caught onto the first attempt at poisoning them and who was to blame, and yet despite this when they start becoming ill again they don't even think to make a connection or take positive action. However, believability is out the window with this film anyway, and shock, repulsion tactics are in.

Saying that, there are some funny moments, and comedy is inserted throughout the film. Mainly though, this takes the form of dark comedy. Comedy to alleviate the sheer wickedness and blinded morality of the characters, for instance the paperclip in the wall socket to repeatedly blow the fuse in the neighbors house is quite funny. Then when you realise that the life support machine of the elderly lady is being switched on and off constantly and all she can do is sit and watch, you're suddenly feeling very uncomfortable.

The horror of this film really does only come into affect at the end, when we are taken into Adrien's home and treated to the delights of why he has a scar on his stomach. From here on the action raised laughs from the audience, while at the same time produced the largest gasps of disgust I'd heard. Some of these scenes are quite vile and disturbing.

Yet however uncomfortable this is to watch it has to be said that the special effects are superbly done and they give a convincing view of body parts. Perhaps too convincing as I hoped my bacon and egg would remain where it was.

Overall not a film I would recommend, slow for the most part, confusing plot lines and developments for no reason or payoff. Indeed there wasn't much storyline required to get to the final scenes which produce much of the uncomfortable and disgusting moments of the movie, and this could have easily been a short.

UK IMDB Film Details
Dead by Dawn



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