“Disturbia,” reviewed by Susan Granger

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A bored adolescent finds horror lurking in his suburban neighborhood in this updated, youth-oriented adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window.”

After he was involved in an automobile accident that took the life of his father, Kale (Shia LaBoeuf) becomes understandably unhinged, slugging a Spanish teacher who provokes him, causing him to spend the summer under court-ordered house arrest with an electronic-monitoring device clamped to his ankle. When his exasperated mom (Carrie-Anne Moss) limits his video-game access and deprives him of television, he picks up a pair of binoculars to amuse himself. First, there’s the foxy, brazen blonde (Sarah Roemer of “Grudge 2”) who moves in next door, then there’s the creepy, menacing neighbor (David Morse) who may be luring women into his house who are never seen again. Could he be the elusive serial killer, the subject of nightly newscasts?

High-tech voyeurism reigns over building a Twinkie tower as the already-traumatized teen and his geeky buddy Ronnie (Aaron Yoo) devise more snooping equipment for what starts out as a surveillance game – until it becomes deadly serious.

Written by Christopher B. Landon and Carl Ellsworth, it’s chilly and contrived, geared to our gnarly Internet paranoia, as director D.J. Caruso (“Two for the Money,” “Taking Lives,” “The Salton Sea”) amps the suspense, albeit with soundtrack thunder for shock value.

But it’s likable, low-key 20 year-old Shia LeBoeuf (“Bobby”) who propels the picture; he also stars in the upcoming “Transformers” and “Surf’s Up” and has recently been signed to be Harrison Ford’s sidekick in the fourth “Indiana Jones” movie. According to LeBoeuf, Hitchcock’s ghosts were everywhere on Paramount’s Stage 18 as cameras inexplicably moved on their own.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Disturbia” is a tense, terrifying 7, becoming a violent psycho-slasher-thriller.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.