Revisiting Disturbia is a lot like re-watching Donnie Darko. There’s a wholesomeness accompanying the morbidity of this feature that’s hard to find elsewhere.
Emotively, Disturbia is driven by the emotional impact of bereavement – and how governmental institutions, society at large, and the remaining parent fail to see the bigger picture; insensitive to the impact such trauma has on someone so young.
The impact of being absent of internet whilst confined to one’s home is a factor amply illustrated; unlike incorporating a System of a Down song in a commercial feature.
The conflict of interest exploited by the officer responsible for enforcing the terms of Kale’s house arrest is a commonplace issue in certain microcosms. Their continued persecution of him, whilst already enduring the results of his prosecution and extenuating circumstances (let alone societal condemnation for criminality) reveals the fundamental flaws of small-town justice.
House arrest is not demonized all that much in this movie; instead, pedantic authoritative ardor expressed by tyrannical officers is presented as being obstructive to justice; pragmatically and contextually.
Disturbia demonstrates how one can appreciate the small things that life has to offer following such sentencing; endorsing the culprit to appreciate their later liberty.
The overall arc covers alienation/boredom whilst trapped within one’s own premises, inspiring the protagonist to distract himself; constantly observing his surroundings with binoculars. In doing so, Kale maintains a birds-eye view over his surroundings.
What’s so charming about this film is how amicably Ashley responds to what would commonly be regarded as voyeuristic behavior, eventually ingratiating herself with Kale’s preoccupation with righteous fluidity.
The ever-increasing cynicism of the younger generation is an important factor to consider here. While most of the street’s residents wouldn’t scrutinize the likelihood of their neighbor being a serial killer – Kale is much more insightful.
Compared to the prejudgment that often dominates smaller jurisdictions, Ashley represents the attitude of someone raised in a city. With her effeminate insight aiding the investigative efforts of the two leads, she is imperative throughout the film.
The remaining maternal figure attempting to get another male to empathize with Kale is a common occurrence following a paternal bereavement.
Regarded as a prodigal son resultant of his criminal infractions; Kale’s unable to even confer that the man with whom his mother’s associating is a serial killer; all through her own archaic prejudices and the negative re-enforcement already tainting her perspective on the reliability of his deductions.
The primary murderer homed in upon in Disturbia is incredibly sophisticated. He bends the circumstances and vulnerabilities of those suspicious of him to his will, both physically and empathically; employing intimidation tactics and decoys.
Acknowledging Kale’s circumstances; the killer’s efforts to entrap someone already bound to unfortunate circumstance demonstrates the thought processes of a very callous individual.
The villain is a competitive predator that places little to no value on human life, only one-ups-man-ship and the bolstering of his own egotism. The way he ingratiates himself within his community (and the eyes of the local police) through intimidation/charm is a common phenomenon, be they murderers; groomers, or voyeurs.
With their jadedness/evasive mindset being juxtaposed to that of employed enforcers, the trio become a more efficient investigative force than those who’re motivated by either bureaucracy or monetary gain to incarcerate such despicable entities.
Amidst all this, it’s incredibly heartwarming and at times comedic.
The way in which the villain’s domicile is modified to suit his sinister purposes also begs the question; what does everyone else hide behind closed doors?
One of my all-time favorites.