Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Good Neighbors (2011)
Good Neighbors is one of the most bizarre moving watching experiences I've had this year. Labeled as a comedy, crime and thriller picture (in that order) on IMDB, I was surprised to see it be anything but and more of a thriller with a small sprinkling of horror thrown in for good measure. Funny this was absolutely not.
Our film starts by introducing us to our primary cast of characters residing in an apartment building: a quirky, obsessed with her cats woman; a quiet, paraplegic man that she maintains an awkward friendship with; and a young man who's just moved in, equally as quirky and not particularly adept at social situations. After multiple hallway run-ins, our newest resident becomes bound and determined to get to know them better. Despite a few rebuffs, the three agree to have dinner with each other one night.
Our young man is the first to arrive at the dinner party, indulging in a bit of wine and talking to the paralyzed resident, outright asking him how he came to be so. After apologizing profusely and blaming the wine on his sensitive question, the wheelchair bound man tells him he was in a car accident years ago which killed his wife. Our cat crazed woman arrives not too much longer thereafter and the trio end up spending a nice evening together.
In the backdrop of these events, is a serial killer who's running around town, raping and viciously murdering young women. Our socially inept guy becomes found of our feline loving woman and he offers to walk her home every night from her job at the local Chinese restaurant. As the death toll rises, and the local detective becomes interested in our team of three, we start to wonder if someone is hiding a dark secret.
An alcoholic, obsessed about her ex next door neighbor has a seething hatred for her neighbor's cats. After multiple warnings and profanity laced tirades, she decides to take matters into her own hands. Our cat crazed woman awakes one morning to find her cats dead. She quickly hatches a plan to exact revenge to kill her and make the whole thing look as though the local serial killer is to blame. As she executes her plan and then makes her escape from the woman's apartment out through the back fire escape, we find out another person in our trio isn't who they say they are and things take an even more bizarre turn. Of course, I won't play the spoils here.
The main issue I had with the film is that there was no character development beyond the aforementioned surface level characteristics. There was no real depth to them and their bizarre actions are never fully explained. Even when our 'main' killer is revealed, it's a total head scratching moment as there was nothing concrete that you could point to to explain why they acted so against character.
Still, the film kept my attention throughout and had its moments. If you like quirky indie whodunits, I guess you could do a lot worse. I just don't find myself revisiting it anytime soon.
Cortez the Killer