The Neighbor (2016)★★★★☆


I liked this one, which is unsurprising in a few ways. The screenplay was written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, two writers whose work I’m familiar with.

The cast has a couple of familiar faces: Alex Essoe of Starry Eyes and Josh Stewart of The Collector/The Collection(apparently Marcus Dunstan likes Josh Stewart), both of whom are great.

The pacing is a little slow to get started but once it does it grabs your attention and doesn’t let go until the end. Josh Stewart can somehow make all of his characters sympathetic whether he’s a burglar or a drug trafficker or whatever, and I found myself holding my breath a few times wondering what was about to happen.

There are some overused camera effects towards the end but it’s not a distraction for most of the film. The music is really well done and – for the most part – the story makes sense and is an interesting one.

What was surprising was how well Bill Engvall played Toby (the titular neighbor). I don’t know that I’ve seen too much of his work otherwise but he was incredibly creepy in this one – no, wait, credibly creepy. I definitely won’t be peeping in any neighbors’ windows for at least the next month.

Overall this is a pretty good thriller that doesn’t rely on fancy special effects or paranormal phenomena (say that five times fast?) to keep the audience entertained. It could be a date night movie, if your date is into that sort of thing.