The Neighbor (Movie Review)

Set for release Friday, January 26th through Vertical Entertainment, The Neighbor is certainly a film that will stand out among the rest of the Drama/Thrillers set to hit theaters and Video on Demand in early 2018. Winner of several awards at film festivals in 2017, The Neighbor is the work of debuting Writer Richard Byard and Director/Co-Writer Aaron Harvey (Idiot. 2012, Echoes 2014). What makes it such a compelling watch? 

The Neighbor still.

Simple enough, the story follows a middle-aged man named Mike (William Fichtner: Armageddon 1998, Crash 2004) who is experiencing marital issues. A situation many couples fall into, he and his wife Lisa (Jean Louisa Kelly: Uncle Buck 1989, Ant-Man 2015) are in a rut they simply cannot seem to get out of. To makes matters worse, an attractive young woman named Jenna (Jessica McNamee: The Vow 2012, CHIPS 2017) and her husband Scott (Michael Rosenbaum: Smallville series, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 2017) move in next door.

Scott, a car salesman, appears to be an abusive guy, and as a result, Jenna finds herself with her own marriage problems. From here, Mike, who works from home as a Copywriter, befriends Jenna, spending time with her and listening to her story. With his own issue at home, will Mike’s new found friendship force him to intervene to help Jenna? Furthermore, will it be a decision he regrets? 

The Neighbor still.

A solid flick, The Neighbor is a great Thriller for many reasons. For one, the theme is extremely realistic, especially for the modern world in which we live in today. Additionally, it is intense emotionally and forces you to see that not all that glitters is gold. Everything on the outside does not always hold true to the way a person behaves in the privacy of behind closed doors. The fact is this could happen to anyone and viewers will be able to establish that connection with the characters.

All that in mind, this is not a new concept, there have been similar stories of this ilk in the past such as Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film Rear Window. A film for the modern age, The Neighbor develops on this voyeuristic approach by showing the terrible possibilities of what happens when you become too involved in others’ private business. Through the captivating production, dialogue, and actions of the characters, the viewing audience get a very intense setup of two families and their problems. 

The Neighbor still.

As for the cast, William Fichtner puts on a terrific performance as an awkward shut-in husband whose marriage is failing. Jessica McNamee and Michael Rosenbaum play the tropes of the damaged new wife and abusive husband to an absolute T. Taking to their roles, they immerse the audience into their world all the way to the very twisted and shocking ending. 

A must see for those that are fans of Thrillers, some may have a hard time with the ending of The Neighbor since it leaves it open and unresolved. Also featuring exquisite camera work, it is very heavy and suffocating when focused in third person, then changing to a creepy voyeuristic first person. With a perfect tension, complete with twist and turns, CrypticRock gives The Neighbor 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Vertical Entertainment

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  • It grabs the interest. But the ending sucks!!! You don’t know if the young husband survives or if the middle aged man in a midlife crisis got arrested. If his wife divorced him???? Left to many questions.

    • I agree completely with you. their was such a hard push to only receive an ending that was sub-par to the rest of the film. thanks for your comments !

  • I did not understand the ending. My question is does the young husband die? It seems like he would not survive by all the blood on the floor coming from his head. Does Janna take the blame? Does Mike get arrested? I would like to know exactly what happens.

  • I felt sorry for the main character “Mike” The movie threw out a sad vibe to me. Like when his wife kicks him out for no reason. I was like “damn just like a woman” And The way his life changed all of a sudden because of one neighbor. He seem like a real likable guy. I just felt bad for him. The end I think was saying look what happen to this poor guy/ His life changed from good to very bad in a matter of weeks

  • thanks for all your comments! Yes I would like a part two myself lol, since it was hard to gauge where the ending was trying to go after such a huge buildup, and GDK , maybe that was maybe the heart of his problem, but at the same time i felt his problem went beyond the scope of just the one neighbor, he was trying to find solace in someone he barely knew and it ultimately led him down the path of getting into a situation he couldn’t get himself out of. overall just a great film, but poor execution towards the end of the the film

  • I loved the end.It turns the question on the viewer.The ending the viewer likes defines the viewer’s moral position.I felt this prevented the viewer from becoming smug with all the maths resolved and makes him carry home the film.Great minimalist movie.Abbas Kiarostami’s japanese Film ‘Like Someone to Love has a similar theme.

  • I loved the way the Neighbor ended. I thought Mike was a good guy trying to help a young neighbor. I didn’t like his kicking out for no good reason. For goodness sake, what had he done wrong. Seemly, they had been married 30 years with adult children. The young neighbor had an abusive husband that slapped her around. Even while she was pregnant. I hope the husband doesnt died after Mike hit him. Or Jenna claims self defense to protect Mike if the abusive dies. The ending I prefer is: Mike divorces his selfish wife that kicked him out for no reason. The abusive husband dies. Mike marries the young neighbor and help raise her child. The perfect fairy tale. 😊

  • I didn’t care for the ending and I’d hope that Jenna would claim self-defense and her and Mike would have a future together but give me a spoiler alert what does the ending mean there’s a lot of questions did she claim self defense did he get arrested didn’t Jenna’s husband die etc etc etc this is Spence is killing me

  • I think Jenna shouted and screamed at Mike to get out of the house so she could take the blame and tell the police it was self defence. I imagine Jenna later moved away and Mike and Jenna never saw each other again. Mike’s lesson was never get involved with another person’s business. Jenna’s lesson was never let herself into the position that it led to what happened.

  • This movie was not good to me. It shows 2 married people engaging in sinful acts,and a abusive husband who mis-treats his wife . I give it 3 stars.

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