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|Index||13 reviews in total|
The young couple Lori Peterson (A.J. Cook) and her husband Tom Peterson
(Matthew Harrison) moves from Chicago to a suburb, to live in a huge
house. Their neighbors Helen Schmidt (Theresa Russell) and Carl Schmidt
(James Russo) welcome them with a dinner party at their house and the
two couples start a good relationship. When Tom travels to Los Angeles
on business, Lori stays alone at home and realizes that Carl is a
violent man and might have killed his wife. She decides to investigate
what might have happened to Helen. 'The House Next Door' is a totally
predictable festival of clichés. It seems that the studios have some
sort of previously prepared combination of screenplays with this sort
of flick, and releases them with a minor participation of some known
actors and actresses, like Sean Young and Theresa Russell, a beautiful
cover and posters to the video rentals to attract the attention of
viewers. Later, they release it to an open or even cable TV channel,
and nothing else. Just as an example, this type of movie is very common
and typical in the Saturday 9:00 PM session of TV Globo (the greatest
open channel in Brazil). 'The House Next Door' is a watchable and very
forgettable flick. My vote is five.
Title (Brazil): 'Vizinhos Lado a Lado Até a Morte' ('Neighbors Side by Side Until Death')
This thriller is very watchable due to the high caliber acting of three
of the main characters. A J Cook (Jennifer Jareau on TV's Criminal
Minds) and Matthew Harrison play Lori and Tom Peterson who have been
married for two years and decide to leave the big city of Chicago and
move to a smaller community in the countryside, where they believe
their lives will be safer and more like the lives of the people on that
old television series The Andy Griffith Show which took place in the
quaint little town of Mayberry.
Little do they know that they have moved next door to a very militant neighbor who associates with a group of degenerates that like to party at his house. James Russo is the neighbor from hell named Carl Schmidt. Carl is married to Theresa Russel's character Helen Schmidt who is a stay at home mom with two young children. Helen appears to be abused both verbally and physically by her ex military husband Carl.
Two other characters that come in to play are Lori Peterson's hip girlfriend Monica played by Sean Young who comes to town to visit her good old friend Lori, and the not so nice, and corruptible skirt chaser Sheriff Vernon Crank played by Frederic Forrest.
Yes, the script is very predictable, but the musical score suits the scenes as they play out, and A J Cook, Theresa Russell and James Russo are all good actors who hold the movie up quite well to the bitter climax. Even the director Joey Travolta (yes he is John Travolta's brother) does an admirable job pulling off a pretty good thriller. One could do a lot worse than watching this 95 minute thriller, so sit back with your popcorn and leave at least one light on for this two and half star thriller.
As a writer and a filmmaker myself, I try not to be ultra-critical when
you consider all of the elements that go into making a film. When
viewing this one, I quickly realized that John Benjamin Martin's script
didn't have the same quality of writing of a William Goldman script,
and for the most part it certainly lacked the dialogue of a Quentin
Tarantino ... or even a Jon Favreau script, for that matter. But, if
you're looking for a semi-fun, serviceable B-thriller, this will do
fine. In fact, it's the perfect Friday Midnight Movie when you just
want to veg-out with a BIG tub of buttered popcorn!
In fact, a little over four years ago, a similar film - WHAT LIES BENEATH - was released starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford. Was it a better movie? Sure, but not that much better when you consider all of the variables involved: HOUSE NEXT DOOR was made with a lot less dough than WHAT LIES BENEATH was. And HND certainly lacked both the A-list stars and the BIG-Studio backing of 20th Century Fox and Dreamworks. In fact, I would go so far as to say that director Joey Travolta did the best he could with what was given him.
And one of the things given him in this film is a fine performance by James Russo, who is at his utmost-creepiest, playing Carl Schmidt, the next door neighbor of Lori Peterson (played by A.J. Cook). Russo's performance - along with Travolta's direction - actually makes this film not only watchable, but enjoyable as a "guilty pleasure." As does the performance of Sean Young, who also does the most she can with the supporting role of Monica, Peterson's long-time friend. It's priceless to hear her utter lines such as, "It's crazy - I mean like get in the car and move to Arizona crazy!" Frederic Forrest, who garnered a Best Supporting Actor nomination in 1980 for his performance in THE ROSE, also lends credibility to the cast.
And again, I felt Travolta's direction, which seems to get better with each new film, helps to offset the movie's notoriously low budget.
As was the case with WHAT LIES BENEATH several years back, THIS film is filled with the obvious cheap thrills you'd expect from a movie of this nature, but again, that's part of the reason that makes THIS the perfect Friday Midnight Movie!
I can be very picky when judging a suspense-horror type movie. I can honestly say I enjoyed House Next Door very much. Mainly because the type of suspense shown in the movie was believable. We've all experienced weird neighbors, not to this extent, but its something we can relate to. To me this is far more enjoyable then a typical Stephen King sci-fi weirdo picture ! I found the story was well written, well directed and the acting was superb. It goes to show you Producers don't need idiots running around with a chainsaw and hockey mask chasing bare breasted women in the middle of the night. The movie was clearly written and stuck to the point right up until the final climax. I purchased this older movie the other day and I know I'll end-up watching it again in the near future. I recommend you do the same. You will not be disappointed. I'll give it an 8.
I had the opportunity of being invited to the Vancouver screening of `The House Next Door'. The movie was very well done; it kept everyone in the audience on the edge of their seats wondering... why doesn't she leave? Vancouver composer John Sereda did an outstanding job on the films soundtrack. It was "Dramatic, Dynamic, Suspenseful, and it Rocked you"... It is definitely a movie worth seeing... and a soundtrack worth hearing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This could have been turned into a better than average garden variety
thriller with a different ending. In fact, I suspect the original
script may have been written that way. Certainly the opening scene
which found the new bride hovering between dream and reality -- and
perhaps a bid daft -- was an excellent set-up for an ending in which
after the terrified woman calls the cops, having made one of the more
macabre discoveries of terror spoofs, the knock on the door reveals the
police officer, suspensefully followed by the unbloodied "victims" who
stagger over from the party next door to console the poor woman, victim
of an over-stressed imagination or really off her rocker. Too bad about
the ex-marine who only wanted to do what randy marines like to do to
available women, but the life of a fighting man is fraught with hazard.
I thought the shovel banging on a wooden box was a real blunder. Whether dead dog or murder victim, no killer would put the body in a box to bury it.
This is the story: my wife and I ran into The house next door at the
rentals, she picked it up and read at the back cover that this is one
thriller in the vein of Hitchcock's The rear window. We both decided to
watch it not because of the so-called reference with the masterpiece of
cinematographic voyeurism, but for spend a little time of relax with a
not so complicated, just as I guessed by seeing the front cover. But,
we watched it -in two periods, because we both fell asleep-, all I could
think was that this is such an insult for the Master of all suspense and
thrills. This movie it´s nothing but a big fat bunch of crap! I think
never felt so bad after watching a movie. Of any kind.
Every little thing in this so called film is horrible: the acting, the screenplay, the suspense (?), the directing, I mean, everything it´s awfully done. It´s a real pain to sit thru' this movie because we never get to feel any connection with the characters; they're as unidimensional as only a blank paper can be; all is constructed under the simplicity of the easy -and predictable- scare; the scenario, the holes in the story, the stupidity in the lead roles unable to see what's coming, and run away when there's still plenty of time. By half the movie we already knew who was who and who did that and this. Was there any enigma to solve? Nope! Maybe just to find the missing mystery, because any episode of Scooby Doo has more of it -and tension- in it´s 30 minutes, than in the 90 plus that lasts this torture titled The house next door. I still can't understand how does this kind of garbage get to be done and reach for the cinemas; bad luck we found it, but good one that we only had it for rental. Anyway, once the movie finished, I felt like going back to Blockbuster and ask for my money back.
I'm aware that the tone in this text it's one in anger, but that is because I am. But, really, if you appreciate your time or mental health, don't you even get close to this movie. No matter what the back cover says -what else could the distribution company do?-, this movie stinks!!!!!
This conventional woman-in-jeopardy suspencer, screened at the American
Market in February, has enough predictable situations to place it in the
lightweight horror category.
A young Chicago couple, married two years, move into their country dream home only to discover their neighbors are not all they appear to be. The young wife (A.J.Cook) is left vulnerable when husband (Matthew Harrison) has to spend two weeks in LA on business. James Russo provides so-so excitement as the heavy-next-door.
While Joey Travolta directs competently, we don't get to know enough about the characters to make us care very much what happens to them in the situations they are placed.
Actors are not bad in this film as a matter of fact acting is very good and believable. Also the filming is quite good as much as I can say something about it. But when the actually story is sooooo foreseeable all the way to the end then you just can't enjoy the film. Sorry :[
This is slightly less suspensefull then having somebody tell you the plot of "Rear Window". All scenes are done by the book, with no big mistakes, but with no imagination or heart either. The actors save the movie from being downright rotten.
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