In California, the Caucasian Chris Mattson and his African-American wife Lisa Mattson move to a house in a gated community. The racist and dysfunctional next-door neighbor is the abusive LAPD Officer Abel Turner who feels uncomfortable with the relationship of the newcomers and transforms their lives into Hell on Earth. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
"Lakeview Terrace" is the name of the area where Rodney King was beaten by Los Angeles police officers in 1991. The movie references his name, and the famous line, "Can't we all just get along?" See more »
When Abel starts cutting down his neighbor's new trees along the fence, he's on the right side of the fence, Chis and Lisa on the other side. But this is reversed from how the houses are oriented. See more »
It's alright, I'm an officer.
[holding a gun on him]
I don't care if you the Pope, asshole, get your hands up!
See more »
Superior, old fashioned thriller with a few neat touches of it's own
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
Chris (Patrick Wilson) and Lisa (Kerry Washington) are a young, mixed race couple who have brought their first house in a nice little suburb in Los Angeles. However, one of their neighbours is strict single father and veteran police officer Abel Turner (Samuel L. Jackson) who is one of a few who takes oddly to their inter-racial coupling and who is also carrying his own demons. As he becomes increasingly aggressive and anti-social towards them, it plunges them all into a deadly game which could destroy all their lives.
This suburban thriller by Neil LaBute appeared out of nowhere towards the end of last year with little in the way of publicity. But it's made an impression on a lot of other critics and I was pleasantly surprised too. It's an old fashioned sort of thriller, in the vein of films like Pacific Heights with Michael Keaton or Single White Female, that of the warped stranger who starts to interfere psychotically with the lead characters. Blissfully free of any modern fast cuts or flashy editing, it takes you back to a time when thrillers had a dash of inspiration and flair.
As the man carrying the film, Samuel L. Jackson turns in an excellent performance as the protagonist of the tale, constantly giving his victims flourishes of false hope then unnervingly reverting back to his unpleasantness and conceitedness. This may not make it the most pleasant of films to watch, but the film never lets up on the suspense and keeps you hooked till the end, eager for a revelation of what motivates Jackson's hatred and how it will impact on his victims and what it will drive them to do. ****
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