Synopsis: Neighbors Spencer (Scott Speedman) and Louise (Emily Hampshire) have bonded over their fascination with a recent string of murders terrorizing their community. When a new tenant named Victor (Jay Baruchel) arrives in the building, all three quickly hit it off. But as they soon discover, each of them has their own dark secret. As the violence outside mounts, the city retreats indoors for safety. But the more time these three spend together in their apartment building, the clearer it becomes that what they once thought of as a safe haven is as dangerous as any outside terrors they could imagine. Smart dialogue, strong performances and jarring thrills give this film all the elements of a great mystery.
Release Date: July 29, 2011 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Over the course of the Fall and Winter in Canada, Good Neighbors presents a story about various people living in one Canadian apartment building. There is the new guy, Victor (Jay Baruchel), a school teacher who has recently returned to Canada from China. Spencer (Scott Speedman) is confined to a wheelchair after a devastating car crash took the life of his wife, and the use of his legs, last winter. The single Louise (Emily Hampshire) works at a Chinese restaurant in the area, and has a love affair with her two cats. The apartment’s manager spends most of her time gossiping about the three younger inhabitants. Lastly, there is Valerie (Anne-Marie Cadieux). A woman who quickly becomes the antagonist of this story due to her rechid screeching at her husband and about Louise’s cat’s who like to crawl around on her fire escape. Good Neighbors could be a movie about the relationships between people, but it is not. It is about people living in close quarters, who are almost friends with one another, and truly only have one thing in common–their fascination with the local serial killer. Good Neighbors is more of a selfish film, focusing on the inner workings of individuals, not the ways in which each of the characters react to one another in the scope of their time together.
The separation of characters, even when they spend most of their screen time in the company of one another, makes the film difficult to fully enjoy. There is a very thick line drawn emotionally for each character and none of them are likable in any manner. This leaves a strict predicament for a viewer. Without anyone to grasp hold of, follow, root for, or detest, you are left in a purely observational state. This works for a time, and thankfully the strange characters these people are make you curious as to where the story is going to lead each of them, but it does not make for a completely satisfying conclusion because you simply do not care about their fates. The mystery that surrounds the entire plot, that of the local serial killer, is more of an afterthought in conversation than a motivation for action. The brief clues given are outwardly obvious once one key character is revealed to be something he is not–all occurring in the second act, leaving the end to deal with the sociopathic tendencies people can acquire when their animals are attacked. A strange and somewhat fascinating addition to the unimaginative story thus far but not nearly interesting enough to perk back up the viewer’s attention. The ending cannot come soon enough, as anti-climactic as it ends up being.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Jacob Tierney
- Producer(s): Jacob Tierney
- Screenwriter(s): Jay Baruchel (Victor)Scott Speedman (Spencer)Xavier Dolan (Jean-Marc)
- Story: Emily Hampshire (Louise)
- Cast: Micheline Lanctot (Mme Gauthier)Anne-Marie Cadieux (Valerie) Arthur TarnowskiGuy Tarnowski
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: Canada