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Review The Good Neighbor a.k.a. (2016): Don't judge a book by it's cover. Very good thriller!

genre: thriller




All of the comments given in this poster are true. 



This might be one of the most generic titles ever but let me tell you there is nothing generic about this film. For one thing it stars the always great James Caan.

He is one of those actors that never lets down even if he is in very bad films. A prime example of how it can be done and basically puts actors Al Pacino and Robert De Niro to shame. He shows that as long as you take the role seriously you prevent selling out the profession or the public. Most of the suspense his built around his character and if he wasn't convincing in any way the film would have failed miserably. But James Caan rocks it big time. So what is this film about? The Good Neighbor is about a project embarked by two high school kids Ethan (Logan Miller) and Sean (Keir Gilchrist). This project is the secret surveillance of Harold Grainey (James Caan) in his own home. They have set up several cameras and bugs in his house. It doesn't stop there. They also have fidgeted with several things in the house so that they can make it seem like the house is haunted. Their grand idea is to watch Grainey respond to this. No real motivation is given for why they want to do this and why it has to be Grainey. In bits and pieces it gets revealed and is one of the reasons why the film manages to be compelling. We don't know anything about Grainey. Only what these kids tell us. And if we have to believe them the man is not a particularly nice guy. Even so them taking on this venture without his knowledge or consent is reprehensible. Right from the start I was rooting for Grainey to teach these boys a lesson. Like I said the suspense is built  around his character of how he will respond and act. Especially since these boys take it incredibly far. Not an ounce of respect and dignity on their part except maybe from Sean who seems to have some reservations about the whole project. Ethan on the other hand seems to have no qualms whatsoever and is of the opinion he can't go far enough. Not knowing why he is so obsessed also adds to the tension. Which brings me to the greatest strength of this film. The Good Neighbor leaves you in the dark until the very end. You simply won't know what is happening or will happen until it gets revealed in the end. Even when the trailer makes it seem like it has shown you what is going to be about. Trust me it doesn't. It's one of those endings that will have an impact on you and one that encourages you to not judge a book by it's cover.

The Good Neighbor is easily one of the best thrillers I have seen this year since it does so much with very little. Caan shines and for once the whole found footage angle didn't bother me in the slightest. It actually helped increasing the suspense. So go watch this one!




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