It’s fair to say that, in the modern world, knowing your neighbours is becoming an increasingly rare phenomenon. Looking at the bigger picture, it highlights the erosion of local communities and suggests a breakdown of society. The practical implications resolve around the inability to borrow a cup of sugar or a stepladder. In Marcus Dunstan’s new film, The Neighbour, not knowing who you live next door to takes a much darker and deadly turn.
John (Josh Stewart) and Rosie (Alex Essoe) are struggling to make a better life for themselves. Whilst the way they go about achieving this is by no means legal, they’re simply desperate to escape. John needs to leave his hometown and evade the clutches of the local crime boss (Skipp Sudduth). Rosie has to get out of their drab house and away from Troy (Bill Engvall), their odd and leering neighbour. When Rosie disappears, John’s convinced that Troy is hiding something from him.
The Neighbour has a gritty and organic feel. Instead of opting for flashy and polished production, Dunstan has cleverly shot his film in a way which makes it feel authentic. There’s nothing new or particularly innovative about the plot, but light handling makes it feel fresh and urgent. The Neighbours is a thriller with aspects of mystery, terror and drama. It’s well acted, scripted and shot. It’s by no means flawless, and feels a tad stretched, but it does keep the tension going throughout.
The Neighbour is released on DVD by Arrow Video on Monday.