Newest Reviews
Vast of Night, The
Furies, The
Days of the Bagnold Summer
Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975, The
Apartment 1BR
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
  Lakeview Terrace Neighbourhood Botch
Year: 2008
Director: Neil LaBute
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Wilson, Kerry Washington, Ron Glass, Justin Chambers, Jay Hernandez, Regine Nehy, Jaishon Fisher, Robert Pine, Keith Loneker, Caleeb Pinkett, Robert Dahey, Ho-Jung
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Abel Turner (Samuel L. Jackson) is a widowed Los Angeles cop who by day works the streets, arresting criminals with some zeal, perhaps too much, but by night returns to his home with his two children in the secure community Lakeview Terrace, where today as he gets ready for work he notices a new couple moving in next door. What he's not too pleased about is the fact that while the husband, Chris (Patrick Wilson), is white, his wife, Lisa (Kerry Washington), is black and Abel is far from keen on that arrangement living right next door...

That's because Abel is a mad racist, in a film that apparently wanted to be taken seriously as an example of the type of prejudice mixed race couples face, but was rather duplicitious in its devising, as what this actually was turned out to be a throwback to one of those nineties psychothrillers where a nice couple are terrorised by a psychopath with a grudge: see Pacific Heights, Single White Female, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, and on and on ad nauseam for further details. But especially see Unlawful Entry, which screenwriters David Loughery and Howard Korder took a racial twist on for this story.

What was meant to be scary about this was the cop next door was putting the screws on the nice couple, and they could not do anything about it because Abel was a lawman and therefore represented a mountain to climb should they wish to make an official complaint. He can get away with all sorts, was the main narrative thread here, but there was another reason for that which was Chris was such a pathetic example of the modern white male that the impression is that director Neil LaBute and his cohorts were only too pleased to see him backed into a corner by his tenets of life, which amounted to "don't rock the boat", making it incredible to the filmmakers that he had ever got together with Lisa at all.

Anything such as a deep and abiding love and respect for each other was sneered at by the movie, as they went as far as they could to depict their union as a sham based on unspoken concerns about society's prejudices and their own unadmitted misgivings. Any connection between this and the way that most people treat mixed race couples in real life was easily dismissed when it fast became clear this was going all out for schlocky suspense rather than any grand statements about the world we live in. But that merely highlighted the hypocrisy of bringing the issue up in the first place, as there were still some fooled into thinking they had settled down to watch a serious-minded work.

The fact that it was LaBute directing this, his first film after The Wicker Man revealed him to be one of the worst directors ever to be treated with respect for "daring" to say things others did not, should have set off alarm bells in those who had seen his previous travesty. At least Jackson added a spot of charisma in a thankless bogeyman role, but by the time you had reached the denouement you may well have given up on the whole movie, featuring as it did with crushing inevitability the man on man showdown between Abel and Chris. There was some mileage in the neighbours from hell plot, but to be fair it was difficult not to lapse into over the top melodrama as tempers rose and nerves frayed, which was precisely the trap Lakeview Terrace fell straight into, making it all the more irksome that the grave agenda this had was a farce of its own making. There was a reason problems like this were not brought up in thrillers like this when it made them look stupid. Music by Jeff Danna and Mychael Danna.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1433 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith


Last Updated: