“Deep South Crime and Violence. With Extra Violence”
Director Marcus Dunstan’s new picture (which received its UK premiere at Frightfest this year) come to DVD courtesy of Arrow Films.
All is not well in the small town of Cutter, Mississippi. It’s grim and grimy, and everyone who lives there seems to be involved in some sort of organised crime. This includes John (Josh Stewart) and Rosie (Alex Essoe) who are involved in a drug smuggling racket, receiving a percentage of the takings each time with the intention of eventually moving to Mexico.
They have a next door neighbour called Troy (Bill Engvall) who they don’t pay much attention to until one day Rosie views Troy through the house telescope they use to spot incoming drug shipments and sees him bash a bloodstained teenager's head in. When John gets home he finds Rosie gone, and a whole lot of girls-in-cages-type trouble waiting for him over at Troy’s house.
Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan were responsible for writing a number of the SAW sequels, including the best of the bunch, (SAW VI). THE NEIGHBOUR doesn’t have that movie’s clever edge of biting satire but it does give us a slick, well-paced, extremely violent thriller that gets more extreme as the movie goes on. The entire third act gives us the kind of ‘trapped in the house’ antics that will have you on the edge of your seat if you like this kind of Southern Gothic melodrama.
The downside of THE NEIGHBOUR, and movies like it, is that it can often be quite difficult to feel sympathy for any of the characters because they have all been shown up to be such reprehensible low-lives, living off the misery of others and in turn having to answer to either senior family members or bosses (sometimes both the same) who abuse them even more cruelly. That said, THE NEIGHBOUR is a good movie of its type. Dunstan directs with a style that matures with every film he makes, and the editing is briskly efficient, meaning that once the fireworks start you’ll be sticking with this one until the end.
Arrow’s DVD gives you the film and scene selections from the menu, but there are no extras at all. Boo.
Marcus Dunstan's THE NEIGHBOUR is out on DVD from Arrow Films on Monday 31st October 2016