R | 2016 | Marcus Dunstan | 87 mins | USA
The Neighbor (2016) was one of those films that started out well and then got better. It started out appearing to be one kind of story, and then it became another—a much more human story. At every turn, writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton reveal that characters who appear unredeemable, the sadistic stock characters of exploitation horror, are just powerless individuals, caught in a web of hopelessness, trying to survive.
The Neighbor is Marcus Dunstan’s third film as director, following on the heels of The Collector (2009) and The Collection (2012), both also written by Dunstan and Melton. These two earlier films can’t help but shape expectations for The Neighbor, as does the trailer and all the brief synopses of the film. As the summary on IMDb tells us: “the film follows a man who discovers the dark truth about his neighbor and the secrets he may be keeping in the basement.” So you could be forgiven for thinking The Neighbor is another Collector, another entry in the by-now rather tired “torture-porn” subgenre. It isn’t. It’s much more interesting than that. Read more