Saturday, July 23, 2011

Good Neighbours: Movie Review


So much set-up, so little purpose.

Horror movies are generally not good. Good comedies, although hard to write well, are easier to find. I normally wouldn’t recommend anybody attempt a horror comedy, but “Good Neighbours” is Jacob Tierney and Jay Baruchel’s follow-up to “The Trotsky” (2009) and I couldn’t pass up that potential. The result though is something that’s not scary and not very funny.2010

Directed by: Jacob Tierney

Screenplay by: Jacob Tierney

Starring: Jay Baruchel, Emily Hampshire and Scott Speedman

Cast members Jay Baruchel, Scott Speedman, Emily Hampshire in
GOOD NEIGHBOURS, an Alliance Films release.
“The Trotsky” mixed Russian political history with teen coming-of-age comedy and it was brilliant. “Good Neighbours” starts off with the Québec separation referendum in 1995, and frustratingly, they didn’t do anything with that. I guess it was just supposed to be another check mark for as many Canadian references that you can put in a film.

Victor (Jay Baruchel) is an elementary school teacher and new to Montreal; Louise (Emily Hampshire) is a waitress and lives with her cats; Spencer (Scott Speedman) is in a wheelchair and he’s handsome. “Tragically handsome,” as the gossiping ladies like to say. It’s a good role for Speedman who has struggled to get away from the “cute” role that “Felicity” pigeon-holed him into, so he might as well embrace his looks. Here, he’s supposed to smile at the camera and look cute and evil at the same time.

They all live in the same apartment building in a neighbourhood that is being terrorized by a serial killer and rapist. This is a comedy but it’s hard to figure out which parts to laugh at since rape and murder aren’t all that funny. More deaths occur and more reasons to kill other people become apparent. Our three heroes / nonsensical characters each become potential suspects and potential serial killers in the making.

We spent a long time being introduced to all of the characters which did provide for an interesting atmosphere but not an entertaining one. It didn’t lead to anywhere fruitful. The plot which then became painfully apparent involved lots of blood, sex and sex jokes. Exactly the types of things you would expect to find in an unintentionally-funny horror flick. But this is a horror which is supposed to be funny. It was kind of funny but too stupid to be scary and too stupid to be enjoyable enough.


The Trotsky (2009) - Brilliantly funny as Jay Baruchel thinks he is Leon Trotsky but stuck in a public high school.

Red State (2011) - This is the stuff that nightmare are made of.

Shaun of the Dead (2004) - British comedic take on the classic horror "Dawn of the Dead".