Proof Review: Neighbor (2009)

Release Date
July 28, 2009
Director
Robert A. Masciantonio
Screenplay
Robert A. Masciantonio
Distributed By
Aspect Film
Horror, Thriller
Rated R for strong sadistic torture violence and language
90 minutes

Neighbor

To begin this review, I start with a story. The names have been left out as to not hurt any feelings. I apologize ahead of time if anyone finds this offensive:

I once knew a young lady who aspired to be an actress. She definitely had the physical look and was extremely popular when it came time to pick actresses for roles. However, as soon as you put a camera in front of her and she started “acting”, her eyes would get extremely squinty and twitchy. This nervous tick was obviously not a make or break situation, just simply an eyesore and caused that much more to have to look passed come editing time. I feared that when she reached the “real world” of acting, there would be no way the major leagues would look passed this tick. You may ask yourself what this story has to do with my review. Never had I witnessed this nervous tick in any form of media (films or televisions) prior nor since this one girl. That is until I viewed Neighbor.

Look at the cover of Neighbor and you will most likely agree this is a gorgeous woman that could easily carry a film no matter how horrendous. Within the first few minutes, you realize that statement is completely untrue. When the twist of the opening surfaces and the woman changes roles from the victim to the perpetrator, the nervous tick begins and, with lack of a good story or entertaining effects, this tick is all I focused on the entire film.

Neighbor is a glorified gore medley, trying viciously too hard to compare to the likes of Hostel and the Saw franchise. Without a comprehensible plot and lack of a single legitimate actor or actress, the film falls flat… and hard. No back-story is given regarding the girl (America Olivo) and her sadistic nature, or why, in such a small town, no one notices half the population being brutally murdered. The film acts as a dreamscape for amateurish filmmaker Robert A. Masciantonio to test his gore make-up and effects. The only thing the film ends up being good for are a few moments of “how did you do that without inflicting bodily harm to your actors”.

No offense is meant to America Olivo, who is absolutely gorgeous and has had cameos in films like Transformers-Revenge of the Fallen and Iron Man, in which I did not notice the tick, but starring as the lead in a film is truly not designed for her. In concluding this review, I want to send a message to the young woman from my story at the start: whether you learn to control your tick or not, there appears to be a place for such young actresses in Hollywood among America Olivo and the mediocrity that is Neighbor. However, I do not wish this that upon anyone and truly hope you find success elsewhere, perhaps in the field of modeling, where your looks can be admired while your nervous tick can lay dormant, never to surface again.

[Directed by Robert A. Masciantonio] [UR] [90 mins] [27 July 2010]

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