2016 has seen a resurgence of gritty horror films, with Don’t Breathe and Green Room bringing in strong box office figures. In a similar vein The Neighbour, directed by Magnus Dunstan, plays on the idea that we never truly know our neighbours. John and Rosie, played by Josh Stewart and Alex Essoe respectively, play a couple living in Mississippi but desperately hoping to move away. Their creepy neighbour, played by Bill Engvall, raises suspicions from his demeanor and his actions around his farm.
The first interaction in the film between John and his neighbour Troy is unsettling, as they try to figure each other out. They socialise over a beer, but there is clear tension and unease between the two. When Rosie goes missing one night, John immediately suspects Troy and starts to investigate.
The film quickly builds tension as John investigates, and as the mysteries unravel the film starts to shift into gear. Engvall’s performance as Troy is genuinely unnerving and steals the show with his performance as the main antagonist. As the story starts to take a dark turn, it did start to lose its edge slightly, but the action scenes towards the end are well put together and the fight scenes are well organised. It has a very similar feel to Green Room, albiet on a much smaller budget.
The Neighbour seems to have only had a small release before being released on DVD on Halloween. It is a shame, as it stands up to some of the big hitters in the horror genre that have come out this year. It does start to descend into torture imagery and at times was difficult to watch. However, all things considered it is a good horror film that relies heavily on its imagery and the performances of the cast to hold the film together.
Dir: Marcus Dunstan
Scr: Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton
Cast: Josh Stewart, Luke Edwards, Alex Essoe, Bill Engvall
Prd: Brett Forbes, Patrick Rizzotti
Music: Charlie Clouser
Runtime: 87 minutes
The Neighbour is out on DVD now