Lakeview Terrace

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Lakeview Terrace
Neil LaBute’s sheer perversity is almost admirable. Many careers would simply have folded after a catastrophe like his ‘remake’ of ‘The Wicker Man’, but he’s back again as director-for-hire on… get this… a home-invasion paranoid thriller  which whisks us back to the early ’90s yuppies-in-peril scenarios. There is a twist, of course, since the nice couple (Patrick Wilson, Kerry Washington) moving into a new house are of mixed race, which sure does push the buttons of their neighbour, hard-ass LA cop Samuel L Jackson, who’s clearly no fan of integration – not least when it involves rumpy-pumpy in the backyard pool visible from his kids’ bedrooms.

Bristling umbrage morphs into intimidation and worse, leaving the victims no recourse to the LAPD, while bush fires close in on the suburb where the Rodney King incident unfolded. Understated symbolism or what? Actually, there are hints of a much better movie, since all is not rainbow-nation fulfilment in the couple’s household. Wilson oozes smug WASP-graduate entitlement and the whole set-up gets us questioning our attitudes since one can’t help pondering the effect of making the bullying neighbour white instead. It’s just that Jackson is stuck in a groove of mouthy self-righteousness which makes the character a cartoon long before the script lumbers towards its formulaic showdown. Still, the yawning chasm between the film’s aspirations to social significance and its cheese-o-licious straight-to-video construction make it a chucklesome guilty pleasure.

By: Trevor Johnston


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday December 5 2008
Duration: 110 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Neil LaBute
Screenwriter: David Loughery, Howard Korder
Cast: Patrick Wilson
Kerry Washington
Samuel L Jackson
Ron Glass
Justin Chambers
Jay Hernandez
Regine Nehy
Jaishon Fisher

Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
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1 person listening

A excellent thriller about "reverse racism" and the neighbour from hell. Well worth watching, 8 out of 10.

I thought this film was appauling. I have never wrote review in my life...and here i am making a special exception to the norm only to tell folk not to see this. This could have been done so much better, the concept and ideas were top.. It just wasn't followed through. I think this films emptyness is the fault of writers, directors...etc.

I agree with much of what usman khawaja says. The race theme is intriguing and the Jackson and Wilson characters are among the most memorable of this year`s cinema.