NEIGHBOR

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
SEPTEMBER 9, 2010

To begin this review, I start with a story. The names are left out not to 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 had the “look” and was extremely popular when picking 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 not a make-or-break situation, just simply an eyesore and caused that much more to have to look past 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. I had never witnessed this nervous tick in any form of media (films or television) before or 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 entirely 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. There’s no back-story regarding the girl (America Olivo) and her sadistic nature or why no one notices that half the population has gone missing in such a small town. 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 to the gorgeous America Olivo, who 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 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 upon anyone and genuinely hope you find success elsewhere.

RELEASE DATE
July 28, 2009

DIRECTOR
Robert A. Masciantonio

WRITTEN BY
Robert A. Masciantonio

STUDIO
Aspect Film

R
(for strong sadistic torture violence and language)

HORROR
THRILLER
90 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Jeff Schirmer

COMPOSER
Kurt Oldman

EDITOR
R. Emmett Sibley

CAST
America Olivo
Christian Campbell
Joseph Aniska
Pete Postiglione
Lauren Rooney
Mink Stole
Sarah McCarron

PRODUCED BY
Charles Smith

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