Starring: Kristoffer Joner, Cecilie A. Mosli, Julia Schacht, Anna Bache-Wiig,
Michael Nyqvist, Øystein Martinsen

Directed by: Pål Sletaune

Story: John has just been left by his girlfriend Ingrid. That day he allows
himself to be seduced into a mystical and scary world, where it is impossible to
separate truth from the lies



Review:

I received this movie months ago. I can't even remember the first time I
watched it. Apparently I let the DVD sit on my desk for weeks because I found
it to be a hard movie to review. After my first viewing I just didn't know what to
say. So I recently went back and re-watched the entire thing. I even took some
notes in the process. I've finally taken the time to write up a review for Next
Door, a provocative thriller from Norway. It appears that many film makers
today try to follow in the foot steps of Alfred Hitchcock. I mean who wouldn't?
The man was a genius. Film maker Pål Sletaune put most of his inspirations into
this movie. Next Door is the first Norwegian made film to get an 18 rating in 17
years in Norway. That would be due to the graphic content.

Next Door is a psychological thriller about a man who isn't all the way there. We
follow a man named John who is suffering from heartbreak. He has recently
been dumped by his girlfriend, Ingrid. While coming home one day, John is
asked by one of his neighbors to do a favor. Anne needs something moved in
her apartment, so asks John to move the furniture for her since it's very heavy.
Anne later reveals to John that she needs the furniture moved to prevent a
man from hurting her sister Kim. John is seduced by his beautiful neighbors
and is taken to a mystical and frightful world where he isn't able to tell reality
from fantasy. His cloudy judgement soon gets the better of him as he starts to
remember bits of his past, which would later reveal the horrible truth.

The problem with Next Door is that it follows the typical David Lynch formula.
We follow a main character who is unsure of himself. He's going through a wide
range of emotions after having the love of his life leave him. The man is
emotionally scarred, and at times unstable. He becomes lost to the point where
you're unsure if the events happening in film are real. As a viewer you're left
questioning what's real and what's not. If you know any better, you would
guess that the main character is just imagining things right? Well there's your
problem. Next Door is predictable, not so much with the scenes but with the
ending. You'll see it coming from a mile away. To add more spice to the picture,
our main character encounters some mysterious next door neighbors. One of
the girls is in fear of a man while the other is doing what she can to protect her
sister.

Even so that she has to ask John for help. The longer John spends with these
ladies, the more he starts to remember things. For a thriller, the movie features
another one of those mind bending twists. As if the movie wasn't bizarre
enough, they had to throw in some scenes that didn't make any sense. Then
the twist happens, and it all makes so much sense. Here's another problem;
The twist in Next Door is so familiar that it's bound to be the ideal conclusion
to any other new thriller. As a matter of a fact, I saw a movie the other night
that had almost the same exact ending. The movie follows many of the key
ingredients that we're so used to seeing here in the United States. I'm sure
things are different in Norway, but we as Americans have seen this type of
ending one too many times. What it lacks in originality it makes up for in depth
and heart.

Next Door features some of the best acting I've seen on film. Actor Kristoffer
Joner is a tremendous actor who plays the lead role very well. His presence
alone was spectacular. The film also made good use of camera angles. Shot by
shot the movie was incredibly well done. It's easily one of the best looking
thrillers out there. The musical score was great as well. It's dark and edgy and
it really sets the mood. Speaking of music, it was brought to my attention that
director Pål Sletaune was greatly inspired by Alfred Hitchcock. Even so that he
had the 'Psycho' soundtrack playing on set. The bonus features give you a very
clear idea of what the director was trying to accomplish. If you're looking to see
something new, then look somewhere else. Next Door isn't original and the
ending is easy to guess, but it's a well written film that I still recommend
watching.


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Overall: 7/10
Genres: Horror, Mystery,
Thriller

Rated: Not Rated

Country: Norway

Year: 2005

Runtime: 75 minutes

Studio: TLA Releasing

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Review done by: Nightmare Child
Online since: February 20th, 2006
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