Neil LaBute’s unnerving thriller Lakeview Terrace fits squarely within the genre dubbed “suburban psycho-neighbour noir” (remember Pacific Heights?). This time the nut next door is Samuel L Jackson’s Abel Turner, an LAPD officer and self-appointed neighbourhood watchman whose niggling harassment of the interracial couple (Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington) who have moved in to his quiet Los Angeles cul-de-sac spills over into something much more dangerous…
Trust arch provocateur LaBute to give a twist to the familiar set-up of the racist who makes life hell for his neighbours – this time the bigot next door is black. Jackson brings all his customary menace to his role, so it’s a shame that LaBute finally succumbs to convention with a blazing shoot-out for a finale.
Incidentally, LaBute’s no less unsettling debut movie, In the Company of Men, is showing on TV today.
Released 30th March
To activate the sound in the trailer: hold your cursor over the screen to reveal the control panel and click on the volume control in the bottom right-hand corner.