Awkward, geeky Victor (Jay Baruchel, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”) moves into a Montreal apartment builder and is eager to befriend the other young residents who aren’t nearly as ecstatic: the cat-crazy, Chinese restaurant employee Louise (Emily Hampshire, “Earthsea”) and the wheelchair-bound, smirking Spencer (Scott Speedman, “Barney’s Version“). Maybe they’re skittish because there’s a serial rapist/killer on the loose in the area, and their building happens to be too close within the radius for comfort.
The trailer gives away one big twist in the story, but even with that spoiled, a bigger one awaits far more cunning that elevates “Good Neighbors” above your standard thriller territory. Tierney’s full of surprises; one is Baruchel’s casting. Initially, it seems like the gawky actor is miscast; in actuality, he’s perfect for the role.
From start to finish and even through its end credits, “Good Neighbors” is a compelling story of bad things that happen to young people. There’s a shade of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” in it, but Tierney has structured it on a solid foundation built upon his own crafty ideas. He’s one to watch. —Rod Lott