Next Door (Naboer) (2005) • Denmark • Norway

Next Door (Naboer) Movie PosterThis is right up there with 's Funny Games in the twisted creepy department. There's a surreal normalcy that pervades the proceedings even when they get completely bent. Something about the story, though, after it is fully revealed might leave you a little underwhelmed. You've seen it before and you'll see it again, but so what?

This film is anything but predictable as you're being dragged through it. I'll wager an episode of Dallas that it won't be until after the final denouement that you'll feel like you knew where things had any possibility of going. If the ending does disappoint it's because the entirety of everything that preceded it has you expecting more. Good films do that. Good films are like roller coasters: you can know where they start and where they end, and many of them are alike but that doesn't prevent you from jumping on and enjoying a ride. Naboer is a well put together film with greasy, seductive characters, a thoughtfully subtle soundtrack, and an eerie set. The girls' apartment, which grows throughout the film mirroring the expanding recesses of their mind fuck, is a character of its own.

By now, if you've heard of this film you've heard about the sex scene (I guess you'd call it a sex scene) where a man and woman bloody one another by sprinkling their lustful moves with punches to the face. If you haven't, now you have.

Part of the intrigue of watching "foreign" films comes from the fact that they usually employ foreign actors. Duh. The visual cues to their personality makeup are different. This guy, Kristoffer Joner who plays the seeming innocent, his face, his body language, they're confused yet curious dread personified. The girls, they're some kind of sleazy, sexy, creepy crawly mash-up teetering between repulsive and titillating. This might be a genre piece with a story arc you've seen before but I'll bet you've never seen it played like these players play it.


1 comment:

  1. Interesting review. Loved the line where you aptly stated that foreign films employ foreign actors ;)

    By the way, your review reminded me that i really must watch Funny Games.