Movie Review: The Good Neighbor (2016)

Synopsis: As part of an experiment, a pair of high school students decide to make the cranky widower across the street believe his house is haunted while secretly recording his every reaction. Not only does he not react with terror, as they expected him to, they observe him behaving suspiciously. This includes him spending hours in the basement he keeps padlocked.

Who's in it? The movie stars James Caan, Logan Miller, Keir Gilchrist, Anne Dudek and Edwin Hodge.

Review: My wife and I had some time to watch a movie together last night and, since I couldn't find anything on our movie channels, I ended up selecting this one off of my Netflix list. I came across this film a couple weeks ago and, even though I wasn't sure of the description, I decided to give it a try because I saw it starred James Caan. As it turns out, it was actually a halfway decent film.

The movie is classified as a thriller. However, I don't think that classification is accurate. It is, however, a halfway decent mystery. There's obviously something more to James Caan's character. He chooses to be a recluse, he behaves erratically (including destroying a screen door with an ax) and spends hours in his basement. And, his suspicious behavior is what keeps the movie from becoming predictable.

The character, Ethan (Miller), was also intriguing. I liked how his experiment wound up backfiring and, as Caan's character continued to act strange, he started to become obsessed to the point he was about to snap. I wasn't sure how far he was willing to take things, especially when the movie revealed his real motivation for his "experiment."

My only real complaint about this movie is I wasn't a fan of the courtroom scenes that were used as filler. This is because those scenes, at times, spoiled the surprise by revealing details that hinted at how their experiment was going to end. In addition, the ending just wasn't as good as I thought it could have been, largely because of that courtroom.

Final Opinion: The ending is a bit of a letdown and there are a few too many spoilers. However, overall, I think the movie was still an entertaining choice and is a film I would recommend.

My Grade: B


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