SXSW Film 2016 Review: THE GOOD NEIGHBOR

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

My second favorite Midnighter film of the festival is a suspenseful and edgy thriller that would make Alfred Hitchcock proud.  Ethan (Logan Miller) and Sean (Keir Gilchrist) are two high school boys conducting a “social experiment.”  They attempt to convince their grouchy neighbor Harold Grainey (James Caan) that his house is haunted and set up cameras to capture the results.  As the experiment continues, the boys grow more and more suspicious about their unusual neighbor, believing him to be a volatile and dangerous man. 

Written by Mark Bianculli, Jeff Richard, and directed by Kasra Farahani, The Good Neighbor is an intelligently written and superbly directed thriller.  In an age of social media, cyber-bullying, and YouTube fame, this movie could not be any more relevant and timely.  The filmmakers take a Hitchcockian concept and give it a much more modern twist.  This is another Narrative Feature that is full of surprises and unexpected moments.  When all is said and done, audiences will be left in complete awe and hopefully a tad wiser.

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