English Movies, Thriller

Lakeview Terrace directed by Neil LaBute

lakeview-terrace-poster Imagine the horror of moving into a new house and finding yourself next to a police officer, with huge personal demons, who hates you and will stop at nothing, not even murder, to drive you away. It will be terrifying, even if you are just watching it in a movie.

Especially when the police officer is Samuel L Jackson, who gives one of the best demonic performances of his life. When he looks with malice towards you, eyes glittering in anticipation of the coming ‘bad thing’ for you, it can sometimes get positively hair-raising. And you can actually feel the helplessness of the young couple caught on the wrong side…

As the movie progresses, we get to know eventually why Jackson is opposed to the mixed race couple staying next to him. This brings a reverse racism angle to the story, which makes it different maybe because we are so used to seeing the black man as victim of prejudice that we forget that the reverse also happens as easily, and with as much stereotyping.

The fanatical desire of Jackson to drive away the couple becomes more and more intensive and slowly more dangerous. All this happens in the background of a raging forest fire that begins to threaten their homes as the story progresses. A mock robbery goes terribly bad and Jackson begins a race against time to clear the evidence…but then, tlakeview-terrace-2hat is the best part of the story.

The climactic scene is pretty nail-biting and was realistically done.

Overall the acting is brilliant, Jackson especially. The young couple is  very believable in their initial helplessness in combating a man who has even the law on his side and in their eventual fight-back with their back against the wall. And the movie is built up well – the story goes from being mildly tingling to a raging nightmare in the space of an hour and a half…

A gripping watch…



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