The Good Neighbor (which is a reimagining of the 2011 German film of the same name) tells the story of David (Luke Kleintank), an American journalist who’s just arrived in Latvia. Set to make a fresh start after a recent break-up, David settles into his new home and soon after meets his new neighbor, Robert (Jonathan Rhys Meyers).
Soon the two are out for a night on the town, which ultimately results in a terrible accident. While driving home, they hit a woman on a bike. David is wracked with guilt while Robert convinces him to flee the scene.
Shortly after the tragic event, things are complicated when the victim’s sister, Vanessa (Eloise Smyth), shows up at David’s office seeking help in finding the killer. In the throes of guilt and remorse, David cannot turn away. He becomes further involved with Vanessa as Robert unravels and goes to greater lengths to cover up the crime.
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Psychological thrillers are some of the most frightening films to me, as humans have the potential to be the scariest villains. The Good Neighbor is an excellent thriller, as it takes the viewer on a suspenseful ride with very few lulls in the action.
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The characters are well-written and the actors give a solid performance. This makes the shocking story even more believable and contributes to the viewer experiencing the emotions alongside David. His guilt and remorse are palpable, while Robert’s lack of feeling presents him as a complex and threatening villain. Rhys-Meyers gives a performance that will leave one thinking twice about getting to know their neighbor.
Along with great acting, this film has perfect pacing and a nice snowball effect in regard to the suspense. There’s great atmosphere and the storyline is intriguing, leaving the viewer wanting more. The plot is predictable at times, but the strong cast and frequent action make up for any lack of surprise.
While the tragic events in the film may not be relatable to most viewers, I think nearly all of us have known villains with similarities to Robert in real life. Most of us could tell a story or two about encounters with those damaged humans who, in turn, hurt others. Robert is manipulative; he lies and gaslights David and will stop at nothing to preserve the relationship he believes the two of them have developed.
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This story makes the viewer think about how they would react in a similar situation, and it lingers in the mind after its ending. I highly recommend this film to those seeking suspense with substance.
The Good Neighbor (2022) is available in theaters and On Demand as of June 17.
Wicked Rating: 8/10