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Everybody needs good neighbours, according to the long-running soap's theme-tune, but rarely does big screen entertainment offer up a good neighbour. Generally, in movies, the person living next door is not going to severly impact upon your property's value but possibly your nerves, sanity and even your life expectancy too. From vampires (Fright Night) to neighbours unseen (The 'Burbs) to frat parties fraying a thirty-something couple's cheerful resolve (Bad Neighbours and its sequel) it's fair to say that on the big screen those residing next door are bad, bad news!
In Cutter, Mississippi people tend to keep to themselves. This suits army veteran John (Josh Stewart) and his missus Rosie (Alex Essoe), who live on a ranch, as they dabble in a rather shady trade that helps fund their planned escape to Mexico, where they plan to live out the rest of their lives together. On the day the twosome plan to leave Rosie goes missing. John suspects that his mysterious neighbour Troy (Bill Engvall) might have something to do with Rosie's disappearance. John toddles over to the abode next door for a snoop around only to find out that Troy is up to horrible things in his basement.
Star Josh Stewart proves to be just as nimble on his feet when it comes to ducking and diving behind walls and doors as he was in the same director's The Collector and The Collection. Stewart anchors The Neighbour turning in a solid, sensible lead character that you route for. Initially I feared that The Neighbour would be more of the same trapped-in-the-house shenanigans that the two Collector movies offered. To a degree The Neighbour is similar but it's also surprising with the other steps it choices to take.
The films opens with a dream, our hunky lead Thomas Kaiser (Ethan Peck), tossing and turning as he dreams of a dark-haired beauty, who's sleeping, funnily enough. Thomas is an artist, single and not one for mingling with other people, preferring his own company, aside from a friend who pops his shopping in from time to time. Thomas has recurring dreams about the sleeping girl, Briar Rose (India Eisley), where each time he fails to awaken her from her slumber with a kiss.
Thomas receives a phone call advising him that he has inherited an ancestral mansion, Kaiser Gardens, from an uncle he hardly knew. Being a horror film the property is not without its problems, it just happens to come complete with a mysterious curse. Before committing suicide Uncle Clive took time to write Thomas a letter advising him to never, ever venture into the lower levels of the building (you just KNOW that Thomas will not heed the advice).
In accepting the property Thomas has become a guardian appointed to keep the evil demons in the house at bay. Rather than just accept things for the way they are Thomas enlists assistance in attempting to unravel the mysteries his new acquisition holds. If that wasn't enough for our hunky artist he also has the outstanding issue of awakening the sleeping beauty of his dreams.
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