We start at the bottom and work our way up.

Don't rent this movie.
Don't stream it online.
Don't watch it on cable tv.
Don't let this movie into your house.
Don't even pick up the box.
The cover art is the best thing about it.

Neighbor” (2009)
written & directed by Robert A. Masciantonio
starring America Olivo and Christian Campbell

How Is It?
This is one of the ten worst films I have ever had the misfortune to watch in my life, and I've seen well over three thousand motion pictures. It really is that bad... and then some.

The Players
America Olivo as the unnamed “Neighbor” is the relative bright spot in this straight-to-DVD black hole. She's the only one who looks like a) she's having any fun at all and b) she's the only one who really knows what she's doing. That's offset by the character being wholly one-dimensional and only sporadically interesting, despite her efforts.

Christian Campbell plays the almost likeable but wholly unsympathetic nebbish, Don. Don's there because, well, the killer had to get into the house somehow and somebody had to be the eyes and ears of the audience within the story. Campbell does his best to play Don the Plot Device. I do believe Campbell could've carried more as an actor, but Don wasn't so much a character but a Method of Villain Delivery.

Pretty much everyone else in the movie comes across a either unsure/tentative or simply there because they got to be in a movie someone was making in the neighborhood. Those actors who looked as if they may have had a handle on things weren't in the film longer than a blink.

Behind the Camera
The writing is just awful. There's the merest skeleton of a plot almost there, but when it gets going, which it only does in fits and starts, it doesn't even do a mediocre job being generic. The characters have no depth and are completely unsympathetic and uninteresting. If it hadn't been for the technical work I know had to be done behind the scenes, I'd have thought they made up most of the dialogue as they went along. Knowing it was structured, scripted, and then shot by the same man makes it all the more depressing and irritating. It's sophomoric in every respect, and it's pretty boring on top of that.  This film is an example of how not to structure a film and write a screenplay. It's just dreadful. On the other hand...

The camera, lighting, sound, and so forth is close to average for a low budget film. There are some shots and scenes that are “off”, but I figure that's due to limitations of location space and not any technical deficiency on the part of the director. The scenes in the basement are the best directed, lit, miked, and all, because it's in a studio. (And it's a pretty decent studio, too.)

The Verdict
I'm all about “a good story, well told”. This film was neither... and with a vengeance. The story is garden variety slasher-in-the-house, and the big twist is the super-sadistic psycho killer is a fiendishly sexy, bizarre woman. The movie itself is more than a bit dull and boring, punctuated here and there with nonchalant murders and a decent attempt or two at torture porn. 

Avoid "Neighbor" at all costs.

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