ABC Film Challenge – Horror – L – Lakeview Terrace (2008) Movie Review

Director: Neil LaBute

Writer: David Loughery, Howard Korder (Screenplay) David Loughery (Story)

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Patrick Wilson, Kerry Washington, Ron Glass, Justin Chambers, Jay Hernandez, Regine Nehy

Plot: Based on a true story, a troubled and racist African-American L.A.P.D. Officer will stop at nothing to force out a friendly interracial couple who just moved in next door to him.


Tagline – What could be safer than living next to a cop?

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow Burning Thriller

Story: Lakeview Terrace starts when couple Chris (Wilson) and Lisa (Washington) move into their new home, one of their neighbours is widowed cop Abel Turner (Jackson) isn’t keen on having a mixed-race couple next door to him, starting by teasing Chris.

When Abel continues to clash with Chris, the games start to become more targeted, with damage to property and with Abel using his power of being on the side of the law, it makes it very difficult to deal with the neighbour from hell.

Thoughts on Lakeview Terrace

Characters – Abel is a widowed father and police officer, he has very strict rules for his children to follow, which is pushing them away from him, when he see the mixed-race couple move in next door, he doesn’t like them in anyway and always finds a way to get back at time, if they do something that he doesn’t like. His action and position of power make him feel like he could get away with anything. Chris the husband in the couple, being white he attracts the attention of Abel who takes an instant dislike towards him, his temper doesn’t help as when he clashes with Abel, he doesn’t handle it in the best way and his constant seeking approval from his wife father only adds pressure to him. Lisa is the wife that spends a lot more of the time in the home, she wants to be a good neighbour and be open for the children next door, only for her desire to start her own family being stronger desire to future. Harold is the father of Lisa that has always looked down on Chris, and wanted more for his daughter.

PerformancesSamuel L Jackson is very unsettling through this film, we see just how demanding he wants to be through the film. Patrick Wilson is always strong in his roles in film, this is no different, while Kerry Washington holds her own in the mix, even if her character does seem to just be woman at home.

StoryThe story here does follow a couple that finds themselves living next door to the neighbour from hell, who wants to torment them because he doesn’t believe in mixed race couples. This does focus on the slow build of a neighbourly rivalry before it starts getting completely out of hand. It does show how people in a position of authority can abuse their power to make other people’s a living hell, which is what we see with everything that happens in this film, the couple are left feeling powerless when it comes to dealing with the neighbour. The pacing is slightly weaker because it does seem to show us how one minute they get on the next they hate each other, which just doesn’t add up to everything going on.

CrimeThe crime side of the film follows the actions of the law enforcement officer that does seem to just do what he wants believing the law with support him.

SettingsThe film keeps the settings in the neighbourhood, where we see just how the two must learn to get on even though they live next to each other and don’t like each other.


Scene of the Movie – Incoming fire.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Lisa does just seem to be female character or wife, while she makes a point about her job, but never seems to go to work.

Final Thoughts This is a simple thriller that does push the limits on how you would or could treat your neighbour.

Overall: Simple thriller.

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