If you can't trust squeaky-clean boy-next-door Jay Baruchel, who can you trust? Canada's favorite export stars as an overly friendly new neighbor in a Montreal 'hood that's being terrorized by a serial killer in 'Good Neighbors.' The eponymous neighbors, played by Scott Speedman ('Barney's Version') and Emily Hampshire ('The Trotsky'), are a little on edge and aren't sure quite what to make of their peppy new neighbor.
Likewise, Baruchel's character Victor doesn't fully trust the slightly creepy Spencer (Speedman), who may or may not be confined to a wheelchair, and suspects that Louise (Hampshire) may have some secrets of her own. So yeah, this serial killer really isn't doing much for promoting a sense of community and 'love thy neighbor' vibes.
Creepy neighbors are a classic movie staple. (And TV, too. Remember Wilson from 'Home Improvement'? Why wouldn't that guy ever show his face? What's he hiding?) Sometimes the creepy movie neighbors turn out to be kind of heroic a-holes, like Clint Eastwood in 'Gran Torino.'
But more often than not the creepy neighbor turns out to be bad news. Like Col. Frank Fitts (Chris Cooper) in 'American Beauty.' What was that guy's deal? And the Langs (Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack) in 'Arlington Road.' Not only were they bad news, but they also made Jeff Bridges look crazy when he was right about them all along! Jerks.
The list of memorable bad movie neighbors is long, but I've managed to narrow it down to my own top five favorites. These people aren't just wacky and annoying, Kramer-style. These bad neighbors are eeeeeevil! Eeeevil!
SPOILER ALERT: Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending of any of these flicks.
1. Roman and Minnie Castevet (Sidney Blackmer and Ruth Gordon) in 'Rosemary's Baby.' It doesn't get much worse than the Castevets. They're not only meddlesome, intrusive and incredibly annoying, but also deranged Satan-worshippers who drug Rosemary and impregnate her with Satan's spawn! And they even managed to get her husband on board for the whole thing. WTF!
2. Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr) in 'Rear Window.' Sure, Jeff (Jimmy Stewart) was being kind of creepy himself by spying on Thorwald. But Thorwald totally deserved it! That guy was out of control -- killing his wife and snapping the neck of a poor defenseless neighborhood dog. Who does that? What a psycho.
3. Abel Turner (Samuel L. Jackson) in 'Lakeview Terrace.' Somebody doesn't like interracial couples! Racist cop Abel starts off somewhat hostile and annoying, with little passive-aggressive snipes here and there. But then he reveals himself as a full-blown psycho, terrorizing neighbors Chris and Lisa (Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington). Since he's a veteran cop, there's not much they can do about him ... until it's almost too late!
4. Charlie Meadows (John Goodman) in 'Barton Fink.' Just when lonely writer Barton (John Turturro) starts warming to his boisterous neighbor Charlie, Barton's mistress is murdered right in his own bed! Charlie is suspiciously good at getting rid of the body, not to mention surprisingly eager. Hmm. Just Barton's luck, huh? His only friend in town turns out to be a psychotic serial killer.
5. Creedence Lenore Gielgud (Deborah Reed) in 'Troll 2.' Sure, Creedence gives off some major witch vibes at first, but she does offer the hungry teenager food, so how bad could she be? Unfortunately for the hungry teenager, Creedence turns out to be a cannibalistic vegetarian goblin queen who's plying him with magical green paste that will turn him into a plant so she can eat him. The rest of the residents of Nilbog are equally bad neighbors, trying to force weird green paste on tourists to make them nice and tasty. Bad for tourism, guys. Who's gonna want to visit Nilbog now?
'Good Neighbors' opens in Canada on June 3 and in the US in July.