The Alfred Hitchcock adaptation storming the Netflix charts
(Credit: Netflix)


The Alfred Hitchcock adaptation storming the Netflix charts

There aren’t many directors capable of completely captivating an audience with the simple use of a shadow, but the magnificence of Alfred Hitchcock has long been heralded as perhaps the most prestigious in cinema history. Now, in the modern era, an adaptation of one of his movies has found a resurgence on Netflix.

Originally released in 1954, Rear Window is considered one of the classics of Hitchcock’s oeuvre. A suspenseful thriller focused on a broken leg, a back window and the goings-on of James Stewart’s protagonist’s neighbours, the movie is rightly regarded as a pivotal moment in Hollywood dominance. It’s a story which has seen countless parodies and adaptations, one of which is now finding its way into the most-watched Netflix charts.

2007’s Disturbia has all the makings of a cult classic. Based on the Hitchcock movie, the film sees protagonists Kale Brecht, played by Shia LaBeouf, confined to his bedroom after being placed under house arrest for punching his Spanish teacher. Lonely, bored and despairing he takes his binoculars and begins spying on his neighbours.

Kale and his love interest Ashley have suspicions that their neighbour is the local serial killer and begin to employ dangerous methods in an attempt to catch him. As blood spills and the game of cat and mouse begins to unravel it is hard not to get excited by his neo-noir thriller. It’s one of the few Hitchcockian adaptations that manages to go toe-to-toe with the original.

The movie has now found a new audience 17 years after its release, becoming a resurgent global hit for Netflix. It was the third most-watched movie of the week with 7.7million individual views, making it one of the most popular films of the week. With 13.5million hours viewed it looks set to have a renaissance of sorts among a new generation.

Rear Window and Disturbia share a common premise of voyeurism and suspense but differ significantly in their execution and context. While the original is steeped in Hitchcock’s black-and-white suspense, the adaptation offers a little more glitz.

In contrast, Disturbia, directed by D.J. Caruso, updates this concept for a modern audience. It incorporates contemporary elements like technology and teen culture, adding a layer of modern-day relevance and accessibility. While Rear Window is celebrated for its tension-building and cinematic techniques, Disturbia provides a more action-oriented and teen-focused narrative, making it a thriller for the 21st century.

Watch Disturbia on Netflix now.