DESTROY ALL NEIGHBORS Review: A Breezy, Goofy And Goopy Horror Comedy

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DESTROY ALL NEIGHBORS Review: A Breezy, Goofy And Goopy Horror Comedy
William works a tedious job as a music engineer but his real passion is prog-rock. His girlfriend Emily supports Will as much as she can while he struggles to put the finishing touches on his magnum opus. Their surroundings do not lend themselves to making a creative environment. The apartment building is not in the best shape. Phil across the hall has a pet pig that roams the halls freely. Eleanor is the building manager but she often asks Will to help her with the menial tasks whenever she sees him in the hallway. 
After their other neighbor, Scotty, moves out after selling a screenplay (California, am I right?) their new neighbor, Vlad, moves in shortly after, possibly by using a dump truck. The relatively serene and surreal, if not dilapidated, accommodations are now disrupted by screams, banging and endless EDM from the apartment down the hall. At his wits end, Will finally confronts Vlad but accidentally kills him, setting off a comedy of horrific errors. 
Destroy All Neighbors is a new horror comedy from music video director Josh Forbes. He directs a screenplay written by Mike Benner (Bob’s Burgers), Jared Logan (The Late Late Show with James Corden) and Charles A. Pieper. The film’s leads Jonah Ray Rodrigues and Alex Winter are also on board as producers, along with Russell Sanzgiri. Destroy All Neighbors premieres on Shudder this Friday, January 12th. 
Before we dive into our review we have to say, do you know how hard it is to write the word ‘neighbor’, the savage American way, as many times as we have had to? Our spell check hates us now. Hates us. 
For horror fans if the draw to Destroy All Neighbors is not its leads, Ray Rodriques and Winter, both who have achieved their own ranks of cult status from projects in the past, it should be the allure of practical horror effects that make up the bulk of effects work in this movie. There are all manner of prosthetics and puppetry that will delight horror traditionalists. Blood sprays freely, other gastric fluids are regurgitated 
The killer effects carry over into the makeup department as well. Alex Winter is wholly unrecognizable as Vlad, wearing a full-on prosthetic suit, touting a rich, Eastern European accent. He does make a ‘normal’ appearance later as Will’s court-assigned lawyer for those needing a visual reminder of who he is. There is little by way of digital effects throughout the story. The bulk of those come in the finale when more cosmic elements are needed to cap off the tale.
The visual effects are pretty cut and dry. Well, not dry literally. Quite goopy in fact. What’s subjective is the comedy. If Destroy All Neighbors were solely a comedy we might say that it did not deliver in that regard. We are not saying that the horror elements save it. Just because some jokes do not land or elicit belly laughs does not mean that the movie is not funny. There was stuff in there that made us laugh. Kumail Nanjiani also has a funny cameo as a security guard at a smelting plant. There are laughs to be had, just, mileage varies. 
Destroy All Neighbors kind of reminds us of pre-century goofball comedies, ones that Mr. Winter themselves had a hand in creating back in the day. It is a movie that is meant to be fun and entertaining, And you get that. A breezy, goofy and goopy horror comedy, a horror comedy of errors as the bodies unintentionally start to mount up.
There is a message tucked in there about Will accepting responsibility for himself and to stop blaming everything and everyone around him. The terrible apartment and wild neighbors are not the reason that he could not finish his album before now. Or, it takes a village to write and record a prog-rock album. We don't know, it was kind of both in the end there. 
But the overall point of Destroy All Neighbors is to have fun, and with that it should work for most folks out there. 

Destroy All Neighbors

  • Josh Forbes
  • Mike Benner
  • Jared Logan
  • Charles A. Pieper
  • Thomas Lennon
  • Alex Winter
  • Randee Heller
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Josh ForbesMike BennerJared LoganCharles A. PieperThomas LennonAlex WinterRandee HellerComedyHorror

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