Destroy All Neighbors
Jan 10, 2024
Mike Benner, Jared Logan, Charles A. Pieper
Jonah Ray, Alex Winter, Thomas Lennon
A film for anyone who squeezes creative passions into the hours outside other responsibilities, refuses the label “hobby” and still never manages to complete anything, Destroy All Neighbors lives that nightmare.
William (Jonah Ray) has been working and reworking the final song on his prog-rock album for ages. Years. He’s so close, but then the loudest, most aggressively weird neighbor moves in next door. Vlad (Alex Winter, who also produces) may have charmed William’s longsuffering girlfriend (Kiran Deol), but he’s pushing William to the brink of insanity. Who can get anything done with all that noise?!
William is that nonconfrontational nice guy who’s always being taken advantage of. But Vlad has pushed him too far. Which is why it will be so difficult to convince anyone that Vlad accidentally killed and dismembered his own self. But he did! Really!
Destroy All Neighbors delivers silly, sloppy horror comedy with the highly relevant message: maybe this is all your own fault. Ray (MST3K) drives the lunacy with an earnest performance. You kind of already know this guy. Hell, he could be you.
And that’s the real charm of Destroy All Neighbors. Director Josh Forbes, working from a script by Mike Benner, Jared Logan and Charles A. Pieper, isn’t wagging a finger of judgment. The finger is gently pointed inward.
The writing team comes from animation and comedy rather than horror, which may be why the film is so gleefully gory, no meanness in it. Whenever William does find his inner badass, the film makes sure he immediately regrets it.
A cameo from Kumail Nanjiani and the supporting goofiness from Lennon and Ryan Kattner as rock and roll has been Caleb Bang Jansen (say the whole name!) keep the tone silly.
Destroy All Neighbors is not a great movie. It’s definitely not a great horror movie. But it’s a light, weird, gentle reminder that you may be all that’s holding you back. (And also, loud neighbors kind of suck.)