Director D.J. Caruso has a way of shocking one at the start which leads Kale more than grief-stricken over the loss of his father.
In Spanish class Kale goes ballistic on the teacher and is remanded under house arrest. His confinement entails an anklet that authorities will know when he leaves his yard. Kale turns to checking out people living on his block, including the photogenic swimmer Ashley (Sarah Roemer), as humor derives from the punished lad's fantasy.
Kale's friend Ronnie, an amusing Aaron Yoo, and Ashley, too, become members of Kale's stakeout team. The suspense slowly begins to mount as they focus on an introverted neighbor, Turner (David Morse), who they suspect might be a serial killer on the loose.
Morse smoothly dishes up a character with insinuations of an unhealthy yearning, even if his pleasures may disguise a more soft-spoken individual. And, Carrie-Anne Moss is effective as Julie, Kale's troubled mom, though there are long periods when she is absent from the proceedings.
The surveillance of the suggestively ominous Turner gives Disturbia an eerieness, even if the screenplay loses cohesiveness in the last act, disregarding how a lamp and camcorder come into play.
Still, there is good use of modern technology integrated into the action, of course, cell-phones that record images, before Kale's investigative instincts get the better of him. Maybe there isn't the fresh high anxiety of something like Red Eye, but there are some crafty furnishings that the great Alfred Hitchcock would take a liking to.