The soundfield added a little spark to the proceedings, though it never really excelled. The car crash early in the flick offered its biggest impact; none of the later scenes seemed quite as dynamic.
Still, music showed good definition, and the various environmental bits presented nice movement and spatial delineation. The surrounds brought out decent reinforcement along with occasional instances of unique info like doorbells.
Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, with no edginess or other problems. Music was lively and dynamic, and effects worked the same way. They appeared clear and accurate, as distortion never interfered with the presentation. This wasn’t a particularly involving mix, but it was pretty good.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? Due to the lack of a lossless track, audio remained similar, though the addition of the DTS mix added variety.
Picture quality showed improvements, though, as the Blu-ray offered superior definition and color reproduction. While the DVD was good for its format, the Blu-ray seemed superior.
When we check out the disc’s extras, we open with an audio commentary from director DJ Caruso and actors Shia LaBeouf and Sarah Roemer. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific chat. They discuss cast and performances, sets and locations, stunts and action, music and other anecdotes from the shoot.
Expect a loose and lively chat here. For good or for bad, the tone remains playful. This means the track moves at a brisk pace, but it also comes with lots of adolescent humor and goofiness.
We also get interruptions when Caruso takes cell phone calls – shut it off for the commentary, dude! – and when the participants eat. Tangential info includes a disgusting story about why Roemer doesn’t eat meat off the bone. Anyway, despite some ups and downs, this usually amounts to a fairly interesting piece.
For another option while you watch the movie, we get a Serial Pursuit Trivia Pop-up/Quiz. This uses the subtitle track to tell us about cast and crew and the production as well as concepts seen in the movie like house arrest, video games, serial killers, and voyeurism. We also get “counters” that tell us how many skulls and red lights we see in the movie.
All of this is pretty inconsequential but fun. I’m not clear where the “quiz” part of the presentation comes in, as a few questions pop up as part of the track, but they don’t really make it a “quiz”.
Instead, it operates as a pretty standard text commentary. In that capacity, it gives us some nice notes and adds to our knowledge of the flick.
Four Deleted Scenes fill a total of four minutes, eight seconds. These include “Do You Wanna Talk?” (1:10), “I Forbid It” (0:43), “Operation Stupid” (0:48) and “You’re Breaking My Heart” (1:27).
Carrie-Anne Moss gets much of the extra time, as three of the clips expand her role as Kale’s mother. None of them really add anything, though, and they probably should have been cut. “Stupid” shows a little more of Kale and Ronnie, and it fails to bring anything useful to the table.
A featurette called The Making of Disturbia runs 14 minutes, 51 seconds and offers info from Caruso, LaBeouf, Roemer, producer Joe Medjuck, screenwriters Christopher Landon and Carl Ellsworth, production designer Tom Southwell, stunt coordinator Manny Perry, and actors David Morse, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Aaron Yoo. We learn a little about the film’s theme and script, Caruso’s work on the set, the cast, characters and performances, tone and visual design, and stunts.
“Making” does little to rise above the level of standard promotional featurette. Actually, it’s a bit better than the average puff piece, but I can't say it reveals much about the film or its creation. It progresses in a disjointed way that makes it awkward. Though we get enough useful material to make the show worth a look, it’s not a particularly memorable piece.
For the record, as you go through the commentary, the text trivia and the featurette, you will never once notice any mention of Rear Window. Is that because those behind Disturbia don’t think the two share that many similarities, or did the suits decree that no one would mention this flick’s obvious influence? That I don’t know, but it seems odd that no one would at least nod in Hitchcock’s direction.
A few minor components complete the disc. Outtakes run one minute, 26 seconds and offer some of the standard goofs and giggles. However, since it also includes a few improv lines from LaBeouf and Matt Craven, it’s a little better than most of these collections.
We find a music video for “Don’t Make Me Wait” by This World Fair. Much of the clip alternates between movie scenes and lip-synch bits, though we do get some shots of the girlie lead singer as he deals with a hot blonde. The song seems whiny, and the video isn’t much better.
In addition to the film’s trailer, a Photo Gallery includes 47 images. These present a mix of shots from the set and publicity stills. None of them come across as very interesting.
Disturbia offers an erratic but usually entertaining thriller in the Hitchcock vein. It sags at times – especially during the climax – but it compensates with enough charms to make it enjoyable. The Blu-ray offered very good picture with positive audio and a fairly nice selection of supplements. Disturbia becomes an engaging thriller.
To rate this film, visit the DVD review of DISTURBIA