Movie Review – Naboer (Next Door) (2005)

A dark Norwegian horror-thriller from deep down Roman Polanski territory…

Protagonist John’s girlfriend Ingrid comes back to his apartment to pick up her things while her new boyfriend waits in the car outside… we realize they once used to live together and things did not go too well and she left… he is still not too comfortable with her gone and still thinks he had been okay towards her, or at least, he has “never hurt her”…

Then he meets this mysterious woman in the elevator which turns out to be the neighbor that he did not know he had.

She lures him into her apartment to help her move a dresser behind the entrance door. Then one thing leads to another and we are introduced to another sexy girl – her sister, or is she? They won’t let John go back to his apartment that easily. After a couple of glasses of wine, John finds himself trapped inside the neighbor’s apartment. They won’t let him go until he has violent sex with the young girl.

A few days later he returns to the girl’s apartment, against his best judgement. Yet in his second visit things start to change. These neighbors seem to know quite a bit about him and Ingrid and what he did to Ingrid… anger seems to be an issue… he is constantly confronted with his anger towards Ingrid and the young girl… and then now there is also a man in the apartment who also confronts John head on… John must face his past and the truth while he tries to find his way along the claustrophobic and never ending corridors of his neighbor’s apartment.

Towards the end we know and accept that the apartment stands as a metaphor for his own mind. Through arresting images, John is at the end forced to face the terrible truth about his own life and we see the real story hiding behind the surface construct.

A skillful exploration of a guilty conscience, violence, and the way we all justify things and reconstruct reality to our own liking until confronted with the truth.

Not recommended for those with a weak heart and stomach. But this dark, daring and honest film is worth a look. Warning: Many R- and perhaps X-rated scenes. Nudity, violence, and the rest.

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