FilmHorror Movies

Film Review: Destroy All Neighbours

SHUDDER kicks off 2024 with comedy-horror DESTROY ALL NEIGHBOURS: one man’s blood splattered and viscera filled journey to realising he’s been kind of an asshole lately. This Shudder Original, directed by Josh Forbes, is goofy, but at times it’s kind of genius. It premieres on January 12.

William Brown (Jonah Ray Rodrigues of Mystery Science Theatre 3000) is a down and out sound technician who is so close to finishing his magnum opus Prog Rock album. But his obsession is ruining his relationship with his girlfriend (Kiran Deol) and causing friction with his neighbours. When William gets on the wrong side of new neighbour Vlad (Alex Winter, heavily and hilariously decked out in full body prosthetics), a passive-aggressive confrontation ends in decapitation—sending William on a homicidal downward spiral resulting in multiple casualties.

As someone completely unmusical, I wondered if I would be the intended audience for this film. But when William tells his landlady (Randee Heller) that she’s probably not the intended audience for his prog rock masterpiece, all I could say was, touche DESTROY ALL NEIGHBOURS, and I see what you did there. Luckily, you don’t have to know what Prog Rock is to enjoy the ride. The film has a wry self-awareness that most of the time lands perfectly, and the script has an entertaining knack for characters to voice what the audience is thinking.

Intentionally floating just above ‘so bad it’s good’, the film’s self-awareness may also be some of its downfall. DESTROY ALL NEIGHBOURS seems to be trying to manufacture instant cult status. I’m not sure if it will succeed, but it sure as hell is doing its best. The film relies heavily on the names in its cast- which also includes Jon Daly, Kumal Nanjiani, and Thomas Lennon, and depending on whether they are already on a viewer’s radar, DESTROY ALL NEIGHBOURS will be a glorious piece of pop culture to some, and a zany popcorn flick to others.

The comedy in comedy-horror films can be hard to pull off. DESTROY ALL NEIGHBOURS demonstrates how fickle the sub-genre can be, but it is a worthy addition. It is a funny film that looks as though making it must have been a ball. And if the film’s meta jabs don’t entertain you, Jonah Ray Rodrigues flawlessly having arguments with puppets and flying body parts, along with other equally absurd sequences, definitely will.

Alex Winter’s transformation into a powerlifting old Russian man will stand out as the film’s main attraction. His superb dedication to the bit ensures it isn’t just a gimmick. Winter’s hours in the make-up chair pay off, and his character- whether whole or dismembered- will be a memorable moment of this film year.

The filmmakers behind DESTROY ALL NEIGHBOURS know horror fans have a near obsessive penchant for practical effects, and they give us what we want. Spectacularly! DESTROY ALL NEIGHBOURS may not feature a complex plotline, but it manages to be both silly and witty and is an all-round splattering good time.

DESTROY ALL NEIGHBOURS premieres January 12th on Shudder

“DESTROY ALL NEIGHBOURS will be a glorious piece of pop culture to some, and a zany popcorn flick to others. 

3.5 tombstones out of 5…
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Erin Grant

Erin Grant

Erin has been writing about films for Fear Forever since 2017; to say she is passionate is an understatement. You can find her in Sydney, Australia, where she lives on a steady diet of horror movies whilst perpetually being in the middle of a film degree.
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