Destroy All Neighbours Banner

Destroy All Neighbors (2024) Review

Revolving around two things many of us know all too well, neighbours from hell and writer’s block, Destroy All Neighbors is an over the top exercise in splatstick from director Josh Forbes (Contracted: Phase II, The Submissive) and writers Mike Benner (Bob’s Burgers, Danger Mouse), Jared Logan (The Late Late Show with James Corden, The 59th Annual Grammy Awards) and Charles A. Pieper (Beyond the Dark, Malacostraca).

William Brown (Jonah Ray, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Christmas Bloody Christmas) makes his living as a sound engineer at Industrial Sound & Magic, helping to bring other people’s music to life. Currently, it’s the obnoxious Caleb Bang Jansen (Ryan Kattner, Woe, So It Goes), “Emerson, Lake and Palmer? It sounds like Emerson getting buttfucked by Lake and Palmer.”

Destroy All Neighbors 1

But when it comes to his own Prog Rock album, he’s stuck in a rut. While his girlfriend Emily (Kiran Deol, Murder in the Dark, Sunnyside) believes in him, everyone else around him seems to exist only to stifle his efforts. From the building manager Eleanor (Randee Heller, The Karate Kid, Mad Men) to, and most especially, his new neighbour Vlad (Alex Winter, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Freaked) it’s a constant stream of aggravations that he’s too meek to object to.

For its first half hour, Destroy All Neighbors is an all too typical loser comedy as pretty much everything and everyone shits on William. Comedy being a very subjective thing, you may find this funny. I didn’t, and it was really starting to wear thin on me when, after losing his job, William snaps and confronts his neighbour, leading to Vlad’s accidental impalement on some homemade weight equipment and subsequent beheading.

It’s at this point that Destroy All Neighbors picks up as our hero’s attempts to cover his tracks, leads to an ever-growing number of accidental deaths and bodies that refuse to stay that way. It also brings on the inspiration he’s been lacking, and his album speeds toward completion. Will he finish his magnum opus before the cops catch up to him, or runs out of people to kill?

Destroy All Neighbors 2

While  Forbes doesn’t have a lot of experience with horror, he directed Contracted: Phase II and has a producer’s credit on the underrated Decay, he has directed plenty of music videos. And it frequently shows in Destroy All Neighbors’ visual style, especially a strobe lit scene of William partying with a couple of his victims and an epic studio jam session that turns into a Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare style showdown.

Aided by some great effects from Gabe Bartalos (Saint Bernard, Shaky Shivers) highlighted by Vlad’s extremely talkative severed head, and cinematographer Will Stone (One Day as a Lion, Candy Land) Forbes delivers some inventively trippy, and humorous, visuals. And he does it while walking a fine line between presenting what we see being real and it all being the delusion of a mass murderer.

Destroy All Neighbors 3

This kind of humour is notoriously hard to pull off, but Destroy All Neighbors manages to make it work once it gets past its opening act. The main cast throws themselves into the absurdity of it all, and get help from Jon Daly (A Futile and Stupid Gesture, King Tweety) who appears in several YouTube videos as bassist ‘Swig’ Anderson dispensing advice on everything from looking like a rock star to disposing of bodies. Also watch for Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!, Organ Trail) and Kumail Nanjiani (Migration, Portlandia) in cameos as another musician and a security guard respectively. And for Alex Winter in a small second role where he isn’t covered in prosthetics.

As I said, the first half hour is a bit of a slog, but if you stay with it, Destroy All Neighbors will reward you with a bloody, funny, and bloody funny film that might best be described as Studio 666 by way of Psycho Goreman and Deathgasm.

Destroy All Neighbors will debut on Shudder on January 12th. It will also get a limited theatrical release, and you can see a list of theatres on the film’s website. You can also get some suggestions for further viewing at FilmTagger.

YouTube video
Where to watch Destroy All Neighbors
Our Score
Scroll to Top