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Disturbing Behavior (Widescreen/Full Screen)
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This paranoia-fueled thriller, more intelligent and imaginative than you would have reason to believe, owes a huge debt to The Stepford Wives with its premise of a goody-good high school clique programmed by an evil doctor to be wholesome, academically driven, and shining examples of clean living. Unlike its predecessor, though, David Nutter's film opts to open up its premise for everyone to see, diluting the scares but amplifying the creepy atmosphere. There's never any question of what's happening to the students of Cradle Bay High, who go from being druggies and sex fiends to the academically excellent Blue Ribbons, but it's a lot of fun to see these programmed teens run amok--and start killing people--when their hormones kick in. And considering they're all horny teenagers, this happens, oh, at least a few times a day. Model-perfect James Marsden, with stunning cheekbones and piercing blue eyes, is the new kid in town who stumbles on the plot with a little help from metalhead Nick Stahl. Moody Marsden stirs up trouble when he refuses to join up with the Blue Ribbons, prompting his concerned parents to consider signing him up for the program, especially after it turns Stahl into a vest-wearing, pep-rallying brainiac. The satire isn't entirely fulfilled (the evil kids hang out at the yogurt shop and spout inspirational platitudes), but once the action kicks in it's quite an enjoyable ride, thanks primarily to Bruce Greenwood (of The Sweet Hereafter) as the mad scientist behind it all and Katie Holmes (Go) as Marsden's love interest. Refusing the advances of the star football player and fighting gamely alongside Marsden, Holmes manages to deck a few bad guys with a fervor that squarely puts her in Linda Hamilton and Jamie Lee Curtis territory. With Steve Railsback as the colluding chief of police and Dan Zudovic as a janitor with a penchant for getting rid of "rats," rodent and otherwise. --Mark Englehart
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Top Customer Reviews
First of all, James Marsden is way too good-looking, charming, and old to play the outsider teen. He's extremely likeable and sincere, however, and was the only reason I kept watching to end, hoping this confusing mess would make sense. I guess it did have a plot, but it was so poorly written that it's pretty laughable. There was nothing in the story that seemed believeable. The teen and adult characters were all stereotypes, the Marsden and Holmes characters suddenly became brilliant detectives and foiled an evil plan to turn the student body into Stepford Teens, and zombies, it seems, are really dumb and apparently no one will notice if they all disappear.
For a so-called "thriller," this movie was not suspenseful at all, just silly and amateurish. (But James Marsden looks good.)
James Marsden who would go on to X-MEN, plays the handsome young student who is still suffering from the untimely death of his older brother. His family moves him to Cradle Bay, where a group of students called "The Blue Ribbons" epitomize the perfect teen---they hang out in a yogurt shoppe, for instance! But since they are merely under the mind control of dastardly Bruce Greenwood (always the bad guy it seems), they go out of control and eliminate anyone who stands in their way. Katie Holmes is around for the beauty aspect, but she is a good actress, too. Nick Stahl (Terminator 3) does well in his role as Gavin until he becomes one of the Blue ribbons and its downhill for his performance, too. William Sadler does great in his role as the seemingly ignorant janitor, and Tobias Mehler once again shows his potential in a rather thankless role.
Director David Nutter keeps things eerily spooky, but I wish these directors would stop using songs to bolster their box office. So many times the vocal background songs merely get in the way.
All in all, a tidy little thriller.
When the esteemed Blue Ribbon club of Cradle Bay High take their slogans too far, things in the small coastal town begin to go wrong. Dead wrong. Newcomer Steve Clark (James Marsden) finds fast friends in Gavin (Nick Stahl), who is an overly imaginative paranoid person and Rachel (Katie Holmes), a "bad girl" with a razor-sharp tongue and a body to match. But when some "dark sinister force" begins turning the school's curricularly challenged into the soulless, academic elite, these three outsiders join in a desperate race to avoid becoming insiders -- and losing their individuality forever.
Director David Nutter makes a valiant effort, although, I doubt anyone would able to make writer Scott Rosenberg's script make sense. What is clearly an allogory to the real life trials of high school, is complicated by contrived dialogue, and standard horror shocks. Some bad editing causes even more dire problems. It's almost as if they thought they were in trouble and tried anything to fix it. The problem is--if they left it alone-it may have worked The cast puts up a good front--but it's not enough.
Having been disappointed in the movie, I wasn't really expecting much from the DVD extras, but forged ahead anyway. The best extras are the audio commentary from Nutter--you can almost here his disappointment in his voice about how things ended up--and 11 deleted scences.Read more ›
I have seen this film on the Sci-Fi channel and cannot fathom why perfectly needed footage was cut out in the first place. I rented the disk but the footage was only part of the special features and not in the movie. If you don't have this movie, but want it, wait until the film owners wake up and release this film whole and complete, though they can leave the ending as it is.
*Strange film fact: It's ironic that Ethan Embry is playing Steve's deceased older brother, when James Marsden is about 6 years older than him, not to mention how typical it is to cast a 20 something as a highschool student in thrillers/horror movies.
That and nearly every film/television show that takes place in Washington State is filmed in British Columbia.
Most recent customer reviews
Great, creepy little movie. Looks great on blu-ray and the Blue Ribbon kids will give you the creeps!Published 2 months ago by W McMaster
Content is in perfect condition. Could not be more satisfied.Published 14 months ago by Christian Robichaud
I love this movie, when I found it on Amazon I had to have it, reminds me of 9th grade! Awesome soundtrack as well. A great buy for anyone who likes teenage thrillers!Published on Feb. 20 2014 by Lisa Egli
Disturbing behavior is the tale of a small coastal town where once
unruly teens are transformed into academic geniuses. Read more
This film isn't just another robot/teen/slasher film.
It's way more.
Watch it and find out what i mean.
Also, KI great work in this film.
OMIFG! This was one of THE worst movies ever made! Me and my cousin watched it last night, and were crackinig up, the script is hilarious! Who actually talks like that?! Read morePublished on June 23 2004 by P. French
This was an awful movie. The premise was an obvious rip off an Outer Limits episode (Straight and Narrow), but I was curious to see what could be done with the topic in a... Read morePublished on Feb. 26 2004 by Aletheia Tamewitz
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