In The Trotsky, Canadian Director Jacob Tierney managed to make a very funny and original film out of what might sound like a cardboard cut-out figure — a nerdy/wonky high school student carried away with Marxist ideology. In Good Neighbors, Tierney takes up the conventions of a murder thriller, set in the claustrophobic environs of a trio of neighbors sharing an apartment building in Quebec. Everyone is on edge because a serial killer is stalking the town. (Review here.) Given how spare it is, some developments seem inevitable, and yet Tierney manages to take the slow-developing tension to an unpredictable climax. He has an odd sense of tone. There are scenes which seem like they'd fit easily in a light-hearted romantic comedy. They don't diffuse or distract from the mounting tensions, but some ensuing gruesome acts seem hard to fathom, as if an episode of Friends suddenly flared into homicidal rage and bloody corpses. Sure, Rachel might have said, "I'm going to kill Ross," but she didn't mean it like this.
Good Neighbors opens at Zeitgeist Friday.