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Film / Good Neighbors

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Good Neighbors is a 2010 Canadian thriller and black comedy directed by Jacob Tierney, based on a book by Chrystine Brouillet, starring Jay Baruchel, Emily Hampshire, Scott Speedman, and Xavier Dolan, and set in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, a neighborhood of Montreal. Louise (Hampshire) is a waitress at a Chinese restaurant who is obsessed with recent murders in the town, convinced they're the work of a serial killer. Spencer (Speedman) is her friend downstairs neighbor, a suave wheelchair-bound gentleman. Victor (Baruchel) moves into the apartment on the fourth floor, and quickly becomes attached to Louise, but is barely tolerated by Spencer.

After a co-worker of Louise's becomes the fourth victim, Victor starts to spend more time with Louise, bonding on their shared experience of cat-ownership, and begins to tell people that she's his fiancé. While Spencer grows more annoyed at how awkward Victor is, Louise's cats turn up dead apparently at the hand of Valérie their upstairs neighbor, and the killer strikes again. So, what's with the dark figure who was seen climbing the fire escape of their apartment that night and others? And when will Louise learn that she's become engaged to Victor?


No relation to the 1970s The Good Life series, which was released as Good Neighbors in the United States.

This film exhibits the following tropes:

  • Asshole Victim: Valérie wasn't the most pleasant of people and almost everyone in the building hated her. Plus she poisoned Louise's cats, so no one feels too bad for her when she's finally killed.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Spencer and Louise both count. Spencer maintains a faux-polite demeanor and makes passive aggressive remarks that he passes off as jokes, and isn't above assisting Louise in brutally murdering her neighbor. Meanwhile, Louise was always socially distant from most people, but at least got along with Victor and Spencer okay. However, she was going to frame Victor for the murder of Valérie, and ultimately leaves him and Spencer to kill one another while playing both sides.
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  • Canada, Eh?: Set in Montréal, specifically Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. The setting is evident in the accents, the weather, and the mix of French and English used, but the stereotypes are largely avoided.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: So, your neighbor poisons your cats. It makes sense that your next step is to devise a plan to ambush her, choke her to unconsciousness, cut her throat, and then rape her body with a dildo covered in your neighbor's sperm to make it look like the serial killer did it.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Victors falls for Louise hard and he does his best to do right by her. He walks her home at night to protect her from the serial killer. He tries to befriend her friends. He loans her his cat after she loses hers. She shows no genuine interest in him although she does use him to get a sperm sample.
  • Fanservice: We get a good, prolonged glimpse of Louise — played by Emily Hampshire, who remains attractive at her age — naked, both from the front and back.
  • Jack the Ripoff: Valérie was killed by Louise in imitation of the actual serial killer.
  • Karma Houdini: Louise gets away with killing Valérie and trying to get Victor and Spencer to kill each other.
  • Kind Hearted Cat Lover: Louise adores her cats, but is most definitely not kindhearted.
  • Not Good with People: Type 1. Louise loves her cats and consistently seems to have trouble connecting with people.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Halfway through the film, we learn that Spencer can walk. Soon thereafter, Louise and Victor found out as well, but have their own reason to keep Spencer's secret.
  • Police Are Useless: Averted. The two policemen investigating the murders ask incisive questions and might actually be on the trail of the actual murderer by the end of the film.
  • Serial Killer: Four victims, women killed, mutilated, and sexually assaulted, five if you include Valérie who was actually killed by Louise.
  • Slashed Throat: How Valerie gets offed. It does take a long time and a fair amount of blood spattered everywhere. This is also part of the NDG Killer's M.O.
  • Two Scenes, One Dialogue: In a conversation late in the movie, Louise is talking with Spencer and Victor in two separate conversations that intertwine. Victor is telling Louise that Spencer is the serial killer and that they need to set a trap with him as the bait. Spencer is telling Louise that they need to frame Victor for the murders and that she needs to arrange for Victor to be alone so that Spencer can take care of him.


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