Good Neighbours (2011)

Three tenants in an apartment building located in Montreal’s Notre-Dame-de-Grace neighborhood begin to develop peculiar friendships with one another while a serial killer is on the loose. Louise (Emily Hampshire) is a quiet, timid cat lady who works at a Chinese restaurant. There are some pretty amazing shots of her going through the routine of feeding her two cats in her apartment. The cats start to meow, and Louise assumes they’re hungry. She then opens a can of cat food with her electric can opener and slops it on a plate for the kitties to enjoy. They continue to meow, and Louise says to herself something along the lines of, “Oh silly me, you two want to go outside!” and opens the window to let her cats roam around the apartment building. This routine occurs a couple of times throughout the film, and as a cat lady myself, I can’t help but relate to Louise. Cats are never satisfied, but we will go to the ends of the Earth to please them.

Louise has a friendship with her wheel-chair bound neighbor, Spencer (Scott Speedman), and the two share an interest news stories revolving around the serial killer terrorizing Montreal. When a new tenant, Victor (Jay Baruchel), moves into the building, Spencer and Louise aren’t very warm and welcoming to him. Victor has much more of a friendly, outgoing personality, so he is very eager to get to know Louise and Spencer. The three have dinner together, and it’s quite the awkward affair. Victor becomes romantically interested in Louise, but Louise is more interested in hanging out with Victor’s adorable feline friend. Unfortunately, not all tenants in their building are cat friendly. Their French neighbor, Valerie (Anne-Marie Cadieux), does not appreciate it when Louise’s cats climb on her balcony, and she is very aggressive when expressing her feelings about the situation. Not long after things between Louise and Valerie start to intensify, Louise’s cats go missing, and the film becomes much darker.

While Good Neighbours seems to be a thriller/horror film, it really isn’t. The film is more character-driven as there is such focus on the relationships between the three main characters. The cats in the film also get a decent amount of camera time, and they should, since the film’s more sinister events revolve around them.

-Britnee Lombas

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