Destroy All Neighbors Review: Shudder’s Prog Rock Horror Hybrid Misses the Mark

Review: Destroy All Neighbors essentially reinforces the trend of recent Shudder streaming releases. They haven’t been good, and we’re getting to the point of no return quickly. A few practical effects save it from being a complete dud.

destroy all neighbors review 2024 shudder horror film
Destroy All Neighbors

I can’t say that I’ve been a big admirer of Shudder’s recent streaming offerings. It’s been a pretty dry last 18 months for the horror genre, and the quintessential streaming service to go along with it has also struggled. I was hoping that their first effort in 2024, Destroy All Neighbors, would signal a change for the coming year and usher in a new batch of surprising, independent scares and nightmares.

And quite frankly, I should’ve known better. There’s certainly a fanbase for movies like Destroy All Neighbors, but that fanbase isn’t writing reviews on this particular site. I’ve found some gems in this subsection of horror in the past – Basket Case from 1982 and The Blob come to mind, as well as a deep selection of Roger Corman movies from the second half of the 20th century – but the typical batting average for schlocky horror with gooey special effects is quite low. And mix in some prog rock like Destroy All Neighbors does here, and it’ll probably be a forgettable watch… but maybe also a semi-unique one?

Which is essentially what Destroy All Neighbors is, for better and definitely for worse; a movie type rarely attempted in the last decade, and one that goes in one ear and out the other at the same time. Director Josh Forbes and the crew put together some memorable practical effects in a movie that otherwise strains way too hard to be funny and engaging. But in reality, it isn’t really either of those.

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When done well, horror comedies can be really good. Without going into some of the classics and trying to hold every movie in this genre up to them, the few that live on after decades sit among some of the greatest genre movies ever made. Now obviously Destroy All Neighbors isn’t that, but it also represents some of my least favorite, derivate moments in lesser examples of these movies. When they aren’t funny, they get really unfunny quickly.

Jonah Ray Rodrigues is a suitable and talented lead, carrying the energy that a script like this needs. He has the physicality for both the stunts to feel lively and the toned-down moments to feel authentic. He plays a good introverted straight-man, one who reacts to the chaos around him more than he initiates it. The playfulness of Destroy All Neighbors occasionally gets fun because of this balance. If only that balance was held for a larger portion of the runtime.

And Destroy All Neighbors essentially reinforces the trend of recent Shudder streaming releases. They haven’t been good, and we’re getting to the point of no return quickly. “Dumpuary” is a popular phrase among the film community, and the early-year quality of releases is starting to seep into the streaming services as well.

Rating

Genre: Comedy, Horror, Musical

Watch Destroy All Neighbors on Shudder and VOD here

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Destroy All Neighbors Cast and Credits

destroy all neighbors movie poster

Cast

Jonah Ray Rodrigues as William Brown

Kiran Deol as Emily

Randee Heller as Eleanor

Pete Ploszek as Alec

Crew

Director: Josh Forbes

Writers: Charles A. PieperMike BennerJared Logan

Cinematography: Will Stone

Editor: Hank Friedmann

Composers: Ryan KattnerBrett Morris

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