Love 'em or hate 'em, we all have neighbors. They might strike up idle chit-chat when you're heading out to work, they can make too much noise, they can be unhinged serial murderers on a killing spree.
Wait, what was that last one?
Over the years, many films have played with the concept of neighbors and how you can never really know somebody, even if they live next door to you for years. It's a frightening idea, especially because it's true.
But it's not all doom and gloom. Sometimes our neighbors can surprise us in delightful ways, whether through wholesome behavior or stunning beauty. Or they could be so downright annoying that you wish they'd just move out and live anywhere else.
Here are the best movies about neighbors and how they can be everything from helpful to murderous.
10. Disturbia (2007)
Directed by D.J. Caruso
Starring Shia LeBeouf, David Morse, Carrie-Anne Moss
Crime, Drama, Mystery (1h 45m)
Heavily inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, Disturbia features a young Shia LaBeouf in its starring role.
After assaulting a teacher, Kale (played Shia LaBeouf) is placed on house arrest. In order to stave off boredom—because his television and PlayStation are confiscated—he starts spying on his neighbors with binoculars.
Not exactly cool, but I suppose it helps pass the time. Yet, in doing so, he falls in love with a beautiful new neighbor and discovers that a different neighbor might actually be a serial killer...
9. Neighbors (2014)
Directed by Nicholas Stoller
Starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron
Comedy (1h 37m)
Seth Rogen and Zac Efron teamed up for Neighbors, a movie about what happens when a frat house moves next door to a regular couple who have just had their first child.
While the couple is originally hesitant about having a frat house as neighbors, they slowly begin to come around to the idea—especially after they're invited to party with the fraternity.
However, when their relationship sours, it leads to a series of elaborate pranks that make for some great wacky comedy.
8. The 'Burbs (1989)
Directed by Joe Dante
Starring Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher
Comedy, Mystery, Thriller (1h 42m)
It's not all that unusual for your neighbors to be frat boys, pretty girls, and even serial killers. But what about Satanists?
If you've ever wondered what that would look like and how that'd play out, you might want to check out The 'Burbs.
Tom Hanks stars as Ray Peterson in this laugh-out-loud comedy that's mixed with a bit of family-friendly horror. It's certainly one of the better comedies to come out of the 1980s and worth checking out!
7. The Girl Next Door (2004)
Directed by Luke Greenfield
Starring Emile Hirsch, Nicholas Downs, Elisha Cuthbert
Comedy, Drama, Romance (1h 49m)
Here's a thought experiment: do you think a Christian would rather live next door to a Satanist or to a porn star?
That's the jump-off point for The Girl Next Door, in which a boy falls in love with his new neighbor but struggles with her risqué past. How will he handle that aspect of her history? Can it work?
Honestly, it's a pretty stupid question that demonstrates the hypocrisy inherent in the film's underlying message: a girl can only be looked at by me, not by everybody else.
After all, the boys spend the entire time ogling her and yet find it morally questionable that she's been in adult films.
But despite the film's double standards and prominent male gaze, The Girl Next Door is a surprisingly fun movie with a coming-of-age tale wrapped up in the premise of a salacious neighbor.
6. Everything Must Go (2010)
Directed by Dan Rush
Starring Will Ferrell, Rebecca Hall, Christopher Jordan Wallace
Drama (1h 37m)
Will Ferrell is best known for doing goofy and absurd comedies with an emphasis on the surreal. Between films like Anchorman, Zoolander, and Step Brothers, he certainly has a style.
So you can imagine the public's confusion when Will Ferrell starred in Everything Must Go, a mature and understated movie about the different phases of life that we pass through.
Is this the same actor who played Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights and Jackie Moon in Semi-Pro? Yes, it is!
And while it's not the kind of film that will appeal to everyone, Everything Must Go is an insightful watch that provides a glimpse into the value of the support network that neighbors can provide.
5. Fright Night (1985)
Directed by Tom Holland
Starring Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse
Fantasy, Horror (1h 46m)
So far we've seen Satanists, murderers, and porn stars as possible neighbors. Now we move into the realm of vampires.
In Fright Night, we watch a teenage boy Jerry as he grows increasingly convinced that his next door neighbor is a vampire.
When no one believes him, he takes it upon himself to stop his blood-sucking neighbor before it's too late.
Fright Night was one of the first horror movies to really lean into the idea of neighbors being deadly inhuman creatures—and it works!
4. The Lives of Others (2006)
Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Starring Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch
Drama, Mystery, Thriller (2h 17m)
While this one isn't necessarily a horror movie, The Lives of Others is certainly a horrifying story that makes you think.
Set just before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the film follows a rigid Stasi agent who's tasked with finding evidence against a certain playwright. He's placed in a building with a wiretap as he listens in on the life of his suspect and his girlfriend.
While he may not be a neighbor in the traditional sense, Gerd Wiesler definitely lives as one: just beyond the wall, within earshot of their every word and move.
The Lives of Others examines the complications and attachments that can occur when you engage in parasocial relationships.
3. Gran Torino (2008)
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Starring Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang, Christopher Carley
Drama (1h 56m)
With Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood didn't just direct—he starred as a snarling, sneering Korean War veteran in a village full of Koreans.
What follows isn't your typical Eastwood outing. Rather, Gran Torino is a thoughtful meditation on what it means to be a community. What is the basis of the relationships we make? Why are they important?
As Eastwood's Walt Kowalski goes up against thugs in his neighborhood, we're presented with answers to those questions.
2. Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Directed by Roman Polanski
Starring Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon
Drama, Horror (2h 17m)
Ah, back to more Satanists as neighbors. With Rosemary's Baby, Roman Polanski directed one of the best films of his career.
It follows Mia Farrow as Rosemary Woodhouse, who finds strange things happening in her apartment complex.
More and more disturbing things follow, including suicides, mysterious deaths, and a strange sex scene that will haunt you forever.
Rosemary's Baby went on to inspire countless imitators, but it's still the creepiest and most chilling movie about neighbors for me.
1. Rear Window (1954)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Starring James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey
Mystery, Thriller (1h 52m)
While the aforementioned Rosemary's Baby creeps me out the most, no one can deny that it—and many other films after it—would've even been possible if it weren't for Rear Window.
Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece was created during his prolific 1950s. This one follows a man with a broken leg who kills time by spying on his neighbors with a telescopic camera. Sound familiar?
During all of his spying, he begins to suspect that something sinister is happening across the way—and as he investigates, the whole ordeal lands him in trouble of the most deadly kind.
Rear Window is the film that made everyone look at their neighbors differently, which is why it earns top spot on our list.