When Good Neighbors Hop the Fence
In dramatic Contrast to the usual vapid monotony that permeates most Canadian films, Good Neighbors is a toxic thriller with unbearable intensity about an odd group of tenants in a small Montreal apartment house in the dead of a Quebec winter.
Shades of Roman Polanski’s The Tenant and Alfred Hitchcock’s I Confess come to mind as the eerie ambience unfolds around three English-speaking outsiders (called Anglophones) in French-speaking Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in 1995, the year Canada was in the midst of a referendum to decide whether the French province should secede from the nation.
In this divisive political landscape, hostile tensions mount, dangers lurk, and to make matters worse, there’s a rapist-serial killer on the prowl, paralyzing Montreal in a vise of terror.
Spencer, played by impossibly handsome Toronto native and heartthrob Scott Speedman, is a moody cripple, confined to a wheelchair after the car crash that killed his wife and left him bitter and reclusive.
His only friend is Louise (Emily Hampshire), a pretty waitress in a seedy Chinese restaurant who brings Spencer occasional remnants of the outside world like bottles of scotch and newspapers, but reserves her only affection for two cats that scamper up and down the fire escape, annoying the neighbors.