Comparing Arlington Road And Rear Window

1702 words - 7 pages

“There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it” (Alfred Hitchcock). One of the greatest directors of all time, Alfred Hitchcock, sometimes known as the “master of suspense” has made many movies hindering on the idea of the bomb theory. This theory clarifies that a bomb going off out of nowhere is surprise while a bomb ticking to go off is suspense. One of Hitchcock’s films that demonstrates this suspense is Rear Window starring Jimmy Stewart. Some say that Arlington Road can be compared to Rear Window because it effectively used Hitchcock’s elements in the film. In my opinion, Arlington Road does not live up to its Hitchcockian roots.
Although I believe Arlington Road does not prevail as a Hitchcock worthy film, there are many similarities in the thematic and stylistic elements between the two films. One of Hitchcock’s repetitive elements is that the villains in the films are appealing. In Rear Window, Thorwald is a normal looking fellow. The murderer wears a suit and tie everyday, wears a classy hat, and carries a nice briefcase. He lives in a normal looking apartment and has a wife. In Arlington Road, Oliver Lang lives in a nice suburban area where he resides with his wife and son. He dresses nicely and has a charming manner to himself. After the incident with his son, Lang invites Faraday over to his house acting as a good neighbor. In both of these films, the audience has no reason to be suspicious of them until the main characters start to commit evil themselves by nosing around. This is another similarity between the films and a common element in Hitchcock films. The idea that the line between good and evil is blurred is seen in both Rear Window and Arlington Road. In Rear Window, L.B. Jeffries spent countless hours observing people in their apartments through his rear window. What he was doing is considered peeping, and if caught could be in trouble with the law. Not only did he secretly spy on the villain, but also had his girlfriend dig out his garden, deliver a threatening note, break into his apartment, and steal his wife’s wedding ring. By no means were L.B. and Lisa innocent of any crimes but sometimes one must use evil to defeat evil. In Arlington Road, Faraday had to do a lot of sneaky investigation to reveal Lang’s true identity. Faraday did a lot of snooping behind Lang’s back, first being going through the two university’s databases and searching his name. He then looked up his credentials and transcripts and went through newspapers of his hometown. One of his most evil acts was pretending he locked himself out of his house and had the little girls let him into Lang’s study where he went through files and looked at blueprints. He then pestered his FBI friend to do a surveillance search on Lang, which would have lost his friend’s job if caught. Finally, Faraday drove like a mad man through town when all hell broke loose at the end of the movie. All these actions were done to bring justice and safety to Faraday’s...

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