Close, But No Alfred

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Suspense, thrill, simplistic complexity, and exquisite directorial brilliance, these are the qualities that make a Hitchcock film stand out from the rest. Arlington Road, though a perfectly entertaining thriller, did not live up to the standards of a Hitchcock film. It was very enjoyable for what it was; however it shouldn’t be considered in the same category as a Hitchcock flick. This semester we watched Rear Window, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, in film class before we watched Arlington Road, directed by Mark Pellington, and while both had several similarities, there were enough differences to say that Arlington Road came up short of recognition as a “Hitchcockian thriller.” Hitchcock’s directing style is very classical and suspenseful. He likes to show the audience the tragedy that is going to occur, before the characters that are going to experience it know of it. His films are well received by worldwide audiences and critics everywhere and his movies have stood the test of time. Mark Pellington is a new director who hasn’t had even close to as much success as Hitchcock. His directing style seems to be much more modern and incorporates many different styles and angles. Arlington Road, directed by Mark Pellington, does not live up to the likes of a movie such as Rear Window, directed by Alfred Hitchcock because while they are similar in plot, they are far too different in themes, and directorial approach.

There are many similarities between the two films. Both films are incredibly suspenseful, which is a common Hitchcock theme. In Rear Window, my favorite suspense scene was when Lisa Freemont was snooping in the salesman’s apartment and we, the audience, could see him walking up to the front door of his apartment while Lisa ...

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...ton Road was not up to par with an Alfred Hitchcock movie such as Rear Window. Although the overall plot was similar, the directorial style was quite obviously different. Both movies had a blurred line between good and evil, which needed to be crossed in order to stop the villain. Also the both protagonists are just regular, ordinary guys. However, the differences between the two movies far out-weigh the similarities. In the end of Arlington Road, the villain gets his way and moral order is never reinstated which is unlike Rear Window. Also in one film the villain is charismatic and in the other he is most definitely not. Lastly the editing in the two movies are very different, one is simplistic and realistic while the other is erratic and very fast paced. For these reasons and more, the movie Arlington Road does not live up to the standards of a Hitchcock movie.
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