Comparing Arlington Road and Rear Window

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“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 countl... ... middle of paper ... ...ence was the conflicts being resolved at the end. In Arlington Road, the conflict was not resolved and moral order was not reinstated which I respect and feel contributed to the story, however, this does not follow the Hitchcockian way of telling stories. The idea that Lang is not punished at the end and the blame is put on the innocent is the total opposite theme that Hitchcock relays in his films. After viewing both Arlington Road and Rear Window, I believe that Arlington Road did not live up to its Hitchcockian roots. The main reasons are because Arlington Road had characters not relatable to the masses, refrained from keeping the movie from the point of view of Faraday, and the terrorist plots were blamed on the protagonist rather than the actual villain. Overall, I felt Arlington Road was a great thriller but when compared to Hitchcock, it came up short.

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