10 Worst Neighbors in Film

Published 3 months ago by , Updated May 9th, 2014 at 5:19 pm,

May Preview Neighbors 10 Worst Neighbors in Film

Whether they be meddlesome, nosy, noisy or just plain annoying, terrible neighbors have entered most of our lives at one point or another. But what if that unwanted next-door enemy happened to inhabit not one, but all the traits mentioned above? For Mac Radner (Seth Rogen), his wife Kelly (Rose Byrne) and their newborn baby in the comedy Neighbors (read our review), raucous fraternity leader Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron) is that nightmare.

By waging a prank war against Mac and his young family, Teddy and his band of hedonistic frat bros not only provide us with some hilarious and outrageous moments – they also reminded us of some much more despicable, detestable and diabolical neighbor characters, which led to the creation of our list of the 10 Worst Neighbors in Film (in no particular order).

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Jerry Dandrige – Fright Night (1985, 2011)

Fright Night Chris Sarandon 10 Worst Neighbors in Film

Not only does Jerry appear normal on the surface in every way, but his natural charm makes him alluring to the women in the neighborhood – particularly Charley Brewster’s (William Ragsdale, Anton Yelchin) mother, who, unlike her son, is oblivious to the fact that Jerry is a demonic blood-sucking vampire. In the original Fright Night, and the surprisingly good 2011 remake, Jerry – played by Chris Sarandon and Colin Ferrell, respectively – proves to be a nearly unbeatable adversary for young Charley, turning the boy’s once quiet suburban existence into an unforgettable nightmare. Having a killer next door is bad enough, but when that killer is also a vampire, every day (okay… night) is indeed a living hell.

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The Klopeks – The Burbs (1989)

The Burbs Neighbors 10 Worst Neighbors in Film

It may be natural to wonder what your new neighbors are up to, but in the case of Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks) in The Burbs, his curiosity about the mysterious Klopek family only leads to trouble.

Suspecting that the Klopeks may be more than eccentric next-door neighbors, Ray joins a team of neighborhood sleuths on an investigation that, instead of leading to evidence of a murder, only leads to Ray nearly dying in an explosion that he inadvertently ignites. Of course, he then endures another near-death experience as his initial suspicions about the Klopeks being psychotic killers is confirmed. So, maybe starting your own unofficial neighborhood watch is a good idea after all?

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Abel Turner – Lakeview Terrace (2008)

Abel Turner Lakeview Terrac 10 Worst Neighbors in Film

For many, having a veteran police officer – and an intimidating one at that – living next door would be comforting. Unfortunately, for newlyweds Chris and Lisa Mattson (Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington) in Lakeview Terrace, comforting is the last word that comes to mind when discussing their neighbor, Abel Turner (Samuel L. Jackson).

Prejudiced against Chris and Lisa’s interracial marriage, Abel begins to terrorize the young couple with the hope to force them out of the neighborhood. However, even after Abel interrupts their sleep with high-powered flood lights, slashes their tires and even breaks into their home, Chris and Lisa stand their ground, leading to a seemingly inevitable and violent confrontation. Moving would have been easier, but you just can’t let a guy like Abel win.

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Katie and Robbie – Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)

paranormal activity robbie 10 Worst Neighbors in Film

A child having an imaginary friend isn’t necessarily alarming, but when their neighbor kid Robbie starts to exhibit some other strange behavior, the Nelson family in Paranormal Activity 4 becomes increasingly concerned.

As it turns out, Robbie isn’t imagining anything, and is actually conversing with a demon named Toby. To make matters worse for the Nelsons, his mother Katie is possessed and belongs to some sort of demon cult. Of course, our unsuspecting paranormal skeptics only realize this after it’s too late. Where are the Ghost Hunters when you really need them?

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Minnie and Roman Castevet – Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Castevet Rosemarys baby 10 Worst Neighbors in Film

Pregnancy is supposed to be a joyous time for a young couple, but Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse’s (Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes) experience in Rosemary’s Baby is nothing short of horrific. Of course, when you live in an apartment building with a throng of devil-worshiping cult members and learn that your newborn child is the spawn of Satan, that will certainly put a damper on things.

Seemingly harmless at first, the elderly Castevet couple from next door turns out to be the ringleaders of the satanic cult, with the mission to bring the devil’s son to earth. By simply appearing neighborly in the first portion of the film, the sinister reveal of the Castevets’ true intentions is made all the more horrifying, not only for poor Rosemary, but also for the audience.

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Arthur Denker/Kurt Dussander – Apt Pupil (1998)

Apt Pupil Arthur Denker 10 Worst Neighbors in Film

While most of the film entries on this list involve protagonists who are unaware of their neighbors’ troubled pasts or true identities, Apt Pupil features a central character –  Todd Bowden (Brad Renfro) – who is dangerously drawn to and influenced by the evil permeating from a Nazi war criminal living in his neighborhood, Arthur Denker (Ian McKellen).

After Todd discovers Arthur’s real name (Kurt Dussander) and his secret, the two form an unusual and extremely dark kinship, leading to a display of Arthur’s murderous tendencies. For Nazi-obsessed Todd, living around Arthur may not have been so bad, but there’s no doubt the rest of us would rather reside as far away from the old man as possible.

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Sid Phillips – Toy Story (1995)

Sid Toy Story 10 Worst Neighbors in Film

While it would be hard for some to include a kid on their list of worst neighbors, it wasn’t difficult for us to save a spot for noted toy torturer Sid Phillips, especially after falling in love with the vibrant characters and world the first Toy Story film created.

Instead of caring for his toys like Andy, Sid’s idea of playtime is destructive and downright sadistic. From the perspective of Andy’s trapped toys, Sid’s room is like a labyrinth of horrors and we can’t help but feel their terror as they discover a clan of crudely constructed toys with mismatched heads, limbs and bodies. Sid is definitely that kid you would never loan your favorite toy to.

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Lars Thorwald – Rear Window (1954)

Lars Thorwald Rear Window 10 Worst Neighbors in Film

Long before Shia LaBeouf put his observational and detective skills to use in Disturbia (2007), Jimmy Stewart did the same as wheelchair bound photographer L.B. “Jeff” Jefferies in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller Rear Window, which – compared to its similar successor – featured a much more memorable and menacing villain in Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr).

After realizing Jeff knows about his wife’s murder, Lars confronts Jeff at his apartment in a famous scene in which Jeff uses his camera as a defense weapon, setting off several flashbulbs that temporarily blind his attacker. Jeff survives the ordeal, but considering Lars’ imposing size and lack of hesitation to kill, it’s safe to say others wouldn’t have been so lucky.

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Oliver Lang/William Fenimore and Cheryl Lang – Arlington Road (1999)

Arlington Road Langs 10 Worst Neighbors in Film

At first glance, Oliver and Cheryl Lang (Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack) appear to be a normal middle class married couple in Arlington Road, but as Michael Faraday (Jeff Bridges) discovers, his new neighbors are far from ordinary.

Michael’s worst fears are realized when he learns that the seemingly friendly Oliver is actually a terrorist with a plot to blow up an FBI building. To make matters even worse, Oliver’s pegged Michael as the fall guy for his plan and, with the help of his wife and others, orchestrates that plan to perfection. We certainly hate to see the bad guys literally get away with murder, but it’s deeply unsettling to even imagine living near them.

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The Griswolds – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Christmas Vacation Griswold 10 Worst Neighbors in Film

Unlike the other entries on this list, the Griswold family and its lovable loser patriarch Clark (Chevy Chase) don’t mean any harm to their neighbors at home or abroad, but destruction and chaos seem to follow them whenever they are, affecting the unfortunate saps around them.

Such is the case once again in Christmas Vacation, wherein Clark inadvertently ruins his next door neighbors’ Christmas after a serious of accidents leads to a bizarre and hilarious dog/squirrel attack on Margo (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). If blinding Christmas lights, flying ice blocks, loud chainsaws and a walking disaster named cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) aren’t enough to get you to move, then we’re not sure what will.

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Conclusion

Neighbors Movie 2014 Preview 10 Worst Neighbors in Film

While memorable, obnoxious and in many cases, nasty, these 10 entries certainly don’t account for all of the bad neighborly behavior from some of our favorite films. So now we turn the list-making duties over to you. Who would make your top 10? Are there any major omissions from this list, or characters that simply don’t belong? Share your opinion with us and fellow readers in the comments. But remember to keep things civil, unlike our picks for the 10 Worst Neighbors in Film.

Here are some honorable mentions that nearly made the cut:

Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) – Ghostbusters (1984)
Mrs. Connelly (Eileen Essell) – Duplex (2003)
Thomas Kub (Thomas Mann) – Project X (2012)
Carter Hayes/James Danforth (Michael Keaton) – Pacific Heights (1990)
Ryan Jacobson (Max Thierot) – House at the End of the Street (2012)

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TAGS: Neighbors

21 Comments

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  1. Think we’re all forgetting about one of the worst neighbors ever, Dinkleberg

    • Ha I was about to say that.

  2. I am very ashamed at SCREEN RANT for not even mentioning or referring to the original movie of the name sake

    Belushi & Aykroyd are for superior as Neighbors Seth Rogen & Zac Efron can not hold a candle to them and should of called this movie by another name……..

    Neighbors (1981)

    94 min – Comedy – 18 December 1981 (USA)

    A quiet man’s peaceful suburban lifestyle is threatened by the new, obnoxious couple that moves in next door.

    Director: John G. Avildsen

    Writers: Thomas Berger (novel), Larry Gelbart (screenplay)

    Stars: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Kathryn Walker

    • We’re aware of the 1981 Neighbors. We excluded it, because we were trying to steer clear of films with a similar premise to the new release, as well as films with a similar (in this case, the same) title.

      • Well I think as journalists in doing this story it should of at least been mentioned in some degree or a nod given to it. You state same premise? is that not all the same premise above “NEIGHBORS”? I don’t think the homework was done on this article or that the original movie titled Neighbors (Belushi & Aykroyd version) was seen by any one related to who wrote this piece. The movie you state above is of similar premise that of being neighbors is that not what this article is about – 10 worse neighbors. And all though the same title in needs to be mentioned. A totally different story line but where you can see at the roots the original premise takes a far left turn and takes the story in a much different direction that it is truly a different movie and is not the same.

  3. Frank / Cornall Crawford (Randy Quaid) in moving, should be on the list. Classic.

    • AGREED!

  4. Sid is a tragic child, his parents clearly don’t care about him.

  5. Oh here goes Screen Rant again with another “original” instead of actual news. Blah blah blah :-P. Just kidding, thanks for the article Daniel. And Sid is the worst ahh.

    • Thanks! We’ll keep the news coming as well!

  6. The remake of Fright Night was awful. There’s no question about that. “surprisingly good” ? ! What film were you watching?

    • probably the remake of fright Night, which was surprisingly good.

    • The original Jerry Dandrige was cool they should’ve just left him alone and everything would’ve been ok lol

  7. You never did say Mr. Johnson if you had seen the original titled movie Neighbors?

    • I saw it long ago, but haven’t rewatched it recently. It certainly had a more offbeat tone, but wasn’t particularly memorable for me. You’re right about the story going in a different direction than the new film, which is obviously not a remake. At the same time, I would argue that the premise is similar (swap out annoying couple for fraternity) and I wanted to create a more unique list with films unlike the new release. Also, I don’t consider Aykroyd’s character Vic as one of the 10 worst neighbors, but I suppose that’s where our opinions differ. That’s why I invited the discussion! It’s always fun to get a sample of other views. I’m glad you are so passionate about the 1981 Neighbors. Thanks for the comments!

  8. What about Dennis the Menace? Or Mr.Wilson .

  9. Disturbia?

    • We concluded that Disturbia and Rear Window were basically the same movie and we prefer Rear Window, so Disturbia didn’t make it in.

  10. Umm, your forgetting one of the best ‘bad’ neighbor films…

    Pacific Heights with Micheal Keaton

    • Nevermind.. Sorry, didn’t see the Honorable Mentions at the end.

  11. Spot on with The Burbs being on this list. That flick is in my top 25. Hilarious dark comedy. Tom Hanks and Bruce Dern are priceless in it.

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