The Good Neighbor Trailer: An American Remake That Lays The Menace On Thick

In the not-so-grand tradition of "The Vanishing," "The Grudge," and "Delivery Man," German filmmaker Stephan Rick has opted to step behind the camera for the English-language remake of his foreign-language original film. Fortunately for Rick, his 2011 thriller, "Unter Nachbarn," never received a U.S. release; ergo, the twists and turns of this fiendish-looking yarn, now titled "The Good Neighbor," will be completely new to the vast majority of audiences. How fiendish-looking? See for yourself!

The Good Neighbor trailer

Luke Kleintank and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers play a pair of friends who cap off a triumphant night on the town by running over and killing a young woman on a bicycle. Kleintank, who was behind the wheel, feels properly overwhelmed with grief, and, even though he was under the influence of alcohol and pot, wants to call the police. Rhys-Meyers wants nothing to do with the authorities and strong-arms Kleintack into fleeing the scene. When Kleintank improbably falls in love with the victim's sister (Eloise Smyth), his crushing sense of guilt pushes him to the brink of confession. This forces the increasingly unstable Rhys-Meyers to take murderous measures in order to keep their deadly secret permanently suppressed.

It all appears highly convoluted, but convolution can be loads of fun (see the soon-to-hit-Blu-ray "Wild Things"). Both leads are in their respective wheelhouses. Kleintank, who left an indelible impression as the conflicted SS mole Joe Blake in "The Man in the High Castle," looks compelling as an anguished young man who can't live with the stain of his actions, while Rhys-Myers, a veteran portrayer of sinister sorts in films as varied as "Ride with the Devil" and "Match Point," lays the menace on extra thick.

Once more unto the well

Many directors have successfully revisited their films. Michael Mann turned his failed 1989 pilot for "L.A. Takedown" into the masterful "Heat," while Yasujiro Ozu's "Floating Weeds" is a lovely, patient reconsideration of his 1934 classic "A Story of Floating Weeds." And then there's George Sluizer, who infamously ruined the bleak finale of his 1988 masterpiece "The Vanishing" by slapping a happy ending on his 1993 studio remake. Has Rick learned a lesson from his filmic forebears, or is he just going through the motions? Unless you track down the German-language 2011 original, you'll never know!

"The Good Neighbor" hits theaters and On Demand on Friday, June 17, 2022.

A nightmarish evening unfolds for neighbors David (Luke Kleintank) and Robert (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) when they accidentally hit a woman on her bike and flee the scene. While David is increasingly plagued by feelings of guilt, Robert shows no remorse and becomes overbearing and possessive. When David meets Vanessa (Eloise Smyth), the victim's sister, he submits to a reckless passion and underlying sense of redemption before realizing Robert will do unspeakable things to protect their secret.