New on DVD: Lakeview Terrace

New on DVD: Lakeview Terrace

Even though many proposed race was no longer an issue in North America, the recent presidential election proved otherwise. Lakeview Terrace displays racism from a perspective not often seen in cinema. Chris (Patrick Wilson) and Lisa (Kerry Washington) just bought their first home together. It has a pool, a beautiful view of the hills and […]


Even though many proposed race was no longer an issue in North America, the recent presidential election proved otherwise. Lakeview Terrace displays racism from a perspective not often seen in cinema.

Chris (Patrick Wilson) and Lisa (Kerry Washington) just bought their first home together. It has a pool, a beautiful view of the hills and the community appears to be tranquil. However, their peace is rattled the very first night by an inconsiderate neighbour. Chris and Lisa attempt to befriend Abel (Samuel L. Jackson) but he seems to have an unwavering hatred for their relationship – Chris is white and Lisa is black. Abel begins to use his status as a police officer to intimidate the couple, eventually going to extreme measures to force them out of their own home.

To say this movie is intense would almost be an understatement. The tension builds gradually over the entire narrative. It doesn’t stop once it reaches the boiling point but rather erupts into an uncontrollable calamity.

Jackson is incredibly effective in this role, often conveying the menace of his character through a single look. The juxtaposition of his outward appearance (casual, laidback) and dangerous core is also fascinating. There is never a moment of relaxation as the audience is always aware of the threat Abel represents.

Chris’ frustration with Abel is equally real. Wilson communicates so much through his eyes and facial expressions. At first he is effectively subtle but as their antagonism grows, Wilson’s aggravation becomes more apparent as well.

A significant detail to note is Lake View Terrace is the name of the Los Angeles neighbourhood in which Rodney King was pulled over and beaten in 1991.

The DVD special features includes audio commentary with director Neil LaBute and Washington, which provides the occasional insight but does not elaborate on certain elements that may have proved interesting. There are eight deleted scenes with optional commentary, none of which are really missed, and “Welcome to Lakeview Terrace,” a 20-minute behind-the-scenes featurette.