Next Door is a psychological thriller with strong sexual undertones. The film’s main character John, recently abandoned by his girlfriend, allows himself to be seduced by his two pretty neighbours Anne and Kim, who drag him into a world in which it becomes impossible for John to separate lies from reality.
Ever since the appearance of Junk Mail in 1997, film director Pål Sletaune has been regarded as one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary world cinema, as well as being, arguably, the most famous film-maker to come from Norway. Next Door is as distinctive as his previous work, although markedly different in subject matter and tone. Gone is the idiosyncratic quirkiness and black comedy and in its place is a dark, tense and disturbing atmosphere, as befits the subject matter of Next Door. This is a chilling thriller about how one man descends into madness where he cannot distinguish dream and reality because he has committed a terrible act that shatters his sanity. Sletaune cleverly builds up tension and increases our sense of claustrophobic unease by focusing all the action on a labyrinthine apartment, where the leading character gets lost in a terrifying and violent web of fantasy. With nods to Hitchcock and De Palma, particularly in the brilliant use of sound effects and an orchestral score, Next Door is very high quality film-making and a roller coaster ride that you are unlikely to forget. –Venice Days