{SXSW} The Waiting Review: Never Mess With The Grumpy Old Man In Your Neighborhood


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In every neighborhood, there is always that one old man who lives by himself. With his Boo Radley-esque presence He is often referred to as the “creepy old man next door”. In THE WAITING, plays this old man and, unfortunately, he doesn’t have a heart of gold like good old Boo.

The film introduces us to Ethan () and Sean (). The two teenage boys decide to conduct an anthropological experiment on Ethan’s neighbor, Mr. Grainey (Caan). Actually, it’s not an experiment. They just want to mess with him so it is essentially a prank. Nonetheless, the high school hormonal duo break into old man Grainey’s house and rig parts of his home so it seems like his home is haunted. They also plant cameras around the house to see his reactions via a super-sophisticated surveillance system in Ethan’s bedroom. It’s kind of like Punk’d, but there is no Ashton Kutcher. It’s just plain cruel. Either way you look at it, there is no way in hell that this is going to end well.

The Waiting is an impressive thriller and mystery for ’s directorial debut. There’s tension, but there aren’t any moments that will make you jump out of your seat. There are scary moments, but nothing really to take away. It’s a commendable first crack at a genre and concept that has been recycled time and time again.

But the best part of the movie is the fact not one of the three main characters created by screenwriters and are likable. That’s a quality that I can appreciate in a movie because it makes the movie worth watching. You want to see the insufferable fail gloriously. It provides a satisfying payoff. It’s a form of hate watching. Do I care about the characters? Not so much, but I will watch them because I just want to see them fall flat on their face and get what they deserve.

In this case, you have a grumpy old crotchety man who at one point threatens to chop a neighbor’s dog into pieces for peeing on his lawn. Then you have the two insufferable over-privileged juveniles who are tormenting for sport. It is an absolute joy because there is so much to hate. However, as the story progresses, things start to shift and it pretty much leads up to a shocking climax and an even more WTF-worthy finale.

There isn’t anything special about The Waiting, but it is a fun watch. If it teaches us anything it is to leave any and all grumpy old men of your neighborhood alone.

Score: 3 out of 5

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Dino-Ray Ramos watches too much and laughs inappropriately during dramatic films. He’s a fan of comedy, podcasts, and comedy podcasts. He’s a reformed comic book geek and thinks “The Goonies” is the best movie of all time. When he isn’t stuffing his face with a burrito, he’s thinking about his next trip to Disneyland.

Twitter: @dinoray

Dino-Ray Ramos | Staff Writer

1 Comment

  1. Sxsw attendeee on

    I’ve seen 15 movies at sxsw so far this year and this one was far and away my favorite. Fantastic debut, great performances and a climax that will leave you thinking for days after. Funny, thrilling and emotional. Couldn’t have asked for more!

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