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Top 10 Worst Neighbours in Movies

Jamie Frater

Neighbours are something that most of us have to deal with in real life – sometimes they become friends, sometimes they become our bitter enemies. Movies over the years have given us many “neighbours from hell” and this list is the pick of the ten most evil! So here is our list of the 10 worst neighbours in movies.

10

Carter Hayes
Pacific Heights

Sure – the quality of this movie is not the best, but it really epitomizes the neighbour from hell genre in the ’80s. Carter Hayes (played by Michael Keaton) moves in to an apartment in a nice townhouse in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights then refuses to pay rent. Not only that, he locks himself in his room and begins to tear the place apart. Then he begins introducing thousands of cockroaches in to the house! His aim? To make the house unliveable so the owners are forced to move out of it and sell it. You should definitely watch this film for the great satisfaction you get at the end – you won’t regret it!

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9

Mrs Connelly
Duplex

Black comedy directed by Danny DeVito, starring Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore as striving yuppies who leave the city and find the perfect brownstone on the perfect quiet street — only upstairs is this little old lady who, it turns out, is the ultimate unrelenting neighbor from hell. Sure, she’s in her 80s but she makes more noise than a rock band (she and her senior friends enjoy brass instruments); she constantly demands favors; she interferes with the happy couple’s privacy; and, despite all hope, shows no sign of quieting down (or, better, dying) any time within a century. Pic isn’t especially good – in fact it’s often cliché-ridden and unfunny. But it offers periodic moments and, if you want an example of an old lady pain-in-the-butt neighbor, Duplex is definitely a place to visit.

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8

The Children
Village of the Damned

In the small English village of Midwich everybody and everything falls into a deep, mysterious sleep for several hours in the middle of the day. Some months later every woman capable of child-bearing is pregnant and the children that are born out of these pregnancies seem to grow very fast and they all have the same blond hair and strange, penetrating eyes that make people do things they don’t want to do. Unfortunately, the adult neighbours of these children are incapable of dealing with their super powers – or are they?

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7

Charlie Meadows
Barton Fink

A Coen Brothers pic. John Turturro is Barton Fink, a “playwright” selling his soul in 1940s Hollywood, trying to write a crappy (but elusive) screenplay. Day by day Barton deteriorates into writer’s block, desperation and weirdness. Unfortunately for him that’s the good news — compared to the antics and ultimate threat from his next door neighbor (John Goodman) in the seedy hotel they’re living in. Goodman plays a seemingly amiable insurance salesman friend who, it turns out, is really not such a good friend; in fact he’s a bad friend, actually evil, and, as Satan as his witness, is going to make sure things don’t end well for Barton and his ambitions.

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6

Everyone!
Invasion of the Body Snatchers

What could be worse than having all your neighbors taken over – their bodies inhabited — by predatory aliens who ooze out of pods (that look like brussel sprouts) and who want to do the same to you? Original was a bit cheesy but much more engaging, authentic, and scary than the watered down 2007 Hollywood remake.

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5

Mr and Mrs Castevet
Rosemary’s Baby

So your neighbors are Devil worshippers who want your first born as the ‘next’ Devil. At least your husband, a struggling loser TV actor, is starting to get more TV gigs. All he had to do was join the Satanists – no problem there apparently – and sacrifice you and your baby to these freakazoid cultists and possibly bring down humanity as we know it. Hey, jobs are tough and your neighbors only want what’s best… to accelerate the rise of Hell and Satan on earth. In truth, the pic is excellent, directed by Roman Polanski, way better, more suspenseful and complex than the novel by Ira Levin, and genuinely scary.

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4

The Villagers
The Wicker Man

Sergeant Neil Howie arrives on a Scottish island looking for a missing teenager girl, Rowan Morrison. The place belongs to Lord Summerisle and is famous because of their plantation of apples and other fruits and their harvest. Sgt. Howie realizes that the locals are pagans, practicing old rituals, and Rowan is probably alive and being prepared to be sacrificed. The end of the story is a tragic surprise as Howie’s neighbours on the island select him as their next victim.

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3

Lars Thorwald
Rear Window

This film is a Hitchcock classic. A guy in a wheelchair, a photographer, house bound and incapacitated observes his neighbors across the way through the apartment windows. He sees one, he thinks (maybe), who killed his (the neighbor’s) wife. Not a good time to be stuck in a wheelchair, especially when the unhappy neighbor (played by Raymond Burr, who ironically would soon spend years in a wheelchair in his starring role in the TV series, Ironside) realizes he’s been watched and naturally wants to “take care” of the snoopy, suspicious voyeur (Jimmy Stewart). Film was the partial basis for Brian De Palma’s, Body Double (1984) which, while gory and sometimes suspenseful, isn’t in the same league as Hitchcock’s beautifully paced, eerie original.

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2

Townsfolk
Straw Dogs

Upon moving to Britain to get away from American violence, astrophysicist David Sumner and his wife Amy are bullied and taken advantage of by the locals hired to do construction. When David finally takes a stand it escalates quickly into a bloody battle as the local neighbours assault his house.

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1

Col. Frank Fitts, USMC
American Beauty

Wired-too-tight Marine officer (Chris Cooper) lives next door to Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) who’s in the middle of a midlife crisis, trying to find himself. Not a good time for him to be experimenting sexually, getting involved in drugs and hanging with teenagers (including the Colonel’s son). Because the good Colonel has his own issues: repressed rage, overwhelming confusion at the social changes around him, and some serious (and, for him, intolerable) and explosive sexual dysfunction and identity problems. Oh yea, he’s into guns – he is military – and when all of the Colonel’s issues get too big, this man, who may not be fundamentally bad but is fundamentally disturbed, snaps.

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Jamie Frater

Jamie is the founder of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and cooking. He is fascinated with all things morbid and bizarre.

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