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Whodda thunk it that you could take the explosive star power of Samuel L. Jackson, mix a little interracial love between sexy starlet and GIANT magazine subject Kerry Washington and Patrick Wilson, throw in a lot of subtle scares and make Lakeview Terrace a dynamic thriller that examines the dynamic relationship between black and white with an equally diabolical character study that makes this flick one to watch.

This Overbrook Entertainment-produced flick finds itself bearing a very notable similarity to a well-publicized case in Los Angeles, where an officer for the LAPD was accused of serially harassment of his neighbors. The kicker was that they were an interracially married couple. Lakeview Terrace delivers on the fact-to-fiction hype and engrosses viewers into a tense and titilatting drama which turns into a thriller in a blink of an eye.

Samuel L. Jackson’s turn as the widowed officer Abel Turner is a villainous delight. His smarter-than-thou attitude carries over well and coupled with his sharp wit and booming voice, you can understand why Jackson has been so successful in Hollywood for over two decades and shows no signs of stopping now. As Turner reels from the lost of his wife, newlyweds Chris and Lisa Mattson (Wilson and Washington, respectively) move into the neighborhood to start their own new life.

Lakeview Terrace starts off slow, allowing the characters to find their footing. Turner’s kids played by Pride’s Regine Nehy and Jaishon Fisher (That’s So Raven) give Jackson’s character enough ammunition to showcase that something is indeed “off,” but that vagueness is not as cleverly masked as other thriller’s packed with suspense like The Usual Suspects. Washington and Wilson’s chemistry is apparent and although you may be staring at Kerry Washington’s sexiness, it is Patrick Wilson who helps drive the plot along.

Points are deducted for the dragging plot line between the three stars. The tension that build between the three principle characters is offset by the sheer point that there is a clear and present result that can be taken, but Wilson and Washington are too stubborn to take that road. With enough chills to freeze a polar bear, these three character driven to maddness through the blurring lines of interracial love, make Lakeview Terrace an interestesting commentary on our current state of affairs with a heavy dosage of sociopathic tendencies that would make Norman Bates grin.

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