Moving into a new place can be tough. First up, you've got the interminable hours lost to settling in and unpacking. Then, you've got the neighbours to worry about. Most of us have experienced an unpleasant neighbour at some point or other. Whether it's loud noise or just an all round creepy vibe, it's a real downer when they move in next door (or, worst of all, upstairs for those living in flats).
As gruelling as real life can get in this regard, cinema has taken it to extremes we like to convince ourselves are unlikely. The notion of secretly scary suburbs has been a popular one in cinema for decades. Despite the idyllic exterior of spacious homes, well-kept lawns and community, darkness can lurk behind any closed door.
Serial killers, criminals, Devil-worshippers, monsters and all manner of villainous hijinks have infiltrated the lives and homes of hapless film protagonists for decades. An often dark, sometimes infuriating trope, dreadful neighbours have turned up in every genre and medium at some point. In horror, they remain especially unpleasant, moving up from the more conventional annoying to outright evil.
Here are 10 of the most despicable.
10. The Castevets (Rosemary's Baby)
"This is no dream! This is really happening!"
Where does one even start with the Castevets? Nosey, imposing and worst of all, they're angling to get poor young Rosemary Woodhouse knocked up with the son of Satan himself. The Bramford building has a long, ugly history of witchcraft and murder which is probably why it's so affordable by Manhattan standards.
While Rosemary's husband Guy hits it off with the elderly couple, Rosemary immediately gets bad vibes from the 2 and (quite understandably) finds them meddlesome. When Guy's ailing acting career finally launches, he decides it's time to have a kid and blink and you'll miss it, Rosemary wakes up pregnant.
We gradually discover the Castevets are not only annoying but pure evil, seducing Guy into their Satanic ways in exchange for his wife bearing the Devil's child. At no point did Rosemary get any semblance of a say in all this. It's still one of the creepiest film depictions of apartment living and urban dread of all time.
Veteran character actors Sidney Blackmer and Ruth Gordon are pitch perfect as the occult-loving couple. Both capture the fake, superficial niceness of a duo secretly out to wreak havoc superbly.