‘Destroy All Neighbors’ is the First Great Horror Comedy of 2024

If you like your horror movies filled with comedy, blood, practical effects, and prog rock, then Destroy All Neighbors is for you!

Jonah Ray Rodrigues stars in Destroy All Neighbors (2024), now streaming on Shudder.

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It didn’t take long for 2024 to deliver a highly entertaining horror comedy. On January 12th, 2024, Destroy All Neighbors was released, and it is a blast. It’s a horror comedy with a heavy emphasis on laughs and a penchant for gore. It is also the first horror movie of 2024 to get excited about! Read on to discover why it’s worth your time.

What is Destroy All Neighbors About?

Jonah Ray playing a three-necked guitar in Destroy All Neighbors (2024).
William dreams of creating the ultimate progressive rock album, but he always has an excuse for why he hasn’t achieved his goal.

Destroy All Neighbors is a story about a man with big dreams but no self-confidence. William Brown is an aspiring musician whose life, at first, appears to be good. He lives with his girlfriend Emily, he has a job at a recording studio, and he is close to finishing his first album. But William’s self-absorbed behavior is pushing Emily away, his boss doesn’t respect him, and he has been trying to finish his album for three years. There’s always something that seems to get in William’s way. There’s always a distraction keeping him from completing anything in his life. His newest excuse for being an underachiever is Vlad, William’s astonishingly loud new neighbor.

Alex Winter is Vlad in Destroy All Neighbors (2024).
As a neighbor, Vlad is the worst.

With his life falling apart, William, who is extremely averse to confrontation, finally approaches Vlad. Vlad thrives on confrontation, so when William comes over to discuss his loud music and near-constant yelling, Vlad goads William into a fight. The fight ends poorly for both men, and William now finds himself drawn into a blood-and-music-filled nightmare that continues to spin out of control. But could this newest distraction actually lead to the inspiration William needs to finish his prog-rock magnum opus?

Destroy All Neighbors Review

Jonah Ray in Destroy All Neighbors (2024).
William has a lot to be upset about.

Destroy All Neighbors is weird, gross, absurd, and at times even surreal. The plot uses a kind of dream logic so that when things don’t make normal sense (and they often don’t), it actually benefits the tone of the movie. As for the tone, it might be best described in simile. Watching Destroy All Neighbors is like sticking your face way too close to a speaker at an underground rock concert. It’s loud and cacophonous, but if you’re into the style, it’s a hell of a ride.

Kiran Deol as Emily in Destroy All Neighbors (2024).
Kiran Deol is great as William’s ultra-patient girlfriend Emily. She brings a sense of reality to an otherwise unreal scenario.

Two major elements stand out in the best possible ways in Destroy All Neighbors. First is the comedy. Jonah Ray Rodrigues stars as William, and the awkwardness of his character plays off of his boisterous costars extremely well. If you’re familiar with Jonah Ray or you’ve seen him as a host of Mystery Science Theater 3000, then you’ll be familiar with the style of comedy he brings to Destroy All Neighbors. Will is an everyman with a low-key, endearing personality that is often pushed into taking drastic actions. Some of the funniest moments in the movie come from Will attempting to get his point across to someone with a more dominant personality, but all the while scrambling for the right words to try to avoid a direct confrontation.

William and Emily argue in Destroy All Neighbors (2024).
William finds it difficult to get along with most people, even those closest to him like Emily.

Destroy All Neighbors also includes a ton of over-the-top, goofy comedy as well. Vlad is played by Alex Winter under a ton of makeup, and he is the exact opposite of William. Vlad is loud and crass and says the dumbest things repeatedly. Vlad often induces eye-rolls and laughs in equal measure, making him a perfect counterpoint to Will’s more passive tendencies. In between William and Vlad are a wide variety of comedy styles that, all together, make for a good time for various tastes. There’s a lot to like here, and the jokes work well way more often than not in Destroy All Neighbors.

Alex Winter as Vlad in Destroy All Neighbors (2024).
Vlad is absurd and overbearing.

In addition to the comedy, the second major element of Destroy All Neighbors that sets it apart in a good way is the visual style. Destroy All Neighbors doesn’t feel like real life, and that is thanks to the stylized version of reality it presents. Vlad, for instance, doesn’t look human. He’s some sort of monster of a man defined mostly by his grotesque features. Nobody seems to notice the unreality of Vlad though. In this world, he isn’t too weird to be real. Vlad’s appearance helps prepare the viewer for the complete ridiculousness of Will’s situation when his life turns into a total nightmare, and it all works really well.

Jonah Ray holds a saw in Destroy All Neighbors (2024).
Destroy All Neighbors doesn’t shy away from blood, but it doesn’t overdo it either.

There is also a fair amount of gore in Destroy All Neighbors, but it’s all played for comedy. So for anyone who gets squeamish with blood and guts, you still might be able to handle Destroy All Neighbors since it’s all done in a cartoonish way. Dismembered limbs and internal organs become commonplace after a while. That’s not to say the special effects are bad. Quite the opposite. The practical effects in Destroy All Neighbors are wonderful, and they hearken back to some of the great horror comedies of the 1980s and 1990s. Fans of that era of horror and comedy will likely enjoy Destroy All Neighbors the most.

Thomas Lennon in Destroy All Neighbors (2024).
Cameo appearances by comedians like Thomas Lennon help elevate the movie even more.

Destroy All Neighbors brings to mind several movies with similar tones and ideas. William is a bit like Lionel in Dead Alive (aka Braindead, 1992), a passive individual who is thrust into a preposterous situation filled with death (and undeath). The exaggerated and effects-laden Vlad is reminiscent of Alex Winter’s cult classic Freaked (1993). The music-and-comedy-driven plot may, in a way, remind you of Studio 666 (2022). There’s also a little of The Return of the Living Dead (1985) and The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987) to be found in Destroy All Neighbors, and fans of any of those films will want to check it out. For everyone else, if you enjoy practical effects and goofy comedies, make sure to put Destroy All Neighbors towards the top of your “2024 movies to watch” list.

The Cast and Crew of Destroy All Neighbors

Jonah Ray in Destroy All Neighbors (2024).
Jonah Ray has a confused look on his face often throughout Destroy All Neighbors.

Jonah Ray Rodrigues, a comedian who may be best known as Jonah Heston in Mystery Science Theater 3000, stars as William Brown. Alex Winter, a prominent filmmaker and actor best known as Bill of the Bill & Ted trilogy, plays the monstrous Vlad. William’s live-in girlfriend Emily is played by Kiran Deol, a comedian and actor whose most prominent television role was as Mallory in Sunnyside (2019).

In smaller but equally funny roles are Thomas Lennon (Reno 911, The State), Randee Heller (Lucille in the Karate Kid movies), Ryan Kattner, Christian Calloway, Jon Daly, DeMorge Brown, Pete Ploszek, and Kumail Nanjiani.

Alex Winter as Vlad in Destroy All Neighbors (2024).
The makeup and other practical special effects are beautiful in a grotesque way.

Destroy All Neighbors was directed by Josh Forbes. Forbes previously directed a number of music videos for acts including The Offspring and Carly Rae Jepsen. He also directed Contracted: Phase II (2015). Mike Benner, Jared Logan, and Charles A. Pieper wrote Destroy All Neighbors.

Gabriel Bartalos was the makeup designer for Destroy All Neighbors. The work of Bartalos can be seen in tons of great movies over the past few decades including From Beyond (1986), Darkman (1990), Leprechaun (1992), Army of the Dead (2021), Shaky Shivers (2022), and more.

Where Can I Watch Destroy All Neighbors?

You can stream Destroy All Neighbors on Shudder and AMC+. As of this writing, the film also has a very limited number of screenings at Alamo Drafthouse locations across the United States. A release date for Blu-ray and DVD is pending at this time.

Meet The Author

Chris has a degree in film studies at Temple University’s campus in Tokyo, Japan. He is a renowned expert on horror cinema.