Neighbors director Nicholas Stoller knows that his movie, on the surface, looks like another comedy you probably adore: Old School. In fact, when we visited the film’s set last year, it was made clear that Stoller and his crew went out of their way to distance Neighbors from Todd Phillips’ raucous comedy, to strike off and be its own thing.
That’s not to say, however, that Neighbors doesn’t borrow from other movies. How could it not, right? During this year’s South By Southwest film festival, Stoller met me at the Neighbors frat house, located just south of the convention center in downtown Austin, to rehash the rousing reaction the Paramount Theater crowd gave his comedy at its debut screening. And as we kicked around jokes that killed and scenes that lingered, Stoller began pointing out all the different movies that ended up influencing Neighbors, and helping create the movie you’ll get to see on May 9.
Enter the VoidYes, Gaspar Noe’s psychedelic acid trip of a movie influenced Stoller, which is particularly evident in the above promo shot of suburbanites Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne infiltrating Zac Efron’s fraternity house to try and bring it down from within. The use of bold, neon colors screams, "Rave." And Stoller says he borrowed that aesthetic from Noe.
"It was really important to me that this movie be funny," Stoller told me. "But then I wanted it to be cool. I wanted it to feel like you are at a party while you are watching it. I watched Enter the Void, which is super cool looking. Project X is another movie I watched a lot. Chronicle. Any movies that had super-cool party scenes, I tried to absorb."
Here’s the Void trailer, to give you a sense of what Stoller might have absorbed.