Lakeview Terrace (2008) Poster


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  • An interracial couple—Caucasian husband Chris Mattson (Patrick Wilson) and African-American wife Lisa (Kerry Washington)—move next door to Abel Turner (Samuel L. Jackson), a black man whose wife was killed while having an affair with her white boss and who is adamantly against interracial marriages and will stop at nothing to either force the young couple to move out or to break up their marriage. Being a police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Abel presents a grave challenge to the young couple. Edit

  • Lakeview Terrace is based on a script by screenwriters David Loughery and Howard Korder. The plot was supposedly based on the real life story of John and Mellaine Hamilton, an interracial couple in Altadena, California who were harassed and intimidated by African-American LAPD officer Irsie Henry in 2002. Henry was eventually charged with assault and fired by the LAPD for his actions. Edit

  • "Back Up" by Bone Crusher. Edit



The FAQ items below may give away important plot points.

  • Although the movie doesn't spell it out, most viewers assume that the actual target of Abel's animosity is Los Angeles Laker shooting guard Kobe Bryant. Bryant's wife Vanessa is of Mexican and Irish descent, which would imply an interracial marriage. In 2003, Bryant also admitted to having an adulterous affair with a 19-year-old, Caucasian, hotel employee. Either of those scenarios-an interracial marriage or an adulterous affair-would have been abhorrent to Abel. Edit

  • Chris and Lisa return from the hospital to find that the wildfire is drawing closer to the Lakeview neighborhood and that the police are warning residents to evacuate. Meanwhile, Abel goes through their house looking for the cellphone that Clarence left behind but doesn't find it before they return. Before beginning to pack, Chris thanks Abel for his help subduing the intruder. As he and Lisa pack some things from the bedroom, Clarence's cell phone drops from the bed. Chris dials the last number called and is shocked when it is answered by Abel. Abel realizes that he's been caught and heads over to the Mattsons' house, gun in hand. He tries to convince Chris that the intruder was making threats against his daughter and broke into the wrong house, but Chris doesn't buy it and knocks Abel to the floor. He tosses the phone to Lisa and tells her to get the police. As Lisa leaves, Abel knocks Chris to the floor, rushes outside, and shoots at Lisa's car, causing her to veer into a parked car. Chris tackles Abel to the ground once more, grabs his gun, then rushes to Lisa. Abel pulls out another gun and fires a shot in Chris' direction, missing him. Chris hides behind Lisa's car as police sirens can be heard. Abel quickly hides his gun behind his back. He holds up his arms to show the arriving sheriff's deputies (LASD)-with whom he is not familiar-that he's not carrying a gun. The deputies order Chris to drop his gun, but Chris refuses to so long as Abel still has his gun hidden behind his back. Chris finally throws Abel off by asking him about his wife's unfaithfulness, and Abel snaps, shooting Chris in the shoulder. The deputies open fire on Abel, killing him. In the final scene, Lisa joins Chris in the ambulance. They assure each of their love and the fact that they're going to have a family. Edit

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