A highly successful advertising executive decides to put his job on hold after getting an update from his father that he and his wife are divorced and decides to extend his break after revealing that his father is a diabetic.
1962, after Yale graduation, womanizing Lawrence flees a gambling debt that his rich dad won't pay. He takes his roomie's place as Peace Corps Volunteer in Thai Golden Triangle with 2 other PCVs. Will he survive 2 years?
This story takes place in a typical American neighborhood, when some new neighbors come to live in the house next to Ray Peterson. These new people are really strange; nobody has ever seen them, their house is a real mess, and during the night you can hear weird noises from their basement. The only thing they know is their name: Klopeks. One day Walter (an old man of the neighborhood) suddenly disappears and everyone starts to suspect the Klopeks...Written by
Chris Makrozahopoulos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The 'burbs is a fun diversion from the usual neighborhood comedies. Joe Dante has a way of combining dark humor and outright horror and make it convincing to a mass audience (see 'Gremlins.') That this film has a lot of dark elements and remains just a light romp at the end is a feat unto itself. All credit goes to Hanks' good natured comedic performance and Dante's fun with the material.
Dante paints a portrait of the neighborhood at the very beginning. Hanks plays Ray, probably the most normal among the neighbors. Art is like a big kid and the first one to suspect the neighbors of foul play. Bruce Dern plays a war vet where Ricky Butler, played by Corey Feldman is the loud teenager. All is well in suburbia until clues pop up that might reveal the new neighbors, the Klopeks, as murderers.
With any other talent behind the film, this could have been a very dark comedy. But instead of playing up the horror, Dante has fun with it, playing up the comedy talents of his performers (notably Hanks and Dern, who take turns chewing scenery). Dante also has fun with visuals, notably in a hilarious dream sequence that Ray has.
Everything comes together to make this film work, including a great score by Jerry Goldsmith, that is part suburban comedy and part horror, complete with organs culled from a funeral march. This film is far from perfect, but it's fun diversional comedy and reminds of the great comic actor that Tom Hanks once was before becoming Oscar's golden boy.
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