An overstressed suburbanite and his neighbors are convinced that the new family on the block are part of a murderous Satanic cult.


Joe Dante


Dana Olsen
3,657 ( 223)
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hanks ... Ray Peterson
Bruce Dern ... Mark Rumsfield
Carrie Fisher ... Carol Peterson
Rick Ducommun ... Art Weingartner
Corey Feldman ... Ricky Butler
Wendy Schaal ... Bonnie Rumsfield
Henry Gibson ... Dr. Werner Klopek
Theodore Gottlieb ... Reuben Klopek (as Brother Theodore)
Courtney Gains ... Hans Klopek
Gale Gordon ... Walter Seznick
Dick Miller ... Garbageman
Robert Picardo ... Garbageman
Cory Danziger ... Dave Peterson
Franklyn Ajaye ... Detective
Rance Howard ... Detective


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He's a stranger in an even stranger land... Suburbia See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


There are several photos in the house of the character played by Gale Gordon, which feature him with Lucille Ball. He worked for many years on several of her television programs. See more »


The antiquated "night vision scope" Mr. Rumsfield does not turn everything red when looking through it. That part of the scope is a red-lens flashlight. Infrared images appear black and white; black for cold, white for warm or hot. See more »


Art Wiengartner: A thermostat on a home furnace; is that supposed to go to 5,000 degrees, you think?
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the Universal Studios logo appears, the camera zooms into Earth and to where the film takes place.

At the end of the film, the effect is played in reverse. See more »

Alternate Versions

To receive a PG certificate UK cinema and video versions were cut by 26 secs to remove some of the images that Ray sees when he's watching the TV. Notably scenes from Race with the Devil, The Exorcist, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2(the last two were banned in the UK at the time). The cuts were restored in 2004 and the certificate upgraded to a '12'. See more »


References Gremlins (1984) See more »


Written by Mickey Finn, Fernie Rod, Billy Rowe & Mark Radice
Performed by Jetboy
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

User Reviews

A Fun Romp Through Suburbia
19 August 2004 | by Krog__See all my reviews

Wanna' sit down and watch a movie that doesn't take itself seriously and stars Tom Hanks? Here ya' go!

The basic plot to this not-quite-funny comedy is that a group of suburbanites think that a family of creepy new neighbors are actually sick killers who offed another neighbor. They go through all sorts of adventures and situations, trying to get to the bottom of the mystery that, it seems, only exists within their minds.

Who cares if the ending is cliche? Well, I do, but not in a movie like this where there is no underlying meaning or message and is just in existence to have a little bit of fun. Which is, by the way, what you'll have: a little bit of fun.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

17 February 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Life in the Burbs See more »


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,101,197, 20 February 1989

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (workprint)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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