Parents (1989) Poster

(1989)

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9/10
A truly astounding, horrifying movie
Mosswood30 November 1998
If asked which movie has been the most uncomfortable watch for me, it has to be this one. Bob Balaban has put together a film that encompasses all those dark feelings about our parents. With a beautiful performance from Randy Quaid as the strangest father in the world, it is from the dark place where all great black comedies come from. His dizzying combination of gruesome and mundane is incredibly well crafted, not falling into either one but dancing back and forth between them. I HIGHLY recommend this movie. Strange it comes from the man who played the chummy cartographer in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
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Not for all taste, but I loved it.
bigpappa1--214 August 2000
Young Michael (Bryan Madorsky) notices his parents have a strange fondness for meat and wonders where all the meat they eat for dinner comes from. And what goes on after he goes to bed.

Exceptionally well acted and crafted horror-comedy that takes place in the 1950's. The sets, costumes, style, detail paid to flavor of the 50's, and the cars & houses will WOW you and give you a feeling of nostalgia. A nice change of pace for Randy Quaid and it is nice to see Sandy Dennis at work again.

Be forewarned though this is one of the most disturbing films I have ever seen in my entire life. There is absolutely no letup.

My rating: 9 out of 10.
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A fantastic cannibal-suburbia-50s Americana-horror-comedy
pooch-84 January 1999
Years go by and I still adore Parents and make sure to watch it every so often. Impeccable casting, including a never-better Randy Quaid, Mary Beth Hurt, and Sandy Dennis, truly energizes the film. Preteen lead Bryan Madorsky has become a personal hero of mine, perfectly capturing the essence of fear and revilement that ten-year-olds can develop for their seemingly monstrous parents. Unfortunately for Madorsky's character Michael, his parents truly are monsters. I love the burgeoning friendship/romance between the two young kids, particularly in the telling sequences where they get drunk and end up in the freezer and where they speculate on the secret lives of their parents. And any movie that uses Perez Prado's "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" over the opening credits is peachy in my book.
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10/10
Beautiful in its Completely Demented Nature
lecter-927 March 1999
As I watched this film, I thought, if I was a kid around Michael's age watching this film, it would give me nightmares for years. Some good-natured books stir up the imaginations of youngsters with the possibilities of what our parents really do when they're supposedly at work--this movie takes those possibilities to an incredibly dark level.

Even though I'm supposedly all grown up, I found this to be one of the most disturbing films I've ever seen. The film is incredibly stylish and expressionistic, surprisingly so. I personally think it would be hard finding compelling aesthetics in suburbia, but the director of this movie does it well.

There are some humorous moments (thanks for the tension release), but it is incredibly dark humor. I can't help but think the director might be a "graduate" of the "school" of David Lynch. Overall, an incredible, creepy movie that deserves to be seen at least once.
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8/10
A Day in the Life of Little Davey Lynch
WriterDave1 November 2003
Although directed by Bob Balaban of all people (most will know him as one of Christopher Guest's regulars in his series of comic pseudo-documentaries like "Best in Show"), "Parents" is clearly heavily influenced by David Lynch (Lynch's regular composer Angelo Badalementi is put to good use here by Mr. Balaban). One wonders if this is what life was like for David Lynch growing up as an Eagle Scout in the picture perfect 1950's. This is one of the most disturbing darkly comic horror movies I have ever seen. My jaw hung open for the film's entire length, my heart was racing at the climax in the cellar, and by the time the "sitcom-style" end credits rolled I was laughing out loud.

The film is told from the point of view of a 10 year old boy growing up in a cold, sanitized, and Uncanny 1950's suburbia with his parents who are so perfect they are down-right creepy (played wonderfully by Randy Quaid and Mary Beth Hurt). The kid knows something must be up, and the film eerily displays the dark fantasies that can develop in a child's mind when he isn't quite sure why the world is the way it is and that everything seems slightly off-kilter. We've all had these feelings when lonely and isolated and it is especially apparent in those odd pre-teen years when we are old enough to know the difference between fantasy and reality yet not mature enough to handle just what that reality now is. What essentially happens in this film is the young boy walks in on his parents having sex one night after waking up from a nightmare and then develops a bizarre fantasy where they have become cannibals. Freud would have a field day with this film. Balaban puts the psycho back in psychosexual with the kind of wanton abandon only Hitchcock, Kubrick, and Lynch have previously dared. The latter half of the film follows the conventions of your standard horror flick and does it so beautifully you will be left shivering. Sublime, satirical, uncanny, and as near perfect a cult film as you could ask for.

Also recommended: "Psycho," "The Shining," "Blue Velvet," "Twin Peaks," "Frailty," and "Donnie Darko."
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10/10
The Other Side of Childhood
lou_pine26 February 2003
Just a few points on this movie as it happens to be one of my all time favourites (thank you Mr Balaban and Mr Hawthorne).

There is an aspect to childhood that is too often (and in the case of Hollywood almost always) forgotten and that is the dark side. The world for a child does not always appear as a bright, shining place of wonder and joy; more often than not the world is strange, forbidding and completely out of our control. That appearance is not deceptive; what is deceptive is the web of fictions we build up over time to help us deal with this. For me part of the thrill of horror (real horror, not simply the slash and stack variety), is the remembrance of that childhood chill, the memory of what Lovecraft termed cosmic horror and Freud called the Uncanny. Regardless of who those people are, parents as the symbol of unimpeachable, unquestioned authority whom we have to trust regardless of their real motives, are a potent representation of this chaotic universe, a universe that could crush us at any moment if it wanted to, but which we're stuck with. "Parents" the movie, evokes this side of childhood in a way unlike almost any other movie I know.

It is not coincidental then that the movie should also be a satire on 50's America and indeed America of any age since. The dependence of a people on its leaders - leaders who have secrets they cannot reveal for the public's good - is analogous to the childhood state and the child's dependence on those mysterious authority figures at the dinner table. In this respect, "Parents" follows on in an honourable tradition of American weird fiction, with antecedents in the works of Ambrose Bierce (read "Oil of Dog") and Shirley Jackson (read "The Summer People"). For both these writers, both the state and conventional society were to be distrusted rather than accepted blindly as unquestionably good. "Parents" shows the limitations of those we put our faith in, pointing out their potential for evil and for weakness. Indeed if ever a country needed a biting critique of lying, cannibalistic authority figures, the America of George W. Bush is that country.

Of course, the movie also follows on in the grand fairy-tale tradition of the Brothers Grimm, who populate much of their fiction with deceitful parents and cannibalistic feasts. Children's fiction is rarely afraid to show the monsters under the bed, nor does it try to fool kids into thinking they're not there. Hollywood should learn from this lesson instead of hypocritically loading their fare with ludicrous violence and simplistic visions of the world. By the way, I am talking about their adult fare; adaptations of Dahl's stories and other so-called children's fare are already more mature than most of Hollywood's "adult movies".

It's a real shame more films like "Parents" are not made as it is on a par with the high standards set by the best of European cinema (the most obvious parallel here being the delirious "Delicatessen" which also features cannibalistic parents in a stylised setting). Made in 1989, I cannot remember too many movies to come out of the 90's with the bite of this wonderful feature. Make no mistake this is a MASTERPIECE and should be seen.
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A Movie That Will Stick With You
Supurna11 November 2002
It's been 13 years since I saw this movie, but it made such an impact on me that to this day I can close my eyes and visualize the characters, and feel the mood that make this film worth watching. Not too many movies scare me like this one did. It wasn't the use of vast quantities of blood, or the killings that scared me, as much as it was the Ward and June Cleaver-ness of the parents. What really did it for me was the mind twist the director built into this film, and the way it was pulled off by the actors. If you're squeamish then this probably isn't for you, but if you can watch a movie and appreciate it for the art it is, I recommend it.
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8/10
Satirical 50's Horror
annablair-1919123 May 2019
Parents isn't your average horror film. Or average comedy. Or average anything. In fact, it's hard to even describe a movie like Parents. It's next to impossible to describe this film's mood and the way it makes you feel.

Parents follows a seemingly normal 50's family with a very strange little boy. He's plagued with nightmares and visions about how his parents may not be as wholesome as they claim to be. Plus, he's really interested in the meat they eat and dinner and where it came from. Could they be cannibals?

Parents veers from satirical dark comedy to horror film and back again about 50 times throughout. Normally, this would give the viewer a severe case of tonal whiplash, but Parents is just so damn strange that it feels more like the lovechild of John Waters and David Lynch than any normal horror or comedy film.

The cast is excellent including Randy Quaid, Mary Beth Hurt, and Sandy Dennis. They all commit 100% to their oddball characters while still, every now and then, giving the audience a little wink and nudge.

Parents is worth checking out.
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10/10
the blackest of black comedies.
Nightman8525 February 2007
Stunningly weird and truly clever horror-comedy is an unforgettable trip.

Young boy begins to suspect that his too-normal parents are up to something strange as they continue to push him to eat his meats at dinner.

A royally twisted satire on 50's Americana, Parents is a wildly warped cross between Blue Velvet (1986), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and various sitcoms of the McCarthy era. The story is quite intriguing, disturbing, and down-right funny at times. The direction is sharply done creating lots of inventive cinematography and hauntingly eerie visuals (namely that shot where our young hero dives into his bed only to sink into an ocean of blood). A good music score by Angelo Badalamenti, nice sets, and an over-all atmosphere of dread and mystery also help to make this film memorable.

The cast is a true highlight as well. Randy Quaid is downright frightening as the stern father. Mary Beth Hurt is solid as the high-strung mother. Sandy Dennis is quite good as the school councilor. Brian Madorsky does perhaps the best performance, especially considering his young age, as the nervous and understandably scared kid.

Parents is a film that is almost beyond words for me. It's surely one of the most horrific black comedies ever and one that must be seen to be felt! A winner.

**** out of ****
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8/10
You like David Lynch? You'll like this.
PhillyWolves10 October 2005
Angelo Badalamenti does some of the music for this gem of a film.

I HIGHLY recommend this film and the acting is spectacular - casting could not have been better.

Not as surreal as Lynch's movies, but very dark and is heading in a "Lynchian" direction.

The director has been on several Seinfeld episodes as the character Russell Dalrymple, although I don't know who that character was - but I'll keep any eye out now.

Do yourself a favor and don't look at the movie cover or read ANY spoilers - just watch and enjoy.

Try it - you'll like it.

  • B
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8/10
Great Cult Film
jac208172 July 2006
This film is crazy-weird...but in a good way. If you enjoy off-beat, black comedies, this will appeal to you, immediately. If you enjoy them but need a bit of time to fully absorb the humor and oddities of it; then you may have to watch it a few times to really get the full effect and develop a true appreciation for the film's original quirkiness.

However, if you don't like off the wall, goofy and somewhat disturbing movies, you won't like it. You'll find it either disturbing, stupid, boring or any combination of. I am not one of those people--I LOVED it--and the more I watch it, the more I enjoy it. Other movies you might like (if you like this one) are: Practical Magic, Heathers, and Fright Night (the original from 1985).

Enjoy!!
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9/10
Awesome
jonnothingmusic12 June 2019
This film is fantastic! Watch it. Some truly great camera work from begining to end. And, a lovely little story about suburban cannibalism.
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8/10
Pre-Skuggs and already a mental case.
ElijahCSkuggs13 February 2009
A cannibal movie with Randy Quaid? Count me the f@ck in! Parents is the story of a young, weirdo lil kid named Michael, who's been suffering nightmares lately. Strange blood-filmed dreams. He draws bizarre, blood-filled pictures at school. His appetite and his behavior is all screwy. The kid is a total lil mental case. But as you know, the parents are almost usually to blame when it comes down how their kids act. And that theory is really ringing true here. Pops is also mental, but much more than lil Michael or anyone thinks.

Talking about a dark flick. I heard that this was a dark comedy of sorts, and you better believe that. I love a good dark comedy, but with this one, it's really not that funny. Sure, you've got Randy Quaid delivering some great stares and being nicely menacing, but besides that, the darkness just stays dark for horror's sake not for comedy's. Which isn't bad. The reason being is probably because of the young kid. His part is one of a very quiet and what seems disturbed young boy, but to me, he plays the part much too deadpan. Either that his acting skills were weak. Nevertheless he didn't take much away from the film, because Randy was usually pretty close by.

Parents delivered a unique look at Cannibalism that should appeal to fans of dark comedy, and of the cannibal genre. Oh and especially Quaid fans. It's really short at only 81 minutes so it's a quick movie to watch, and with it being a one-of-a-kind type of horror flick, it's very recommendable. But make sure you know who you're recommending it to.
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6/10
A vegetarian kid goes to bed, hungry.
triggerhappyguy3 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I liked this film, but I'm honestly torn between the aspects I liked and the obvious flaws. This film couldn't decide what it wanted to be. A dark comedy, a satire, a surrealist film, a thriller? In some ways, the film is a blend of all of these genres, but it sparsely executes any aspects of those genres effectively.

There's not enough laughs for it to be a dark comedy. There's a scene in particular where a character is getting stabbed, whilst a '50s pop song plays. The delivery of the scene is like a thriller, yet the use of the song makes it feel like a comedy. I feel like an opportunity for some great dark comedy was missed (think Shaun of the Dead, with the use of the Queen song). The nods to '50s pop culture are cute at best. There's some suspense near the end, but we already know from the start that the parents are cannibals - so why was there a "big reveal" scene? The dream sequences are fun, but never really amount to much. It seems like the dreams were only added to make the audience think the lead character had a wild imagination, so that the "big reveal" scene would be even more shocking. Again, it's not really a secret that the parents are cannibals... the poster gives it away! The directing by Bob Balaban was quite good. Some fun takes, and great set up shots. Going back to the flaws though, it really feels like the director had a plethora of creative ideas, and wanted to fit them all in to one film. There's a a recurring theme of the colour red throughout... but then there's also a theme of the colour green... then both seem abandoned when the nearing the finale. It's like the director wanted to throw in some symbolism, or deep meaning, but then forgot about it due to focusing on another idea. It's sad, because I think Balaban is a creative director, and he went on to director a legit underrated cult classic - "My Boyfriend's Back". This film was more like a "my first cult film" than a true classic.

The acting was great by all involved, especially Randy Quaid. The soundtrack was generally good, with the use of some '50s songs. The placement of the score was hit or miss though.

Despite the flaws, there's something charming about the film. Maybe it's the '50s setting, or the surreal aspects, interesting direction, or even a surprisingly good performance from Randy Quaid. Whatever it is, this film has all the makings of a cult film... however, this is more like a cult not-so-classic.
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6/10
Cult Movies 46
TYLERdurden7415 November 1998
46. PARENTS (comedy, 1988) Ever since their move to a new town 10-year old Michael has been feeling strange. Maybe its because his new house seems so big and spooky. Or maybe its because his parents have started serving him a new recipe they call "leftovers". Whatever the case he has grown very suspicions of anything and everyone. His growing anxieties instill in him a wicked outlook towards life that gets him in trouble at school. Things turn for the worst when they investigate Michael's private home life.

Critique: Strange little film is the blackest of comedies. The story is told from Michael's P.O.V so everything looks abstract and weird. Attention to detail of setting (50s Americana), production design and costumes is very rewarding. Bob Balaban's craftily directed 'Pax Americana' scenes seem aesthetic and distant. The film has strong thematic qualities with David Lynch's own subversive 'Twin Peaks' society of evil lurking underneath a wholesome facade. Lynch's own regular composer, Angelo Bandalamenti, provides the music.

It also benefits from the stylistic brushes of cinematographer-turned-director Barry Sonenfeld. The use of sweeping, low-angle shots (illustrating this child's nightmare world) and use of hand-held are wonderful. The subversive overtones of the film make it not for all tastes.

QUOTE: Michael: "Well, what were they before they were leftovers?"

Dad: "Leftovers to be."
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6/10
Almost a Good Film... But There Was Something Missing
gavin69426 October 2012
Michael Laemle (Brian Madorsky) is a young boy living in a typical 1950s suburbanite home... except for his bizarre and horrific nightmares, and continued unease around his parents.

This film is well made, well acted and is a fun (yet creepy) idea. The only problem is that the game is given away from the very beginning. The "secret" of Michael's parents is known before the film even starts if you read the summary on Netflix. And then, where do you go with it?

Clearly, the writer did not know where to take it, because it never really goes anywhere. There are an endless series of strange scenes, but no real plot or story arc. I like watching Randy Quaid be weird for 90 minutes, but I also like knowing there is going to be a beginning and an end... here, we never really know where it is going and that just makes it hard to watch.
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6/10
Not completely satisfying.
gridoon19 June 2000
Interesting movie, but far from a total success. The director uses his camera cleverly and executes some fine visual tricks, but they don't lead anywhere, because the film has such an "one-joke" premise and a repetitive script. Great music score, astonishingly mature work by the boy who plays the central character, a few scares at the end, but the movie still rings hollow, and gets no more than a 6/10 from me.
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6/10
A Weird, Dark and Bizarre Tale
claudio_carvalho8 August 2004
In the 50's, the Lamele forms a typical medium-class American family, and they have just moved to a house in the suburbs. Dad Nick Lamele (Randy Quaid) has a new job in the city, Mon Lily Lamele (Mary Beth Hurt) is a lovely housewife and Michael Lamele (Bryan Madorsky) is the lonely and weird son, who believes that Mon and Dad are cannibals. Their parents become very happy while preparing lots of meat everyday, what is not common in USA, and the boy is intrigued about the provenience of the meat. He become friend of Sheila Zellner (Jun Mills Cockell), a strange girl and daughter of her father's boss. In the school, the social assistant notices that the boy has some kind of psychological problem and tries to help him. This movie is a weird, dark and bizarre tale, with great interpretation of the cast, but something is missing to make it an excellent film. The problem is that the director did not define well what genre he wanted to present to the audience. Therefore, the plot is too much dark for a black-humor comedy, and too much funny for a horror movie. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): `O Que Há Para Jantar?' (`What Do We Have For Dinner?')
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A truly memorable horror movie.
FATLOSER4 June 2000
This film is a real treasure in modern horror! This was one of the first good american horror films to come out in a while, a real first class effort. The creators went to the limits of their budget to make this dark story work. The period settings are flawless in their interpretation of early suburban banality. The horror is understated but reveals itself just at the precise moments. The child who plays the emotionally assaulted protagonist is amazing. His speech at school during show and tell is one of my favorite horror scenes of all time and there isn't a single monster or drop of blood in it. This film should be on everyone's "to see" list.
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9/10
Like father, not like son.
lost-in-limbo14 November 2006
It's the 1950's, where families are an important nucleus of America's makeup. Michael Laemie is the troubled young lad who lives with his job-orientated father, Nick and always-happy homemaker mother, Lily. This suburban family looks all the merry, but under the surface there's growing unease between Michael and his father. Michael is also coping from unusually frightening nightmares and the strange sensational that the "leftovers" that he is forced to eat at breakfast and dinner is more than just bacon.

Don't past this tasty appetite up; just eat it all up! What a deliciously sly black comedy / horror joint that hits the mark with its quietly disturbing atmosphere, ripe performances and an alluringly off-kilter story. Director Bob Balaban dishes up a stylish and well-footed picture that's flourishing with a surreal and haunting quality.

Since basically it's a one-idea concept that doesn't lead anywhere big or sway off the main course. Gladly there are other inventive features framing the glum (and secretly gruesome) story. Firstly there's the disturbing, but thoroughly tuned satire on the values of Suburbia and it's secret underbelly. For a change we actually follow the story through the lonesome eyes of the impressible young Michael. We effectively see just how his world is shaped by this growing anxiety and pressure to be one. And finally, streaming through the script's veins is a wickedly subtle dark streak and a very laid back attitude that adds to the slow rising tension. Why it works, is that it doesn't strain for effect, but naturally trumps in with good timing and with a great sense judgement.

Balaban leisurely paces the film by working in a hypnotic lull that suffocates the air. The eerily saucy music score that can raise the hairs and a well-devised soundtrack of this nostalgia period that paints an accurate state of the mood can attribute this. Colourfully sublime photography adds another dimension to its whimsical nature and striking visions. You're simply alerted by its originality, which can be found in many underling details and out-of-left-field scenarios.

An astonishing cast chips in with stellar and quite picture-perfect performances. When you think of the Vacation comedy flicks, Randy Quaid's character is total goofball. Well, that's not the case on this outing. Heck, Quaid creates on very unsettling vibe in a steely performance of Nick Laemie. This unnerving frankness is quite a big change! A delectable Mary Beth Hurt is the total opposite in her chirpy frame of mind as Lily Laemie. The big performance (excuse the pun) came from the placidly gaunt Brian Madorsky. Who made the thing seem quite believable with his coldly concealed turn. Sandy Dennis is acceptable as a worried social worker, Juno Mills-Cockell fits nicely as Michael's upfront friend and Deborah Rush is fun in her short role as Mrs. Gladys Zellner.

This finger-licking dark oddity deserves the merit it receives.
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8/10
One of a kind
christopher-underwood13 March 2019
This really quite some film. Difficult to describe or even convey just how deep and disturbing the horror here is. Not a conventional horror film, by any means, but as horrific as they come. All three main roles are very ably performed with equally able assist from Sandy Dennis who is just perfect as the bumbling, well meaning social worker trying to understand the young boy at the centre of everything. To some extent this is about the anxiety involved with bedtime darkness as a child and the concern as to what ones parents are doing without you. Worries that turn to dreams, nightmares and maybe more. Randy Quaid is suitably strange as, a possibly kindly but more likely utterly weird, father and Mary Beth Hurt very convincing as the evidently kindly but demented mother. A word on the design and decor - perfect. Fabulous recreation of a fifties setting with appropriate 50s pop soundtrack. Particularly in Blu-ray the rooms appear to have leapt from magazines we remember and add another layer of peculiarity and unreality to the already very worrying goings on. One of a kind.
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5/10
Still works
AwesomeLash6 August 2012
I'm just getting ready to watch this but since there are so many other reviews I figured it would be OK if I didn't review it.

However the first review that I read said it would be terrifying to watch a movie like this if you were at the age of the young boy in the movie. Let me just say that I DID watch this movie at that age and it scared the crap out of me. It was just so dark and weird.

I have not seen it since but it has always stuck with me. I can't wait to watch it and see if it is still as scary as I remember.

I remember a scene with tongues frying in a skillet that I can never forget.
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8/10
Why Didn't I See This Sooner? (SPOILERS!)
w00f4 January 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I've put off seeing this movie for years. I'm not sure why. I believe I thought it would be stupid and clumsy, like so many films starring Randy Quaid tend to be. As a rule, I'm not much of a fan of his.

There wasn't much else on, though, so I wound up watching it this morning. I should have seen it sooner. This is a terrific movie on many different levels.

The acting is strong throughout. Quaid turns in an unusually good performance in this role; he's genuinely creepy, and he pulls off the "average guy with something not quite right about him" characterization quite well. Mary Beth hurt does a great job, too, and the child star of this film is sullen and stiff enough to just fit the role.

The atmosphere of the film is simultaneously spooky and artificial. The "problem" that makes up the theme of the movie is covered over with a gloss of cheerfulness and civility that is itself both as fake and as tacky as an avocado green formica kitchen counter. The feeling of artificiality touches every one of the film's setting, from the main characters' home to the home of neighbor Sheila to Quaid's workplace to Michael's school psychologist's office. This is a wonderful recapturing of the attitude of the 50's -- if we don't talk about the problem, it'll go away -- that director Balaban and writer Hawthorne take to a grotesque extreme, giving the movie a feel that borders on the fantastic, a la Tim Burton. The nightmare sequences that make up so much of the movie serve as a good device for the mind of a little boy who knows that something is terribly wrong, but he himself can't face it in his real life. It is only in his dreams that he can begin to piece together what's happening around him.

The only place that reality in all it's starkness rears its head (or, in this case, its lower leg) is in the basement of the family home, when Michael finally finds the clue that forces him to confront the monstrosity of his parents. It's interesting that Balaban switches from color to black and white footage whenever Michael is faced with the horrors that lurk just beneath the surface, whether in the nightmare sequences or the discovery in the basement (I'm trying not to give too much detail away here!) Otherwise, the film is brightly colorful The basement, too, is Michael's own subconscious mind which, ultimately, is locked into a kind of Freudian nightmare. There is something heavily Oedipal that underlies this movie, which is made obvious in the film's penultimate scene, when Michael finally tries to kill his father, have his mother come to his rescue when he doesn't quite succeed, and then have the father kill the mother before coming once again after him. It's no coincidence that Quaid's character finally dies in the basement, nor that Michael ends the film living with Quaid's parents in the film's denoument.

Clearly, this film isn't going to appeal to everyone. It deals with cannibalism, violence, blood, and the tortures -- both physical and psychological -- that parents bring to bear in their attempts to mold the characters and minds of their children. Still, for those who can cope with a look at the stuff from which nightmares are truly made, I would definitely recommend this movie. If you haven't seen it yet, don't keep putting it off like I did!
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10/10
If only you knew...
mugwump17 March 2003
Bob Balaban's Parents is one of my favorite movies of all time and I righteously believe it to be quite a misunderstood gem. From my point of view, this movie is about life in suburbia, growing up in it, fearing it's closing to the outer world and it's strangely by-the-clock routine. Basically, this movie is about Hell and I think it depicts it with flair and appropriate imagery. I, myself, can really identify with the main character despite the fact that he is muted for the most part. I believe mutism to be forced upon him by the circumstances. Suburbia is not a place to talk as is the city, it's a place to think, to think for yourself. Suburbia is a place where there is no one to entertain you but yourself. You are then all alone and that's what is scary. You start imagining things because you have nothing else to do. The biggest part of the world is in your own head when you're growing up in Suburbia and yes, things can get ugly. You have to see past realist concerns when analysing this movie and see the straight fear, the straight uncertainty of it all... I know this all sounds awfully confusing but look at it this way: I am a loner born in the american suburbia and I can honestly say that Parents is a brilliant depiction of all the fears and doubts I've encountered as a child. I almost watch this film as a documentary now and I totally feel it as a recollection of what my own life partially was. Well-made, well-thought-of stuff. Let all the kids issued from a suburban childhood see it and shiver at the sight of such a just rendering of their troubled past.
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10/10
A True Blue Review of the American Dream
beorhhouse18 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This film hits us Americans where it hurts the most. We loved to believe that we had single-handedly saved the world from several kinds of fascism and that in doing so everybody had gotten financially comfortable. There was even enough--for a little while anyway--to give the pariah of our Caucasian society a taste of success... until they got too uppity. This brilliant film is an allegory of the American Dream, emphasis on gory. I believe this one went straight to video back in 1989, the year I first saw it, loved it, and hailed it as the masterpiece of paradigm lynching that it remains to this day. This film isn't leftist or conservative, religious or atheist, football or golf. Cannibals couldn't care less what philosophies their victims espouse. It's all about power and self-satisfaction--and removing anyone who has even the smallest concern regarding the well-being of the children involved. And, on top of all that, the genius insanity of Randy Quaid shines like nobody's business, and is flawlessly joined with the classic Post-War Dream housewife character created by Mary Beth Hurt and the bumbling, mumbling, stumbling brilliance of Sandy Dennis.
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