You know how certain horror movies cross over into comedy? Like when Freddy Krueger says "Welcome to prime time b!tch!!" and slams a girl's head into the TV? Well, this is the opposite: comedy crossing over into horror. It gets pretty weird, and if you're not expecting it, it can be downright upsetting.
I think that's what makes so many people hate this movie. With an all-star comedic cast like it has, it promises to be a laugh riot like the DVD cover says. I was expecting something like "Ghostbusters" meets "Fletch" meets "Summer Rental". Instead it's more like "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" meets "Deliverance". In other words the comedy is very low-key, not quite enough to offset the disturbing story.
Dan Akroyd, who plays a sadistic murdering judge, is just plain frightening. John Candy, who plays the sympathetic policeman, gives the story an air of tragedy. Chevy Chase is his usual wisecracking self, but it can't compete with the horror & violence of the plot (being trapped in a hicktown house while people are getting brutally murdered all around you). You really have to be ready for it, otherwise you might end up traumatized. The "Bonestripper" scene will give lifelong nightmares to any kid under the age of 12, as well as impressionable adults.
But now that you've been warned, perhaps you'll be able to take it in stride. I'm not sure if writer Dan Akroyd intended this to be so nightmarish, but it sure is. Definitely a one-of-a-kind. NOT for young kids!!