14 user 1 critic

Terror in the Family (1996)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | TV Movie 16 April 1996
The portrait of a dysfunctional Nineties suburban family, where behind closed doors, alcohol and rebellion are hidden among the lie of perfection. 15-year-old Deena's sleazy, twisted boyfriend is believed - at first - to be the cause.


Gregory Goodell


Gregory Goodell




Cast overview, first billed only:
Joanna Kerns ... Cynthia Marten
Dan Lauria ... Todd Marten
Hilary Swank ... Deena Marten
Andrew Kavovit ... Garret Lexau (as Andy Kavovit)
Adam Hendershott ... Adam Marten
Nan Martin ... Ivy
Beau Billingslea ... Judge Roubal
Kathleen Wilhoite ... Judith
Jeff Olsen Jeff Olsen ... Mr. Pilney
Barta Heiner Barta Heiner ... D.A. Pearlman
Joey Miyashima ... Attorney
Lynne Gale Lynne Gale ... Therapist Wendy Tremaine
Margo Swena O'Very Margo Swena O'Very ... Dr. Miller
Craig Clyde ... Police Officer
Scott Wilkinson Scott Wilkinson ... Neighbor


15 year old Deena Marten wants the same freedom every teenager craves. But when she can't have her way, her rebellious temperament erupts in violence. Her parents, Cynthia and Todd, fear her new boyfriend, Garret, 17, is the cause. Distraught, Cynthia turns to alcohol, and Todd escapes in his work. They're unaware their Boy Scout son Adam, 13, sips from a vodka bottle hidden in his bedroom. And the problems in this dysfunctional family continue to worsen. Written by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Imagine, the child you love the most... becoming the person you fear the most.


Drama | Romance


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Joanna Kerns' first television movie for the Fox network. See more »


Todd Marten: [Deena comes home at 2:00 A.M. and Deena's father is sitting on the stairwell] Do I have to lock you in your room?
Deena Marten: I just went out for a walk.
Todd Marten: At 2:00 in the morning you went out for a walk?
Cynthia Marten: [Deena's mother walks down the stairwell] When you're grounded?
Deena Marten: I've been locked up all day.
Todd Marten: You haven't been locked up all day, but you will be. I'll nail the damn door shut if I have to.
Cynthia Marten: You're not leaving this house until we get you to a doctor.
Deena Marten: A doctor?
Todd Marten: It's for your own good Deena. Whatever's going on, it has ...
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Features Steel Harbinger (1996) See more »

User Reviews

Very effective, if familiar, drama about alcohol and abuse
6 April 2011 | by raisleygordonSee all my reviews

If you're looking for a quality movie about a family and their problems, "Terror in the Family" is the one to see. It doesn't waste time, or sermonize, which is what a drama, especially one with this theme, should be. And it's never slow, either. Also, there's nothing new to it either. And it is predictable. Hence the title, the movie is about a teenager's behavior that is apparently influenced by her boyfriend. At the very end, it turns out it is. In case you haven't seen or heard of any of the actors here, almost the entire cast is made up of familiar faces: Hilary Swank, "Growing Pains" star Joanna Kerns, and "The Wonder Years" star Dan Lauria.

Grade: B+

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Release Date:

16 April 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Terror in the Family See more »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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