Anyone who knows me well, knows I love me a good, dark comedy. It can be a straight up horror comedy, like 'Evil Dead 2', or just a comedy with a darker side to it, like 'The 'Burbs', which will wrap up this month's ridiculously random "Corey Feldman Month".
Suburbanite, Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks) has some vacation time, and choses to spend it relaxing at home with his wife, Carol (Carrie Fisher) and kid, Dave (Cory Danziger). It all goes okay, until suspicions are brought up about the new neighbors, the Klopeks; a mysterious group of three strange men who keep to themselves.
This all essentially leads to a sort of 'Rear Window' deal in which Ray and a couple of his other neighbors, Mark Rumsfled (Bruce Dern) and Art Weingartner (Rick Ducommun) start to highly suspect the Klopeks of kidnapping and murdering another one of their fellow neighbors. However, their wives are very insistent that they're out of their minds, and the Klopeks are just a misunderstood family, who keeps to themselves. Meanwhile, Ricky (Feldman) watches all the goings on in his neighborhood, claiming the realism of it all to be infinitely better than what could possibly be on TV. He's sort of this sidebar of comedy relief in case the likes of Hanks, Dern and Ducommun weren't quite enough.
This was one I was able to watch as a kid and still get a little something out of it withou getting too freaked out. That's considering that at a young age, I was quite frankly afraid of too much. This is actually quite a nice film to sort of dip your toes into horror while the air around you is made of comedy. For example, there's a scene where Ray is sitting down and watching horror movies on TV which include the likes of 'The Exorcist' and 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' - considered two of the scariest films of all time. But Ray's stiff reaction while watching them brings out how crazy they really are, and even adds a bit of fun to it.
This is a high recommendation to those seeking out a dark comedy from the 80s era. It's easily one of the best. Might I also mention this comes from director Joe Dante, who also did 'Gremlins', 'Small Soldiers' and 'Innerspace' - definitely a director who embraces the strange and unusual, and still knows how to make it all sorts of fun.
Well, that's about it for "Feldman Month" or whatever we're gonna call it... "Feldmonth?" Sure, let's go with that. Not entirely sure what possessed me to do it. I guess I just wanted to bring to people's attention that he was once quite the beloved child actor. What's interesting to note, however, is that all of his best roles don't end up being leading roles, BUT his name ends up synonymous with the title due to the character he plays. And if nothing else, this was a good way to put a theme to four of my all-time favorite titles.