The 'Burbs | Chicago Reader

The 'Burbs

Joe Dante directed this 1989 black comedy about suburban husband and father Tom Hanks, who wants to spend a quiet vacation at home but whose plans are irrevocably shattered by the presence of a very weird new family next door. Costars include Carrie Fisher, Bruce Dern, Corey Feldman, Henry Gibson, Brother Theodore, Wendy Schaal, and comedian Rick Ducommun. This isn't a major Dante effort, but his ability to make a good-natured satire that allows an audience to read it several ways at once is as strong as ever, and many of the sidelong genre notations are especially funny. Part of the gag here is that it's the snoopy, suspicious neighbors who are actually the weird ones.

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