Directed by Joe Dante (“Gremlins”), The ‘Burbs was a slightly subversive look into the inhabitants of a cul-de-sac community, the fictional Hinkley Hills. A new family, the Klopeks has moved into the neighborhood. SURE –they are ‘strange’ by conventional (or any other standards but exactly what is going on behind closed doors and down in that basement is a mystery that Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks) wants to uncover. Despite pleas appealing for reason and ‘neighborly-ness’ from his wife, Carol (Carrie Fisher), Ray and his buddies (Bruce Dern and Rick Ducommun) are not convinced. Conveniently, Carol and her son leave to visit her sister out of town, thus allowing Ray and company to pursue their quest to reveal their neighbors to be murderous psychopaths.
I know this will not work for everyone, but for me the slapstick nature of several of the scenes was enough to make this for fun (if slightly dark) family viewing.