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The 'Burbs (PG)
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streaming sites: Vudu

This came out in 1989. I saw it at least once in the early 90s, though I can't really remember whether I just saw it on TV, or if we had it on VHS, or if we recorded it off TV, or what. But anyway, I always liked it, and I finally got it on DVD in 2017. And it's just as good as I remembered, if not better. (I also want to say I could swear that the official spelling used to use a lower-case 'b' in "The 'burbs," but now it uses an uppercase 'B,' so... maybe I'm misremembering it, I'm not sure.)

Anyway, Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks) is on vacation for the week. His wife, Carol (Carrie Fisher), thinks they and their young son, Dave (who is of no importance to the story), should go away for the week, but Ray just wants to sit around the house and relax. However, that's not what happens. He has a couple of neighbors, Art Weingartner and Mark Rumsfield (Bruce Dern, predictably playing the most unhinged of the trio), who drag Ray into their suspicions about his neighbors, the Klopeks, who moved into the neighborhood a month ago. Well, to be fair, Ray himself had some suspicions about them. They keep to themselves, and no one knows anything about them. And strange noises and lights come from their basement at night. And when Ray and the others eventually do meet them, they're obviously rather strange. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Um... I should also mention there's a teenager named Ricky (Corey Feldman), whose parents are away. And he just finds everything that's happening on his street to be terribly amusing. And Mark has a hot young wife named Bonnie. (Art is also married, but his wife is away.)

Well, when their older neighbor Walter goes missing one day, Ray, Mark, and Art suspect that the Klopeks had killed him. So they do some investigation. And one day, Carol and Bonnie decide that they and their husbands should go meet the Klopeks, to be neighborly (since they're much more sensible than any of the guys in the movie, and don't believe the Klopeks are murderers). But as I said earlier, the Klopeks are strange. The first one they meet is a young man named Hans (Courtney Gains, whom I vaguely know from some other things). Then they meet his uncle, Reuben (Brother Theodore, whom I didn't think I knew from anything, but actually I did at least know some of his voice work, including Gollum in the 1977 version of "The Hobbit"). Finally they meet Reuben's brother (who I would assume is Hans's father, though that's not made clear), Dr. Werner Klopek (Henry Gibson).

Well, eventually Ray tells Carol that he's come to his senses. And she goes away with Dave for awhile. But Ray has actually finally gotten fully on board with Mark and Art's plans to find out the truth about the Klopeks (who go away for the day, themselves). And... things just get crazier from there. Meanwhile, Ricky invites a bunch of friends over to watch whatever the other three guys are doing, expecting it to be a highly entertaining show. Beyond that, I don't want to spoil anything. I'll just say I find the whole movie really funny.

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