tek's rating: meh and a half

Suburban Gothic (R)
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This is a 2014 film (officially released in 2015), which I didn't see until 2022, and probably never would have heard of if I hadn't seen it listed on Hulu. I mainly decided to watch it because Kat Dennings is in it. It's really a horror comedy, but I found it more weird than either scary or funny.

Okay, so there's this guy named Raymond, who I guess has recently graduated from business school, but can't find a job. (This is probably because he wants to start at the top.) So he moves back to his hometown, to stay with his parents, Donald (Ray Wise) and Eve. While Eve is loving and supportive, Donald can't stand anything about Raymond, and thinks he's crazy. Donald is pretty much an ass, as well as casually racist. I will say Raymond seems a little bit weird, to me, but there's nothing really about him that his father should have such a hard time dealing with. They just have very different personalities. Also, when Raymond was a kid, he used to see ghosts, or whatever. And now he befriends a bartender named Becca (Dennings), who is just about the only person he can get along with, aside from his mother, and briefly, his cousin.

Donald is having some yard work done by a guy named Hector and his crew, and one night they dig up a box that contains the corpse of a young girl, who was murdered in like 1860 I think. This frightens the crew away, and Donald is soon taken by some kind of ghost, apparently, so he goes missing. Meanwhile, Raymond starts seeing creepy things again, and gets Becca's help in dealing with it. Eventually they learn about the dead girl and her dead father and a stolen necklace. Incidentally, earlier in the film Raymond's cousin had given him a necklace that's supposed to ward off evil spirits, but it's not the necklace that was stolen from the girl. So the necklace Raymond has seems completely unimportant to the plot, which feels like a vague attempt at a red herring, or something. Anyway, Raymond needs to find the stolen necklace and return it to the girl. But before they can do that, they encounter all sorts of weird stuff, I guess.

Yeah, I'm leaving out lots of details, and I don't want to say how it all ends. At one point I considered giving up on the movie because I wasn't liking it that much, but I did want to see how it turned out. And it's not a really bad ending, I guess. I dunno what else to say about the movie. Like I said before, it's weird. And probably not worth your time to bother with, though everyone has different tastes, so you might like it more than I did, or you might dislike it more than I did. (Because I didn't really dislike it, I just didn't care about it that much.) Oh yeah, I also wanted to mention that there are brief appearances by Jeffrey Combs and John Waters and Mackenzie Phillips. Also there's an old woman who helps Raymond and Becca, and she has a young granddaughter named Zelda, played by Mckenna Grace, who in addition to acting is a singer, and I just posted one of her songs in The Music Exchange on Facebook not long before I saw this movie, so that's an interesting coincidence. Kind of weird to go from that video to seeing her when she was like eight years younger, in this movie.

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