Thursday, May 17, 2012
Movie Review: The 'Burbs (1989)
A promising first half fizzles badly in the second half. The 'Burb is half of a good film, succeeding in painting a typically eccentric picture of life in the suburbs before disintegrating into a muddled mass murder mess.
Ray is most intrigued by the reclusive new owners of the decrepit house immediately next to his. Loud noises and strange lights are emitted from their basement in the middle of the night. When they are spotted, the owners look like escapees from a 1920s lunatic asylum. And it doesn't help that they appear to be digging up their yard past midnight to either bury or retrieve dead bodies. Ray, Mark and Art start poking their nose deeper into the affairs of the house horrors.
The back-end of The 'Burbs unfortunately throws away most of the good work and becomes a faux horror journey into the bowels of a creepy house, complete with hints of macabre medical experimentations, basement cremations, and human bones in the back yard. None of it is explained, as Olsen and Dante throw all logic out with the trash and surrender to juvenile instincts. As every suburbanite knows, manicuring the front lawn while abandoning the back yard to a pile of junk fools no one.
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