Movie Diary: The Burbs.
That movie is "The Burbs," a horror/black comedy hybrid released in 1989 and directed by Joe Dante, who explored the line between those two genres in several movies back in the 80s, most notably "Gremlins." "The Burbs" is far more on the comedy side of things than "Gremlins," though the horror elements are present throughout, often showing up at a point when you were just about to be lulled into thinking of it as a straight 80s comedy. I'm not sure how well-known this movie is, or how well-regarded. All I know is that this is one of very few movies that I saw and loved when I was a kid that has remained in my all-time top 10 all the way into adulthood. I first saw it when I was 12, and have probably seen it 50 times since then, at first due to repeated rentals on weekends when I was in high school and later as an edited version that I taped off network TV (oh, the 80s). This is my first time seeing it since probably 10 years ago, if not more, and it amazes me how well it holds up, and how little of my love for it is really just rooted in childhood nostalgia. Tom Hanks is the protagonist, a family man who lives on a cul-de-sac and is puzzled and disturbed by the erratic behavior of his new neighbors. The supporting cast is great too, though--Carrie Fisher as his wife, Rick Ducommun as the obnoxious neighbor who nags Hanks into supporting his own nosiness, Bruce Dern as the frantic, military-fixated Vietnam vet across the street, Corey Feldman as the stoned teenager who lives elsewhere on the block, and Henry Gibson and Brother Theodore as the bizarre neighbors, among others, all add greatly to the fun of this film. The plot is well-constructed, the comedic parts are still hilarious even now that I'm all grown up, and there are some great five to ten minute scenes that almost stand on their own in their hilarious-yet-scary awesomeness. Tonight I watched the scene, rather early in the movie, in which Hanks, Dern, and Ducommun are running around the neighborhood spying like the nosy neighbors they are, to Feldman's great amusement, when suddenly some truly bizarre shit happens at the neighbors' house and validates all of Ducommun and Dern's neighborly concerns. It's a note-perfect scene, alternately hilarious and terrifying, and when it was over, I didn't even want to watch any more of the film. I turned it off, and I'll get back to it tomorrow. It's not like this movie has anything new to reveal to me, considering how many times I've seen it, so it's not at all hard for me to go away from it and come back. But nonetheless, I'm really enjoying watching it a scene or two at a time, just reveling in how awesome it is.
I dunno, maybe I'm insane, but I don't think I could ever get tired of this movie.