An unashamedly enjoyable treat from director Joe Dante.
Tom Hanks plays Ray, a thirty-something suburbanite who is just beginning a relaxing week at home with his wife Carol (Carrie Fisher) and his son Dave (Corey Danziger - who couldn't look more like a young Hanks if he tried) Unfortunately for his family, Ray is overly protective of his neighbourhood and becomes increasingly suspicious of his reclusive new neighbours, the Klopeks, especially when bizarre noises emit from their basement late at night.
Flanked by his other neighbours - the oafish Art (Rick Ducommon), the military obsessed veteran Mr. Rumsfield (hilariously played by Bruce Dern) and the stoner next door Ricky (Corey Feldman)- Ray sets out to discover the truth behind the Klopeks - more so when Walter, the old guy at the end of the street mysteriously disappears.
Featuring appearances from Dante regulars Dick Miller, Henry Gibson and Robert Picardo, The Burbs is a hilarious and thoroughly enjoyable film that comments on neighbourly suspicions in a typical American suburban street. The film often veers into slapstick territory, particularly during the films final half hour, but like Evil Dead 2, this adds to The Burbs' enjoyment rather than watering it down.
The performances by the leads - Dern especially - are excellent and the 'neighbourly chat' in the Klopek's home is a particularly memorable scene. Once again, Dante tips his hat towards 50's B-movies with spooky lighting, odd camera angles and even a ridiculous dream sequence.
A deliciously offbeat film and an underrated one at that. It has been a while, but it is finally available on DVD. Go buy it.