THE ‘BURBS (1989)

dir. Joe Dante. Set in a suburban cul-de-sac, a group of neighbours led by Ray (Tom Hanks) become paranoid that a new family that has moved in, is actually a group of psychopaths, and embark on a series of schemes to uncover the truth. A fun mixed genre movie, combining comedy and horror. The wonderful Carrie Fisher improves any movie she’s in, and she’s delightful as the patient, protective wife of Ray. One of the neighbours is the military obsessive Mark Rumsfield, played by Bruce Dern, who also played George Spahn, the bed ridden old man in ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD (2019). It’s a nice touch to reference the music theme from 1970 war film PATTON, when he is on screen. The director Joe Dante has had such an interesting career, also directing other comedy/horror films including both Gremlins movies, and excellent science-fiction film INNERSPACE (1987).