The first time I saw the trailer for Suburban Gothic, I full-on laughed and decided that I needed to watch this movie. Fearless, I trekked far and wide to find it (okay, I was lazy and used the Amazon rental service on my streamer) and was happy to find out that it’s one of those movies that’s as good, if not better, than its trailer. Need a movie this weekend? Here are five reasons to give Suburban Gothic a try.
#1 – Sarcasm, Party of Two…
The sarcasm and sheer amount of dry wit in this film will keep you smiling for most of the 90-minute ride. If you’re a snarky little thing like yours truly, you’ll find that the dialog will run something like your inner monologue. Our protagonist, Raymond, lets his commentary fly at the slightest provocation. For a psychic, unemployed hipster stuck living with his disapproving jock father in the midst of a paranormal mystery, it’s a beautiful thing to watch.
#2 – The Jokes Are Edgy Without Being Offensive
Some jokes, no matter how good their set up, just fall flat. A tasteless nature and poor delivery will combine to make a joke fail fast. Some subjects really struggle with this combination. Sometimes, though, the stars align and we get a joke that’s both edgy and funny. There are a few in this movie. To be more specific, there’s a great one-liner about abortion. I cackled. I won’t spoil it, but it’s really funny. I have a newfound love of Kat Dennings.
#3 – The Special Effects Aren’t That Bad
Don’t let a small film fool you: there are some effects contained within that are so subtle they’re easy to miss, but entirely worth it. Watch the pictures on the bathroom walls. I had to pause the movie, rewind and point it out for my copilot to notice, and afterwards, was rewarded with a, “DAMN, that’s cool.” Goes to show you that good things can come from a small(ish) budget. It’s also nice to be reminded that special effects don’t always have to be an over-the-top, Michael Bay spectacle.
#4 – The Cast Gels Together Very Well
Matthew Gray Gubler and Ray Wise as a father and son that do not get along at all are both believable and hysterical. The way that they play off of each other totally had me buying this dynamic. There’s also the added bonus of Jeffrey Combs (a.k.a Dr. Herbert West) and one of my personal favorites, Jack Plotnick (Miss Evie Harris of Girls Will Be Girls). Barbara Niven is great as Raymond’s mother Eve, and Kat Dennings is the perfect foil Gubler. The script is good, but the casting makes it sing.
#5 – It’s Relevant For Any Graduate Feeling Lost
At the start of the film, Raymond is forced to move home after failing to procure employment following the receipt of his MBA, which we find out he didn’t really want to pursue in the first place. In a world where we have college students with staggering debt forced to move home with their parents, this film tackles an uncomfortable elephant in the room: the boomerang kid. We live in a society now that is seeing college kids that can’t afford to live on their own, and no one wants to talk about it for fear of coming off as a loser. Suburban Gothic presents the discomfort from all angles, from being an adult sleeping in a childhood room to finding time to view online porn without your parents bursting in. It also explores the flipside of this scenario: the experience of the parent trying to find quiet time once again after the bird has returned to the nest. It’s funny, stylish and relevant. Three good reasons to give it a try by itself.