Parents (2000)


No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...


Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Set in a typical American suburb during the ' 50s, this inky-black and very gory comedy centers on a young boy who is disturbed by his parents almost unnatural love of meat. He finds out that the kind they like the best is more likely to found in the morgue than the butcher shop.

Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Horror, Comedy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Christopher Hawthorne
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 25, 1999
Live Home Video


as Michael Laemle

as Nick Laemle

as Lily Laemle

as Millie Dew

as Sheila Zellner

as Miss Baxter

as Mrs. Zellner

as Mr. Zellner

as Grandmother

as Grandfather

as Lab Attendant

as Little Boy

as Little Girl

as Announcer
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Parents

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (7)

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 27, 1989
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Parents


"There's A New Name For Terror..."

Parents isn't an awful movie by any stretch. It's actually a pretty well made movie if I look at it from just that standpoint. If I look at it from the entertainment and enjoyment aspects of it, it didn't quite hold up. I didn't hate it, but it certainly didn't win me over in the end. It had a fairly interesting concept that kept the film going, but the way the events unfold is obvious, and the end result is less than satisfying. I can say that it was a good try because this could have been terrible, but it wasn't. 

Parents centers around a family living in the suburbs during the 1950's. The story is presented in the  way Fido would be. It's a dark comedy, horror movie mix. There's a ten year old boy at the center of the film who is starting to question his parents. There's obviously something off with them and he begins to get bigger and bigger evidence to this effect. He also won't eat his meat, which disappoints his parents because they are huge meat lovers. I was constantly waiting for a Pink Floyd reference about eating your meat, but unfortunately none came. 

I will say that the direction by Bob Balaban makes this movie more watchable then I thought it could be. He does a good job balancing the social satire with the creepiness. Also the cast is rather interesting as well. Randy Quaid gives the best performance I've ever seen from him, and I also really enjoyed Mary Beth Hurt's performance as the loving mother as well. 

In the end though, all this movie does is present its story in an interesting way. By the end, I was less then enamored with it. Sure it has some good stuff going on, but films like these need a little more to push them over the top and that little bit more was missing here. Plus when you label yourself as a Dark Comedy, then you have to deliver some laughs, and Parents just doesn't. The darkness was certainly there, but the comedy was no where to be seen. It also is labeled as a horror film. Well, it wasn't scary either. So it failed in both respects. Still I can't say not to watch the movie, because I didn't hate it all and I could see people easily being able to enjoy this one.

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Quirky little number this, first time I have seen it and I quite liked it :) Came across as a 'Little Shop of Horror's' black gallows humour type of film to me with a slight sprinkle of tension.

Its an odd one for sure, Randy Quaid is perfect as 'Dad' with that eerie joker-ish smile of his, Mary Beth Hurt accompanies Quaid well as 'Mum' to make a great kooky couple. The various scenes of eating dinner with close ups of the meat really does make you uncomfortable and your mind swings from judgement to judgement on wether little 'Michael Laemle's' parnets really are serving up human flesh for tea hehe.

Personally I could never really make up my mind if the whole thing was a dream or just a little boys crazy imagination, the film plays out quite surreal which keeps you guessing. Being set in the 50's really adds that kind of bizarre yet fun twist to it, almost impossible to think such things could happen in a perfect all American home in the happy 50's. The cute sitcom like soundtrack adds zing, makes the whole thing out to be almost silly, light hearted or even a kids film, truth be told the film gets darker and darker as it goes on yet your never really scared, more intrigued and curious.

A real cult oddity which works due to the brilliant performances of all the cast members.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

Parents is a very interesting idea for a horror film. The concept behind this film is very cool. A kid suspects his Parents to be cannibals after he notices big cuts of beef every night for supper on the table. Parents is a blend of Black Comedy and Horror, but after watching this I would lean more towards horror. There are a few funny parts, but it's more horrifying than anything else. What I loved about the film was that it had the look of a family sitcom and the soundtrack was practically a sitcom theme. The film looked great, and was well done. Randy Quaid was solid in his performance and so was Mary Beth Hurt. After viewing Parents, I thought it was a very underrated gem. The thing that I love the most about this film is the concept behind the plot. I thought that idea of cannibalistic parents was a fairly good idea for film. After watching it, I realized how much this film is underrated. Sure, I can understand why the film may not appeal to everyone due to it's plot. But for the horror diehard, Parents is a terrific horror film that delivers good horror and a good story. Parents shouldn't be dismissed and will appeal to horror fans who enjoy something different. I thoroughly enjoyed this film, and I don't see why this film has gotten the flack it has received, a thoroughly engaging and morbidly fun horror film.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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