Parents - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Parents Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ July 15, 2012
"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.
Super Reviewer
February 11, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
May 28, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
½ September 6, 2010
Wow, what a cool movie. I loved it, it's nostalgic, creepy, atmospheric, and well written. All the actors do a good job, even the boy who's the main character. I highly recommend this movie.
Super Reviewer
½ July 5, 2009
Creepy low-budget 80's comedy horror whose intended message sorta went over my head. It's awkward viewing and not too exciting.
Super Reviewer
½ April 19, 2012
It's not so bad consider it's a low budget satire film about the 50s suburbia, where a family holds a dark secret. I love the camera angles and the different scenes. It was an effective black comedy, however a bit too dark at times. The campiness and cliche really helped with bringing out the comic elements.
Super Reviewer
April 1, 2008
Omg what a classic. One of the weird late eighties slasher family oddball movies. You gotta see it,.
½ January 18, 2014
I had no idea Bob Balaban was behind this bizarro film, but he really gives us a crazy comedy set in the '50s where conformity is everything and behind those white picket fences you just never know what you might find. A kid begins to suspect that his parents aren't serving up the meat that you'd expect to find in the neighborhood grocery store, and who knows how far they'll go to hide their secrets?

Fun stuff, definitely worth a rental.
½ September 5, 2012
Hell of a movie. I was not expecting this level of creepy from Randy Quaid but, in spite of everything, he's a creepy father in this 80s quirkfest. Michael Laemle's eponymous parents are hiding something from him and it's effecting his little 9 year old psyche. Bryan Madorsky as Michael (in the only movie he's ever been in) does a fine job of articulating the fear of living in a house where you can't trust your mother and father. I'm just surprised at how this oddball 50s period piece was so fun and so unsettling at the same time.
January 13, 2012
It's too bad this falls apart and starts to drag in the second half, because the first half is fabulous. I love the combination of horror and dark comedy, and this is a good example of it until it just wanders off into left field and stops having much of a point. It's worth seeing, I just wish it had stayed as entertaining as it was when it first started.
January 8, 2012
A pretty schizophrenic film as it seems to bounce between the trappings of black comedy and the stylistics of 50's Americana, alternately deciding which to place a greater emphasis upon, but the overall effect is undeniably entertaining. Randy Quaid and Mary Beth Hurt both give scenery-chewing performances as the parents and yes, their performances are gleefully over-the-top, kabuki performances. For a black comedy, its not uproariously funny, but its pretty amusing for the duration of its length, and dare I say the film never invokes a feeling of boredom. The child actors are clearly not as polished in their roles as the two lead adults, but they do admirably considering their age. The drastic shift in tone that the film repeatedly has is a little jarring, and at times it feels this hurt the film somewhat. Still, it feels like a fresh concept in the black comedy genre in many ways, and the bizarre commentary on child abuse and pre-adolescent sexuality has a little more depth than one would expect. Plus this is surprisingly well shot for this type of film.
½ March 2, 2011
In the 1950s an all-American family moves to a new small town. The elementary school age son questions why they always eat "leftovers" (which most often consists of unidentified barbecued meat). When he asks about the food his normally overly loving parents get very angry. He soon begins to suspect they have been eating people and says as much to the school psychologist who dosent believe him. He is traumatized when he catches his very affectionate parents doing it on the living room floor. At times filmed in a very strange, surreal manner (by Bob Balaban of Best in Show), this horror-comedy is actually pretty dull. Jerri's mom from Strangers With Candy plays a great drunk in this (as she did in the ep. "Dreams on the Rocks"). If you like this, try The Burbs and Serial Mom.
September 21, 2009
mix childhood imaginations, with screwed up parents and you get a psychosis, mix it with cannibals and you may get a young psychotic! Great show!
½ August 5, 2008
There's now a new name for terror: Parents. In the Laemle family, Dad's got a job at the Toxico plant, Mom's homemaking, and ten-year-old Michael thinks his folks are cannibals. Michael frequently fears of his parents and their supposedly evil acts start to warp his view of the world, so he often visits a social worker to talk about his problems. Either his parents really do crave for human meat, or they're only childhood nightmares from his imagination.

Directed by Bob Balaban, Parents features very good acting performances from the following cast:
1.) Randy Quaid (Nick Laemle)
2.) Mary Beth Hurt (Lily Laemle)
3.) Sandy Dennis (Millie Dew)
4.) Bryan Madorsky (Michael Laemle)
5.) Juno Mills-Cockell (Shelia Zeliner)
6.) Kathryn Grody (Miss Baxter)

When I saw Parents, I find it as a horror movie with its sick humor that would end up on my dinner plate. Surely many TV and the movies portray the perfect all-American suburban family set in the innocently-looking late '50s/early '60s background, the film does show them but parodies in a terror twist. Sometimes I enjoy seeing a mystery where Michael asks what he's having for dinner and his folks tell him of leftovers (and more leftovers) while they eat quietly in the table. And then some good but grotesque bloody scenes ensue. Thank goodness my Parents aren't like that.
½ April 25, 2009
I was amazed at this movie, it's very clever, funny, and scary. I loved the kid in the movie too, he was a good actor.
½ April 7, 2009 was strange, to say the very least. Actually it made me even more appreciative that I'm vegan haha.
The introductory music is terrible...screechy and obnoxious. Sorry, I just had to say really bugged me lol. I actually really dislike this movie. Way too grotesque subject matter...and just boring & retarded. I think I may just not have appreciation for the genre.
January 24, 2009
everyone has to deal with their parents feeding them nasty shit when they're young, but this tops any putrid beets on a plate.
The concept of square nerdy parents chowin down on human meat is funny,
½ October 19, 2008
Flip side of the 50's. This, along with Blue Velvet and The Burbs will make you question leaving the big city.
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