Parents - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Parents Reviews

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February 18, 2013
Kind of like if David Lynch made a "Goosebumps" episode. A feature length movie episode.
½ December 28, 2012
Strange, gory, and entertaining. The movie plays on childhood fears regarding the hidden activities of our parents and certainly ties in some Freudian themes as well.
November 23, 2012
Horrible... Absolutely revolting, makes me want break my television... And I love B horror horror/comedy, but this one belongs in the dumpster
November 22, 2012
Human steak looks tasty
½ October 28, 2012
Haven't seen this in over 6 years. This was the 2nd movie I saw at the Music Box. Ah memories.
½ September 30, 2012
It's clear that director Bob Balaban and screenwriter Christopher Hawthorne set out to make a black comedy in "Parents", and while it's definitely black, there's not much I found to laugh at here. In the beginning, it does a nice job of satirizing the 1950's culture, and Balaban does a nice job of balancing the tone of the picture.

I was intrigued by the premise, mostly because it rang true with my childhood during a time when big heaping piles of mystery meat were served at every meal. But somewhere in the middle the film seems to forget that it is essentially a comedy and it turns a corner and never recovers. The second half of this is a bloody mess, more a freak show that anything else really, and I kept wondering what the point of it all was.

The only thing it really succeeds at is severely traumatizing young Bryan Madorsky and its audience. And speaking of Madorsky, he easily gives the best performance in the movie. I don't know where the filmmakers found this kid, but he really is the only bright spot in this dark and gruesome film. It leaves you with a lot of unanswered questions and a queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach.

You never really learn why Mary Beth Hurt and Randy Quaid despise their son, or why they became cannibals in the first place. A backstory would have been welcome. Some would find "Parents" daring and different, which it definitely is. But it's sure not any fun, and it's not half as clever as it thinks it is.
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.
½ August 24, 2012
How terrible can a film get? A disgusting story with one of the worst actors in history, Randy Quaid, this film is a very bad film.
½ August 10, 2012
some good cinematography from the late 80s, but I thought the genre box said this was also supposed to be funny some how. character development needed work on all the other characters.
July 20, 2012
Short but funny black comedy that also serves as a suspenseful horror flick. I remember hearing about this way back when my oldest brother used to watch movies with a neighbor across the street. He just mentioned something about a kid's parents always mentioning that left overs were for dinner. And now I know what leftovers meant. A great fun movie.
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.
June 24, 2012
Just saw this again for the second time since the initial release. Creepy! Slow build to a good payoff. Horror-comedy was really well done. Don't think I've seen anything like it. Cast very well.
June 20, 2012
I highly enjoyed this unusual, humorous, and eerie film. It had the classic 80s touch with the many wide angles shots and eerie score. At times Blue Velvet and the Shining came to mind. Fun movie!
June 8, 2012
a unique and super fucked up must-see.
May 21, 2012
this was supposed to be a comedy? chuupzz
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.
April 18, 2012
The blackest of black comedies. Beautiful in its Completely Demented Nature!!
April 2, 2012
Watched this movie when i was like mayb 12 (im 17 now) loved it, have to say then i thought it was creepy nd made me glad that ma mom was a vegan lol
½ February 21, 2012
Is this a horror movie? Or a psychological comedy about the secret fears of children? The movie needs an organizing vision, a clear line through to the end, a feeling that the director is sure of the effect he wants to achieve.
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.
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