TADFF14: Suburban Gothic

suburban-gothicUnable to find a job after graduating from business school, Raymond (Matthew Gray Gubler) is forced to move back in with his parents Donald (Ray Wise) and Eve (Barbara Niven).  As a kid, Raymond was plagued with the ability to see ghosts, though the visions stopped after he moved away.  Shortly after moving back home, Raymond begins to experience hauntings again, which seem to be connected to a body discovered in the backyard of Raymond’s parent’s house.  Together with bartender Becca (Kat Dennings), Raymond sets out to investigate who is the ghost that is haunting him and what he can do to make it go away. To put it bluntly, Suburban Gothic is a horror-comedy for people that don’t really like horror movies.  The film plays it relatively safe, focusing on broad comedy and keeping the horror relatively scare free, even though there are some freaky visuals.  The result is a film catered to mainstream audiences, which came off to me as quite bland.  There is nothing particularly wrong with Suburban Gothic, it just doesn’t properly mix the horror and comedy, with the film focusing more on the latter. Probably the best aspect of Suburban Gothic is the casting, though it’s a shame they didn’t have better material to work with.  Ray Wise is simultaneously the best and worst aspect of the film, as he plays an incredibly racist and homophobic caricature.  Suburban Gothic also has notable cameos from both Jeffrey Combs and John Waters, who are both great for the few minutes that they are on screen.  While Suburban Gothic is a perfectly fine film for mainstream consumption, its focus on broad comedy, rather than horror, results in a somewhat bland viewing experience.6 | WATCHABLE

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).