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Unusually grim comedy about "normal" suburbanites who suspect that something very sinister is going on in the home of their rarely seen foreign neighbors. Stars Tom Hanks and Carrie Fisher.
Contains the following tropes:
- Astronomic Zoom and Logo Joke: At the very beginning the Universal logo name vanishes but not the globe behind it. Instead the camera zooms down and into it until it hovers right above a Midwestern suburban cul-de-sac and the Klopeks' house.
- You can tell something is a little off with that logo because it's still the '70s/'80s Universal logo, which isn't CGI in other movies, but this globe obviously is.
- Big No: when Art and Ray find a femur bone that they believe belongs to their missing neighbor.
- Deconstructive Parody: Subverted in the end.
- Floorboard Failure: On the neighbor's porch.
- Herr Doktor: Rumsfield refers to Doctor Klopek in this way, patronizingly insinuating he's conducting activities unfit for a doctor as well as insulting his German qualities.
- Hey, It's That Place!: The set for this movie, Colonial street at Universal City, would later become Wisteria Lane of Desperate Housewives. While all of the houses have appeared in various TV shows and films since, perhaps most recognizable was the Butler's, which was also the house of The Munsters.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Cory Feldman's character, who views the neighborhood as a source of warped entertainment.
- Nosy Neighbor: Ray and his friends.
- Not So Above It All: Ray slowly becomes more obsessed with unmasking the Klopeks than either Art or Rumsfeld.
- Only Sane Man: Ray and his wife qualify.
- What Might Have Been: The first version of the movie had the Klopeks as innocent targets of their neighbours' paranoia. But preview audiences hated it, so it was changed so that they were the bad guys, rather than the obvious audience surrogates.
- World of Ham: Even Ray goes into Large Ham mode in places.
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