Movie Review: ‘Suburban Gothic’

Review By Bradley Smith

Funny thing happened when I tried to watch Suburban Gothic: I kept having playback issues and then lost my internet access just after finishing the movie – had to have the cable guy stop by to fix my cable and he told me our cable signal was so weak that we shouldn’t even have TV/internet (and our TV was working just fine at the time). I am not a big believer in the supernatural elements depicted in this horror/comedy, but I just thought it was a funny coincidence that I experienced unusual activity while trying to view this film.

Anyway, I did enjoy Suburban Gothic very much. It was spooky and funny with a terrific script/screenplay, outstanding actors, and effective minimalistic special effects.

Matthew Gray Gubler stars as Raymond, a recent college graduate who will not settle for less than a management position if he is going to work in business, a field he was pretty much forced into by his less-than-loving father (played by Ray Wise). Raymond’s true passion is the supernatural/gothic; a calling he gets to dabble in when he returns home to live with his parents just as a construction crew digs up the body of a little girl unleashing a vengeful spirit on the house. To help with the spirit, Raymond teams up with Becca (played by Kat Dennings), a former classmate working as a local bartender who seems to be the only person who gets along with Raymond, aside from Raymond’s mother.

Dennings is always good playing up the sarcasm and brash attitude and it plays well against Gubler’s mostly deadpan comedic delivery. Ray Wise is great as Donald, the father that everyone hates; a lot of characters use a lot of foul language when talking to him or about him. He barely has a decent relationship with his wife and that is it; to everyone else, he is a jerk. Raymond’s doctor even does something unethical in a futile attempt to get back at Donald; as a Star Trek fan, I loved seeing Jeffrey Combs playing Raymond’s doctor.

I did have a slight issue with the scene that basically wraps up most lingering storylines in one swift swoop because it seemed like a quick and easy wrap-up, but it was a poignant scene so I’ll move on. There was another scene I could have done without completely; the scene where Raymond is home alone and, as Craig Ferguson would say, “practicing a form of self-massage”. I get the joke they were going for, but I felt it was gratuitous and largely unnecessary. However, these issues were not enough to cloud my enjoyment and high recommendation for the film as a whole.

One Response
  1. August 19, 2022

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