Little Michael has everything his ten-year-old heart could desire - including a great dinner every night. But soon he questions where all the "leftovers" come from and discovers that his dad is bringing home much more than... more » the bacon. Yikes, his parents are cannibals! Special Features include: Cast and crew filmographies, trailer, film facts, and scene access. Randy Quaid, Mary Beth Hurt« less
"Parents is a film I had known about for quite a while before I finally decided to check it out. I was quite surprised by what I saw. Bob Balaban's cold, minimalistic style was just the touch this film needed. What could have been slapstick horror comedy (a la Dead-Alive or Evil Dead 2, both of which are great; that style just wouldn't work as well for this film) instead becomes a superbly filmed satire of 1950s family culture.
I never thought I could actually be afraid of Randy Quaid, but his performance is truly blood-curdling. (Strangely enough, due to the facial expressions he makes throughout the movie, this is the first time I've ever noticed a resemblance between him and his brother Dennis.) He plays the character with a understatement I didn't realize he was capable of.
I understand why some critics came down on the climax and resolution of the film, feeling it much too conventional in light of what had preceded it, but I feel that there weren't too many more possibilities they could have utilized. The film works fine the way it is, and I recommend it to fans of horror films and sharp-witted satire alike."
Something's rotten in the basement of suburbia...
M. Casarino | Wilmington, DE United States | 04/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Parents" is a really odd blend of your basic "something's rotten in suburbia" movie, a genuine horror flick, a lovingly created period piece, and...something else. Something even more disturbing than the movie's pretense.The plot is fairly simple: poor Michael becomes convinced that his parents, who are paragons of suburbia, are cannibals. Are they? Really? The movie is told from Michael's point of view, and it sure looks like they are from here. The premise, and some of the touches, really have the feel of dark satire, and in fact I see "Parents" gets billed as a black comedy.But look deeper in Michael's eyes, and it looks like something darker than comedy is going on here. It's not much of a stretch to interpret "cannibalism" as "child abuse" - look at how badly Michael is affected by his discoveries. The actual theme is broader, I think - essentially, the movie argues that the surface of suburbia can mask some really horrible things. Which isn't a particularly new notion, but it's worth pointing out sometimes.I can't say I enjoyed "Parents," but it's extremely well-made and acted. I love the period look, and the shots of meat are appropriately disgusting. Maybe it's a comedy, but I didn't laugh once - instead, I shrunk in both the exaggerated horror of Michael's nightmares, the campy horror of his perception, and the genuine horror of his reality."
lex_of_the_cherubum | 01/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Parents" is a modern-day comedy about a 1950s family... the Laemlies (lem-lees). Young Micheal Laemlie lives a life of secrecy, pain and anxiety. Plauged by regular nightmares and, to some extent, "daymares", Mike is a suffering child. He is moody, emotionless, withdrawn, and a 'picky eater'... apparently emotionally disturbed. In response to a drawing he is asked to create at school, Mike begins to see the school pyschologist... but, well, she doesn't hang around for too long.This is a howingly funny gallow's-humor flick with a cannibalistic twist that is sure to catch your attention and earn a special place in your video collection. The music is idiotically happy, even in the midst of some horribly gruesome scenes. The effect is... eerie, disturbing.Remember, people... what's the scariest thing of all? PARENTS!"
What is real?
vic | canaduh | 05/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Parents is one of those rare film gems that, although is masterfully crafted, may never get the recognition it deserves. It's a 'film', not a 'movie'. It is a horror film, psychologically and with a bit of grossness thrown in. It really tells the tale of idle young minds which can stagnate and rot in the tepid pools of parental medicority - probably secretly funded by wealthy vegetarians. The boy has a lot going on inside his head - just like his father's boss tells him about his father. Worth owning - especially if you can get a DVD copy."
A dark trip
vic | 08/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"a brilliant farce that walks the fine line between reality and hallucination - in other words, a perfect analogy of childhood on film. Certainly, a lot of the dark overtones mimmick the "black & white" certitude with which 1950s USA stepped forth, and though cannibalism is a vehicle for that idea, the film makes a much more sinister point. Un- fortunately, like many of the best visual filmmakers' films, this one has to be seen to be understood. Talking about it just doesn't do it justice. The plot may be thin at points, but the visual style is enough to keep this one going to the end."