Parents (1989) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Bob Balaban
Producers: Mitchell Cannold, Bonnie Palef, Steven Reuther
Writers: Christopher Hawthorne
Date Released: January 27, 1989
Bryan Madorsky as Michael Laemle
Randy Quaid as Nick Laemle
Mary Beth Hurt as Lily Laemle
Sandy Dennis as Millie Dew
Juno Mills-Cockell as Sheila Zellner
Kathryn Grody as Miss Baxter
Deborah Rush as Gladys Zellner
Graham Jarvis as Marty Zellner
Helen Carscallen as Grandmother
Warren Van Evera as Grandfather
Rating = 2.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story is about a family who moved to a new house but then the son started to sense that something is not right about their food and about his parents. He started acting weird in class and met a weird girl who strengthened his ideas about his parents. When he proved that his parents were indeed cannibals, he tried to kill his father after forcing him to eat what might have been the meat from his guidance counselor. With both of his parents dead, he stayed with his grandparents where he was served suspicious meat sandwich.
The blood and gore were unexpected in this family horror. The nightmare scene where the boy dived on the bed which turned into a pool of blood was the starting point of the weirdness. The mom chewing his son’s fingernail is disturbing. The close-up shots of their food which looked like raw meat indicated something wrong. Another nightmare scene was when the sausages wrapped around the boy like a snake, the wriggling chopped hand on the sink, the oozing blood on the refrigerator, and montages of his parents eating each other is totally weird. A jump scare scene was when the cellar was a butcher area and a leg on a hook started swinging behind the boy. The shocking scenes started with the appearance of a dead body in the cellar window, the killing of the counselor, and the family stabbing each other.
The Grave Review
It’s amazing to discover that this family-friendly horror movie is actually a cannibal movie. The opening scenes were pretty normal and the background music did not imply cannibal behavior at all.
The acting is good in the sense that the characters were able to show that they are a dysfunctional family. Although the kid lacked emotions and facial expressions especially in the area of showing fear from his nightmares, it added to his weirdness.
The camerawork in this movie was amazing. The nightmare montages where colors fade and the scenes overlap each other were psychedelic and added to the weirdness. The frames where the camera zoomed to their faces added more depth to their character.
The only problem in this movie is lack of back story as to why the parents became cannibals while the son ended up as a hardcore vegan to the point of killing them. It was not explained why they moved to a new place. It could be because they were already accused of cannibalism and had to move places.
The ending is also good because the parents died but Michael became suspicious once again when his grandparents served him a meaty ham sandwich. It could imply that cannibalism is within their family history.
Overall, this movie is recommended if you want a lighter take on cannibal movies.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Parents (1989) two and a half graves out of five graves.
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