Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 50% (Critics) / 48% (Audience)
Directed By: Richard Bates Jr.
Written By: Richard Bates Jr. and Mark Bruner
Starring: Matthew Gray Gubler, Kat Dennings, Barbara Biven and Ray Wise
Studio: TSWRA LLC
Synopsis: Raymond has a prestigious MBA, but he can’t find work. He can channel the paranormal, but chatting with a cute girl mystifies him. Kicked out of his big city apartment, Raymond returns home to his overbearing mother, ex-jock father, and beer-bellied classmates. But when a vengeful ghost terrorizes the small town, the city-boy recruits Becca, a badass local bartender, to solve the mystery of the spirit threatening everyone’s lives. – (Source)
This movie has assembled a pretty snazzy cast with Matthew Gray Gubler at his quirky, oddball best, Kat Dennings delivering a deadpan performance, a delightful ditzy turn by veteran actress Barbara Niven and Ray wise just being delightfully Ray Wise…that man is a national treasure.
I also appreciated the concept that Bates and Bruner were going for with the script and direction. They basically wanted to make a movie that would have the vibe of a Scooby Doo/Are You Afraid of the Dark mash-up and I can’t say they failed at that because they hit that note more than a few times in the film.
The Bad: The biggest problem with SUBURBAN GOTHIC is that it moved at a snails pace and we didn’t get Gray Gubler and Dennings involved in supernatural hijinks until nearly 40 minutes into the film. Getting to the action a little earlier would have greatly improved things.
The Ugly: The effects looked like something that would have been considered state of the art in one of those Abbott & Costello movies with the Universal movie monsters.
Final Verdict: A flawed film in a difficult genre that is held aloft by its immensely appealing cast and as a result the movie’s weaknesses are a lot easier to ignore. This is no comedy-horror classic but it is an enjoyable way to waste 2 hours.