Parents (1989) - Comedy, Horror, Mystery

Hohum Score



A young boy living in 1950s suburbia suspects his parents are cannibalistic murderers.

IMDB: 6.2
Director: Bob Balaban
Stars: Randy Quaid, Mary Beth Hurt
Length: 81 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 21 out of 87 found boring (24.13%)

One-line Reviews (51)

Randy Quaid is wasted and the rest of the cast is a list of very bland actors and actresses.

Powerful themes are at work here which will touch and unsettle anybody at a base level- revulsion at parents as sexual entities, the powerlessness and frustration of childhood it's all quite Freudian but in a most entertaining way.


You catch on pretty quick that this whole family is pretty quirky and something is off about them, it's just a little too slow.

Offbeat, intriguing and above all strikingly original, "Parents" gets my highest possible recommendation.

Why does Amazon Prime continue to add really boring, pointless films?

And its boring.

Parents is certainly unique and unpredictable I will give it that though, and it keeps you guessing right up to the end.

In flashbacks to a mildly traumatic incident in which he caught his (still mostly clothed) parents engaging in sexual foreplay, for instance, his imagination turns the lipstick they both had smeared on their mouths into a great splatter of blood dripping from their chins as if they'd just been messily devouring a raw corpse.

Those are the two best words for describing Parents: odd and boring.

Directed with great style and assurance by character actor Bob Balaban (it's his most impressive directorial debut), written with considerable wit, insight and ingenuity by Christopher Hawthorne, further enhanced by stunning virtuoso cinematography by Ernest Day and Robert Vidgeon and graced by a superbly shuddery score by Jonathan Elias and Angelo Badalamenti (the use of blithely bouncy mambo music on the soundtrack is an especially nifty touch), this genuinely spooky and unnerving horror black comedy treat works exceptionally well as both a frighteningly accurate and surrealistic depiction of the grim nightmarishness of childhood and a wickedly spot-on satire of the placid 50's emphasis on stuffy normality and repressive conformity ("We have to fit in").

Not as funny as I thought it would be, kind of boring.

It's just way too slow.

All it is is shots of the mom smushing meat, the son staring at his parents, and absolutely nothing happens.

There are moments where this laid-back pacing works, but overall the film's slowness works against it, and you find yourself wishing for some kind of burst of action to speed things up.

There's no real plot here, just one strange scene after another that never makes it feel things are progressing.

The story is quite intriguing, disturbing, and down-right funny at times.

Was it worth the watch?

The main problem with the film is that despite all the tension that the director seems so keen on instilling throughout; the plot twist is predictable from the start.

You'll find it either disturbing, stupid, boring or any combination of.

"Parents" is an intriguing and interesting little movie that's totally worth watching if you can get your hands on it.

It's been 13 years since I saw this movie, but it made such an impact on me that to this day I can close my eyes and visualize the characters, and feel the mood that make this film worth watching.

Bob Balaban's satire on 1950's America is a riot of colour and pitch-perfect period settings that looks like it came straight from the closet of a certain Douglas Sirk and one that makes "Mad Men" look positively dull in comparison.

There are an endless series of strange scenes, but no real plot or story arc.

Balaban leisurely paces the film by working in a hypnotic lull that suffocates the air.

But if u r bored & looking 4 a movie 2 rent, give this 1 a shot, its worth it.

Overall, it's worth a look, but its snail's pace tends to be a real drawback, and the ending is a major disappointment.

Horror movies often exploit what is familiar, mundane and safe to us in order to shake up our sense of security, playing on this ingrained sense of security to generate fear.

In the end, the greatest horror this horror movie provokes in its viewers is the moral horror of Michael's being forced to choose between the loving thing to do and the right thing to do; which in the final analysis, is the most compelling kind of horror of all.

(Though I would place the blame on his performance on the director, for allowing the actor to play in this same monotone tone.


It actually starts to pretty much fall apart towards the end, and the ending itself is just too cliché to be believable.

At least then, we'd get a bit of excitement instead of the indescribably dull talkfest we have instead.

For a good half hour or so, I had high hopes that "Parents" would be a refreshing and exciting horror comedy (like "Eating Raoul" or "Flesh Eating Mothers") , but it's actually quite dull and spiritless.

One predictable moment follows another, until we get to the ending...

The story is really hard to follow and is very choppy as a whole.

An odd, intriguing and strikingly original horror black comedy winner .

And finally, streaming through the script's veins is a wickedly subtle dark streak and a very laid back attitude that adds to the slow rising tension.

Still, Parents is an enjoyable viewing, and therefore well worth watching.

If you watch this on an empty stomach you most likely will end up getting really hungry.

truly a disturbing and dark comedy that to this day still creeps me out; disturbing and entertaining it should be a contender for one of the best films of 1989.

This is one of the worst movies I've ever seen.

The director uses his camera cleverly and executes some fine visual tricks, but they don't lead anywhere, because the film has such an "one-joke" premise and a repetitive script.

Sound is so very important in horror and when it's right it can make the difference between a scary movie and a boring one.

Possibly the most boring film I've ever seen .

Overall Parents is a very enjoyable film, it's funny, clever and gruesome what more could you possibly want?

Even so it is a pretty uneventful affair.

The period settings are flawless in their interpretation of early suburban banality.

Yes the acting was fine but it was a complete waste of time and talent.

story is sort of black comedy/cult bland, as you already know the outcome from looking at the box.

That's not an original technique (1953's "Invaders From Mars" also used that particular device, and, IMO, better), but it's an interesting one, and young actor Bryan Madorsky does an excellent job of conveying just how cold, confusing, perplexing and, ultimately, terrifying the adult world can be to a child.