Is Parents a Scary Movie?

If you are a fan of horror movies, you might have heard about the 1989 horror-comedy movie Parents. Directed by Bob Balaban, this movie is known for its creepy atmosphere and dark humor.

But is it really a scary movie Let’s find out.

Plot Summary

The movie revolves around the Laemle family, consisting of Nick (Bryan Madorsky), his parents – Michael (Randy Quaid) and Lily (Mary Beth Hurt), and their neighbor – Sheila (Sandy Dennis). The story takes place in the 1950s, and Nick is a sensitive young boy who starts to suspect that his parents might be cannibals.

As the story unfolds, Nick begins to find evidence that supports his theory. He discovers human remains in his backyard, sees his father bringing home mysterious meat from work, and even finds himself hallucinating about cannibalism. However, no one believes him – not even Sheila, who is the only one who seems to understand him.

The Horror Element

The horror element of Parents comes from its unsettling atmosphere. The movie has a distinct 1950s vibe with vibrant colors and bright costumes that contrast with the dark themes. The juxtaposition of cheerful music with disturbing imagery creates an eerie feeling throughout the film.

There are some genuinely scary moments in the movie as well. For example, when Nick goes down to the basement to investigate strange noises or when he hallucinates about being cooked alive by his parents. These scenes are well-executed and will definitely give you goosebumps.

The Comedy Element

Parents is not just a horror movie; it’s also a comedy that satirizes the American Dream and consumerism of the 1950s. The Laemle family is portrayed as the perfect suburban family, but underneath their facade lies a dark secret. The movie uses humor to subvert the expectations of the audience and makes them laugh at things that are not supposed to be funny.

Randy Quaid’s performance as Michael is a highlight of the movie. He perfectly balances the creepy and comedic elements of his character and delivers some hilarious one-liners that will make you chuckle.


So, is Parents a scary movie The answer is yes and no.

It’s not a typical horror movie with jump scares and gore, but it’s definitely creepy and unsettling. The movie has a unique blend of horror and comedy that makes it stand out from other movies in the genre.

If you are a fan of horror-comedy movies like Shaun of the Dead or Tucker & Dale vs Evil, Parents is definitely worth watching. It’s a cult classic that deserves more recognition for its innovative storytelling and stellar performances.