Hosted by Writer/Director Richard Bates Jr. and Actors Ray Wise and Matthew Gray Gubler
Quirky young Raymond (Matthew Gray Gubler, also appearing in this year’s LIFE AFTER BETH) has been having a tough couple of months. Even with his recent college degree, he can’t find work in the big city — and he’s realizing that it’s time to swallow his pride and move back in with his overbearing, suburban parents (Barbara Niven and Ray Wise). Little does he realize, however, that this temporary layover in Middle America is going to be anything but mundane… Haunted by otherworldly visions since childhood, Raymond soon finds himself beset upon by spirits intent on making his time at home as miserable as possible. His only outlet for sanity seems to be local bartender Becca (Kat Dennings, THOR) who, aside from chasing off the same bullies who wanted to beat Raymond up in high school, finds herself drawn to his endearing quirkiness. Together, the duo find themselves unraveling the mystery behind a century-old murder — and scaring up plenty of laughs along the way.
Conceived by Richard Bates, Jr. as a dark follow-up to his immensely successful EXCISION, SUBURBAN GOTHIC ultimately morphed into something wholly more innocent after a bout of depression that left the director/co-writer finding solace — and inspiration — in the films of his childhood. A riff on everything from the Hardy Boys to Scooby-Doo, SUBURBAN GOTHIC deftly mixes its horror and humour in ways very few genre films can — and with the denizens of this cinematic suburbia all caricatures of those we love and hate, their fates are somehow all the more satisfying. Gubler and Dennings make an endearingly memorable duo, battling ghosts and finding love all while spouting Bates’ hilariously off-kilter dialogue with charming abandon. Featuring performances from genre mainstays Ray Wise and Muse Watson, SUBURBAN GOTHIC certainly doesn’t shy away from horror’s familiar faces, offering up stellar cameos from Jeffrey Combs, John Waters, and — blink and you’ll miss them — Jennifer Lynch and Jen and Sylvia Soska. To genre fans awash in a sea of excessively dark horror, SUBURBAN GOTHIC is popcorn cinema at its most endearing — a saccharine ghost story featuring a faultless mix of honest scares and well-played humour.
— Ted Geoghegan