Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 85 minutes
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If you are in the mood to watch a psychotic married couple fight over absolutely nothing, breaking only for the occasional (and rather bland) murder, then “Suburban Nightmare” is the film for you. Deborah (Brandy Little) and Charles Rosenblad (Trent Haaga) are annoyed with one another and why shouldn’t they be, they both constantly nag each other and are only happy when they are committing murder. As we can tell from the title (and not from a long-shot in the film) the Rosenblad’s live in the suburbs and would be just like any other average American family if they didn’t have such a predilection for serial murder. Charles keeps killing people without checking with Deborah first which gets Deb real mad. Charles is pissed because Deborah apparently had a drunk driving accident of sorts that did some kind of damage to their daughter Becky (Hayden Tweedie) who is upstairs for most of their antics. It’s not clear exactly what’s wrong with little Becky but she sure can sleep through a hell of a lot of bitching. Charles’ and Deborah’s fights are inconsistent; first he’s going to leave her and she won’t let him, then all of a sudden she’s going to dump him. Both want to kill each other; it’s all so confusing. In between the quarrels they have guests over for dinner (that leads to possibly the most uneventful murder ever shot on HD video), a visit from the cops and of course some time spent with the hooker that Charles brings home. There’s also a human pet (Kimberly Grant) that the Rosenblad’s keep in the basement, a slew of trite flashbacks to happier days and a couple of touching moments with daughter Becky. This list of details is actually a bit misleading as not much happens in the film. As a matter of fact, most everything takes place in two rooms. Yes, there is a moment or two of girl-on-girl action (par for the course), but it’s fleeting and pretty lame.
The performances in “Suburban Nightmare” are the best thing about the film. Don’t get me wrong, there are several dramatic moments that are less than mediocre, but Brandy Little and Trent Haaga do a good job through most of the movie. Haaga is a Troma veteran and Little, apparently a Jon Keeyes favorite, was in “Hallow’s End” and “American Nightmare”. The main problem with “Suburban Nightmare” is that the film is dialogue driven and the dialogue is weak. Overall, the script just doesn’t do much; most of the conversations are nothing more than mindless and annoying bickering. The film is confusing for such a simple project; many items are unclear or unresolved. Worst of all, I saw the ending coming from a mile away. It seems that the film is supposed to a black comedy of sorts, but it just isn’t funny. If Lifetime had a “Horror Films For Women” channel, “Suburban Nightmare” would get a lot of airplay.
Posted on July 24, 2004 in Reviews by Rachel Morgan
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