Unusually grim comedy about "normal" suburbanites who suspect that something very sinister is going on in the home of their rarely seen foreign neighbors. Stars Tom Hanks and Carrie Fisher.
!!Contains the following tropes:
* AdultFear: In spades. Lampshaded by a long story narrated by Art about a neighbor from the distant past who murdered his whole family and left them in the basement to rot in the middle of a summer heat wave.
* AshFace: [[spoiler: happens to the main character after the Klopek's furnace explodes in his face, setting the house on fire.]]
* AsideGlance: ''[[ILoveThisTown "God I love this street."]]''
* AstronomicZoom and LogoJoke: At the very beginning the Universal logo name vanishes but not the globe behind it. Instead the camera zooms down and into it until it hovers right above a Midwestern suburban cul-de-sac and the Klopeks' house.
** You can tell something is a little off with [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdCU7rjUSVc that logo]] because it's still the '70s/'80s Universal logo, which isn't CGI in other movies, but this globe obviously is. This is because of another studio (IndustrialLightAndMagic) doing this particular logo.
*** Also, the typefaces for "Universal" and "An MCA Company" [[OffModel are different]].
* BigNo: when Art and Ray find a femur bone that they believe belongs to their missing neighbor.
* BrokenAesop: What could have been a lesson in tolerance and paranoia becomes subverted in the end, when it turns out they really are evil! Dang.
* CrazySurvivalist: Rumsfield, with a dash of OldSoldier thrown in. Probably a PerilousOldFool too.
* DeconstructiveParody: [[spoiler:Subverted in the end.]]
* EvilIsNotWellLit: The Klopek's house looks dark and forboding even during the day.
* [[spoiler:FauxAffablyEvil: Doctor Klopek.]]
* FloorboardFailure: On the neighbor's porch.
* HarmlessElectrocution: When Art cuts the power to the Klopek's house, he gets zapped right off the power pole, but is only a little worse for wear.
* HenpeckedHusband: Poor Ray is accused of being one by Art and Rumsfield, when Carol is really just trying to keep him from acting like an idiot.
* HerrDoktor: Rumsfield refers to Doctor Klopek in this way, patronizingly insinuating he's conducting activities unfit for a doctor as well as insulting his German qualities.
* HeyItsThatPlace: The set for this movie, Colonial street at Universal City, would later become Wisteria Lane of DesperateHousewives. While all of the houses have appeared in various TV shows and films since, perhaps most recognizable was the Butler's, which was also the house of ''TheMunsters''.
* KarmaHoudini: Even though Art turned out to be right all along about the Klopeks, he's never punished for all of stress and grievance he causes for his neighbors.
* Leitmotif: Rumsfield's is the theme from ''Patton'', which Jerry Goldsmith also did the score for.
* LightmareFuel: The entire theme of the film is predicated on this.
* NeverMyFault: Art was essentially the one who started the whole fiasco about the Klopeks, and came up with wild ideas, negative assumptions, encouraged others to be obsessed as he is, yet he always tries to shift the blame onto someone else.
* NightmareFetishist: Cory Feldman's character, who views the neighborhood as a source of warped entertainment.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: It's no coincidence that Rumsfield has a nearly identical name(and bears more than a passing physical resemblance) with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
* NoMereWindmill: Type 2. Right about the time you figure out that Ray and his fellow snoops are just being paranoid about the Klopek family, [[spoiler:it turns out they really are serial killers.]]
* NosyNeighbor: Ray and his friends.
* NotSoAboveItAll: Ray slowly becomes more obsessed with unmasking the Klopeks than either Art or Rumsfeld.
* OnlySaneMan: Ray and his wife qualify... until Ray gets as paranoid as Art and Rumsfield.
* RunningGag: ''"Yo, Rumsfield!"''
* SkeletonKeyCard: It doesn't work.
-->'''Carol''': He can't come out until he resembles the man I married.
-->'''Art''': Carol, we don't have that kind of time!
* WhatMightHaveBeen: The first version of the movie had the Klopeks killing Ray and getting away with it. After this and another ending where the Klopeks are completely innocent tested poorly, the [[spoiler: compromise ending where the Klopeks are serial killers but fail to kill Ray]] worked much better.