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.
* 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 due to another studio (IndustrialLightAndMagic) doing this particular logo.
*** Also, the typefaces for "Universal" and "An MCA Company" 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''.
* NightmareFetishist: Cory Feldman's character, who views the neighborhood as a source of warped entertainment.
* 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 as innocent targets of their neighbours' paranoia. But preview audiences hated it, so it was changed so that they were the bad guys, rather than the obvious audience surrogates.
* WorldOfHam: Even Ray goes into LargeHam mode in places.