Suburban hell has nothing on this film. So far Suburbicon looks like one of the darkest comedies imaginable even though its director, George Clooney, said that it’s not supposed to be a comedy at all. The funny was supposed to have been cut out of it when they cut Josh Brolin’s parts out entirely. Yet for some reason it still has that strange laughable quality that shouldn’t be there but is. You know, the aspects of a film that seem comical but are quite dark and you almost hate yourself for laughing. Almost.
Clooney has come out with a film that is somehow darker than anything that’s been released in a long time and yet still has that suburban charm that can draw people in with the thin veneer of “it’s okay” stamped across it. The neighborhood is clean, the people seem nice in their plastic, folded-down and pre-packaged way, and even the criminals seem to have come out of some type of mold that you might find in a Hollywood specialty shop. If this sounds at all like I’m being sarcastic well, maybe just a little.
In truth the movie looks like it might be worth watching just to see what Clooney was thinking when he was making it. There’s no secret that he and Matt Damon have enjoyed working together in the past and that’s probably why Clooney stuck with him for this role. Damon does have a sort of composure that belies the charming smile that lies beneath the otherwise stoic face that he can put on. You don’t know if he’s going to remain stone-faced or start grinning like big kid at any moment and that’s kind of nice.
When his wife dies though it seems to put him in a frame of mind that serious is the only real setting he has left. On the other hand, his wife’s sister, who might have been plotting with Damon’s character to get rid of the wife, is all smiles until things apparently come crashing down around her. And even then she throws more of a snit than anything. It feels safe to say that she’s not a totally balanced character, though neither is Damon’s character, and that the two are bound to end up in serious trouble by the end of the movie if not sooner.
Suburban movies tend to be quite scary because no one wants to believe that anything bad can happen in suburbia. That’s kind of funny because in the real world some neighborhoods look just as serene but that’s that scary part. Life is chaotic, messy, and not at all what we expect most times, which is why the calm and tailored look of the suburbs is so disquieting. It’s a fake, a mask laid over the real world that exists inside each home. It’s not real. The reality is what we can’t see, and sometimes that’s just terrifying.
This movie definitely looks like it’ll be worth watching, so I’ll be one of those that can say I will definitely see it when it comes out.