It’s heightened, of course, but The ’Burbs could have been my block growing up. And I definitely became Tom Hanks’ Ray Peterson, the middle-aged homeowner who doesn’t know how to use 90 percent of the tools in his garage and would prefer to keep a friendly distance from his neighbors. (In other words, the fake suburbanite.) So familiarity is certainly part of my outsized affection for this 1989 Joe Dante satire of suburban America. But I also think the movie has wider significance in the way it presents suburban expansion as a cheerier version of manifest destiny—an unstoppable force that gobbles up land and then quickly sets about circling the wagons. And so when a suspicious family moves next door to Ray, letting their yard and house fall in disrepair while strange rumblings emit from their basement, it’s no small detail that the neighborhood gossip makes a point of their “Slavic” last name. The Klopeks could just be the first non-WASPs on the block, or they could be murdering devil worshippers; the subtext of The ’Burbs is that to some of their neighbors, there’s not much difference. Actually, Hanks gets a climactic speech that says as much, but he gives it such a frenzied delivery (Hanks was a delightfully spastic and unhinged comedian in his early screen days) that the laughs make up for the preachiness. The humor is broad throughout, and deftly delivered by the likes of Bruce Dern and Rick Ducommun (as Ray’s more paranoid neighbors) and Carrie Fisher (who’s essentially a walking eye-roll as Ray’s level-headed wife). Dante’s camera takes its cue from Hanks’ mania and delivers everything like a hard sales pitch; only slightly more subtle is Jerry Goldsmith’s score, which wryly works in horror-movie chords whenever the Klopeks come up. Now, does the final twist—which reveals the Klopeks to be as nefarious as everyone fears—undermine the movie’s otherwise progressive politics? Probably, though you could also argue that Dante needed it if he was ever going to smuggle this thing into suburban multiplexes.