9. The Klopeks (The 'Burbs)
It's rare one can truly judge a book by its cover, rare but not unheard of in this comedy-horror flick from Gremlins' Joe Dante. We're introduced to the Klopeks as the new owners of 669, Mayfield Place. They look strange, act strange, are frequently loud, always creepy and notably mysterious. A series of increasingly bizarre moments lead the neighbouring households to suspect they're a group of serial killers, ritualistically sacrificing victims in their basement.
For much of The 'Burbs' runtime, Tom Hanks' fittingly high-strung performance as nosey neighbour Ray Peterson moves more into laughter than outright scares. The film's satirical take on suburban life contrasts the tone of the Klopek crew's misdeeds sharply, resulting in a nicely executed neighbours from hell finale where Dante finally ramps up the fear factor.
The always-versatile Henry Gibson has a ball as spooky family patriarch Dr Werner Klopek, terrorising Ray in a wild climax that leaves the film on a pitch black, macabre note. Polarising for its mash-up of genres, The 'Burbs ultimately nails the spooky aspects of its story and characters far more than the humorous ones.