Oklahoma, c. 1972. The house that 12-year-old Jack lives in looks like it was abandoned by the Addams family. Mom's dead, Dad (DeVito), the host of a midnight schlock-horror show, teases the neighbours' kids with his realistic monster impressions. He's got a drink problem and he's close to a breakdown. There's little bro' Dylan, but at three years old, he's more of a responsibility than an ally. The loony next door, forever polishing his car, is rumoured to be a Nazi. This weird - if never quite wonderful - entertainment is a rites-of-passage drama in horror-movie clothing. DeVito gives a blue-collar truth to a hard role, and it's rare to find a Hollywood film which tackles such troubling subjects, however uneasily.