David Lynch's Blue Velvet probably cornered the market on creepiness beneath the picket fences of suburbia, but that film built on the foundation of the works of writers like James Cain and Raymond Chandler. To this day, I can't look at a happy Mayberry scene without imagining the way Chandler would have described it.
I remember being surprised to learn that Chandler lived in some truly white-bread neighborhoods in Los Angeles County. I always pictured him in a seedy walk-up in Hollywood, not a cozy little bungalow in Monrovia. But maybe he understood what my film professor was trying to say. Maybe he liked imagining potential darkness inside every sunny American dream.
(I think Chandler would have loved the iPhone MoreMono app. It turns everything into Marlowe's playground.)