Beetlejuice (1988) Review

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Adam and Barbara Maitland are a normal couple looking forward to spending a two-week holiday at home, everything is about to go wrong though when they crash and die on the way back. They want to try to remove the new people from their house, but cannot quite figure out how to do it alone. Beetlejuice.

Beetlejuice.

Beetlejuice.

That’s right you have to say his name three times for him to come and help you or in fact to actually stop him from causing the ultimate chaos. The brilliant thing about the character is that he is in less than half of the film. It’s all about the build up to that moment when the crazy bio-exorcist appears and in his own way trying to help the couple.

This is one of those films that I always forget how it starts, which may seem like a very strange thing to say. But it starts off looking like a very normal film, a couple who are very happy and looking forward to spending time together at home. In what is a huge house. But when they crash and drown they are stuck in the house, well the attic when new people move in. Struggling to come to terms with now being deceased they must figure out how they can still have their home back. A handbook for the recently deceased  is supposed to help them work everything out.

Lydia Deetz the teenage daughter of the new house owner pretty much hates everything about life and the living. She therefore can see the couple, showing no fear at all just curiosity and they even strike up a friendship. I actually really like that aspect of the story as the couple are not evil and never have been, just very protective over their house.

This is certainly a classic Tim Burton with so many of his brilliant trademarks, off the wall moments and character with some rather interesting ideas about the after life. Especially the character Beetlejuice which brings an outstanding comedic performance from Michael Keaton. Wacky and well wonderful comes to mind, all mixed together with the score to create some pretty great scenes.

The film has gone on to become such a cult classic and when you watch it again you can truly understand why. It is still so different and we just don’t see this type of film being released anymore. We have to appreciate when filmmakers try to do something like this and I think it should be encouraged more. Its entertainment at its peak and you never have to take it too seriously.

A very strong cast is a big plus as well, showing that fantasy really is such a strong and interesting genre. This is one of those films that everyone has to watch at least once, so if you haven’t seen it yet you really do need to make time to see it. It’s not very long either so that’s not an excuse for watching it!

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