Saturday, May 06, 2006

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! (1988)


This movie has it all: comedy, drama, action and sci-fi, all mixed into one! This combination makes it a classic Tim Burton film! Beetlejuice will forever be a part of movie history because it contains all that makes a movie entertaining!

And what a Cast! The A-list celebrities include: Alec Baldwin (Adam Maitland), Geena Davis (Barabara Maitland), Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice), Winona Ryder (Lydia Deetes), Catherine O’Hara (Delia Deetes), Jeffrey Jones (Charles Deetes).

Adam and Barbara Maitland are a young happily married couple living in what seems to be their dream home. On weekends, Adam has a hobby constructing a replica of their town out of small model homes in the attic while Barbara decorates their real home. One day the Maitland’s go out for a drive which results in a tragic car accident that kills them both. However, being dead was not what they thought it would be.

They end up trapped in their house as ghosts while another family moves into their dream home. They are forced to live with this new family consisting of a husband (Charles), a wife (Delia) and an adolescent daughter (Lydia). They are left with only three main guides to offer them advice as to what to do in their situation. One guide is a book called, The Handbook for the Recently Deceased which apparently reads like stereo instructions and is of no help. Another source is the Maitland’s case manager who is accessed by drawing a door on the wall and knocking three times! The final guide that presents itself (or should I say himself) is a bio-exorcist named Beetlejuice.

While living with the Deetes’, Barbara and Adam befriend Lydia. Lydia describes herself as being, “strange and unusual.” This is how, she claims, that she and no one else can see the Maitland’s. She states, “The living ignores the strange and unusual. I myself am strange and unusual.”

The Maitland’s, out of desperation to rid themselves of Delia and Charles, go against their case worker’s advice and enlist Beetlejuice’s help to get them out of the house. Beetlejuice pulls out every stop with the intent of either hurting or killing the family. He does this through a multiplicity of bizarre ways. All of them show the film’s creative side including makeup, costuming and special effects.

In the end, all works out. Strangely enough, it took Beetlejuice’s rampage of almost killing Delia and Charles, almost TRULY killing the Maitland’s and of trying to make Lydia his bride in order for the two families to unite as one.

This family really seemed to be packed with an underlying theme of dealing with life’s harsh transitions. It deals with: death, being married, coming of age and moving. While it does deal with these issues, it deals with them in a highly comical way that seems to momentarily take away the fear that is usually associated with them.

2 comments:

Vladigogo said...

love the German movie poster for the film

Jenny said...

Thanks! Didn't realize that the poster was in German until it was published! I guess it just shows how worldly of a hit this movie was!