Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Beetlejuice (1988) Review:

Never have I seen a horror comedy like Beetlejuice before. I'm not quite sure if it's because of the PG rating or just how director Tim Burton made the character of Beetlejuice so lovable. Alec Baldwin (Adam Maitland) and Geena Davis (Barbara Maitland) play a married couple who end up dying within the first 15 minutes of the movie. They soon realize that they indeed are dead and can't escape their house. To make matters worse, their house is intruded by a new family called the Deetz who start rearranging all their personal things. When the Maitlands try to spook the family, they realize they're not recognized. So what's their solution - calling on Beetlejuice, played by Michael Keaton.

Baldwin & Davis as the helpless ghost couple
What is Michael Keaton when it comes to this character? To start off, he is filthy, vulgar, and has a bad case of gingivitis; but no termites like the Grinch. Although all of these aspects are unappealing, there is something to love about Beetlejuice. What to love is the personality. Beetlejuice's personality is funny and crude because what would you do if you've lived through the black plague and seen the exorcist about 167 times? If I was him, I'd be bored with myself by now but somehow Keaton puts life into this character like he just died yesterday. Just like The Mask (1994) who wear's a banana yellow suit to a dance club, Beetlejuice's signature wardrobe clothing is a striped black and white tux; pretty attractive for a dead guy.

Keaton as the "bug-eyed" comedy ghoul
Some other great parts from this movie are the make-up effects. Many times during this movie you will see other dead specters. What's funny about these ghosts is that the way they died is they way they're portrayed so you know exactly how they died. A man wearing a chicken- eating bib has a chicken leg stuck in his throat. A man is flat as a poster board because along his front side is a tire track. That's one of the fun parts of this movie.

Another great element in this film is the score composed and conducted by Danny Elfman. Just Beetlejuice's theme song is enough to get the goosebumps going. It's not a haunting melody but it's so catchy that you're bound to start jumping around. And that's exactly what Beetlejuice does; he's always hopping around on screen.

Director Tim Burton has definitely created a movie that is not like any other horror flick. With comedy coming first before horror, Beetlejuice will definitely deliver the laughs and some chills along the way.

Points Earned --> 10:10

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