Monday, 31 May 2010

Film Review: BEETLE JUICE (1988)

Director: Tim Burton
Running time: 92 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 15

UK Release Date: 19th August 1988

Watched on DVD Sunday 31st May 2010.


I know this is a pretty old film, but believe it or not, I had never seen it before. It’s one of those that somehow managed to escape me. I’ve seen bits and pieces of it when it’s been on TV, but this is the first time I’ve sat down and watched it all the way through. I’ll admit to being a bit of a fan of Tim Burton’s work over the years and so I was keen to have a look at this one.

Adam and Barbara Maitland Live in a beautiful country house that they have decorated themselves. When they die in an accident they return to the house as ghosts. To their horror, the house is bought by a couple from New York, Charles and Delia Deetz, who move in with Charles’ daughter Lydia. Delia considers herself an artist and, with the help of her friend Otho, proceeds to re-model the house. The Maitland’s are now really distressed, what with coming to terms with being dead as well, it’s all proving a bit much. Lydia can see the ghosts and, after talking for a while, the Maitland’s take a liking to her. Help is at hand in the guise of the crazy spirit known as Beetlejuice. But the Maitland’s, at first try to scare the Deetz family away themselves. This all goes wrong when they are enthralled by their efforts and want more! Can Beetlejuice save the day? Guess you’ll have to watch it to find out.

Although it looks quite dated by today’s standards, this is unmistakably a Tim Burton film. A lot of stop-motion animation is used for the special effects which reminded me of the much later Corpse Bride from 2005. Decent performances from all of the main cast, Alec Baldwin as Adam Maitland, Geena Davis as Barbara Maitland, Catherine O'Hara as Delia Deetz, Jeffrey Jones as Charles Deetz, Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz and Glenn Shadix as Otho. And, of course, a special mention for Michael Keaton who was great as the mad-cap Beetlejuice.

A pretty entertaining film with some nice touches. It looks a little dated now but it still works. It has the unmistakable mark of Tim Burton and will always be synonymous with Michael Keaton’s portrayal of the over-the-top Beetlejuice. Over all, good stuff, if a little dated: Recommended.

My score: 6.4/10

IMDb Site:
Official Site: N/A

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