- 1 hr 32 min
Beetlejuice is a 1988 comedy-horror film directed by Tim Burton and stars Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, and Michael Keaton. The movie tells the story of a recently deceased couple, Adam and Barbara Maitland, who are attempting to navigate the afterlife. After failing to successfully haunt their former home, they seek the help of Betelgeuse, a mischievous and slightly deranged bio-exorcist, to remove the new living occupants from their home.
The movie begins with the Maitlands driving home from town and losing control of their car, resulting in a fatal accident. When they return to their house, they find that theyâre now ghosts and must navigate the afterlife. They soon encounter their new neighbor, the Deetz family, who move into their beloved home. They initially try to scare the Deetz family into leaving their home, but their attempts backfire, resulting in the Deetz family redecorating the home and creating a goth-inspired aesthetic.
Desperate to regain control of their home, the Maitlands seek the assistance of Betelgeuse (Keaton), a bio-exorcist. They quickly realize his methods are more extreme and dangerous than they anticipated and terminate their agreement with him. However, Betelgeuse is not easily deterred and begins to wreak havoc on both the living and the dead.
The movie's comedic tone quickly becomes apparent, with quirky and absurd characters and situations. The Maitlands are presented as a bumbling, naive duo, who are often mistaken for pranksters. Their newly deceased ghostly form is excellent, with the couple having a "shape-shifting" ability to transform into scary creatures.
Keaton as Betelgeuse steals the show with his wild and manic performance. His character is unpredictable and exudes a certain danger that makes the audience unsure whether they should be rooting for him or against him. His outlandish costume, hair, and makeup are perfectly designed for his character and are reminiscent of classic Beetlejuice, a type of circus showman.
The Deetz family, particularly Catherine O'Hara as Delia, is a highlight of the movie, bringing a sense of the absurd via their macabre artistic design. Delia is a force to be reckoned with, bringing over-the-top theater design concepts to the small town, and her design choices are both outrageous and hilarious.
The special effects of the movie still hold up - especially considering the era in which it was made. The ghosts are portrayed with a slightly translucent white glow and, as mentioned before, have the ability to change their features drastically, increasing the comedic moments. The practical effects used to show ghosts moving through the afterlife's walls, floors, and ceilings are clever and give the movie an added layer of playfulness.
In conclusion, Beetlejuice is a classic movie that excels at introducing its audience to the thrills and frightening aspects of the afterlife through an eccentric and erratic journey. The movie constantly sweeps audiences into a world that is both strange and fascinating while also allowing moments of levity and comedy to break the tension. Between the strong characters, their plights, and the zany setting, Beetlejuice is a must-watch film and an essential entry in the horror-comedy genre.
Beetlejuice is a 1988 fantasy movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 32 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5 and a MetaScore of 70.