Beetlejuice Review
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With Halloween just weeks away, now’s the perfect time to enjoy a spooky Tim Burton classic—like The Nightmare Before Christmas or the zany ghost story, Beetlejuice.

Beetlejuice is the story of Adam and Barbara Maitland (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis), a recently-deceased couple who, after they’re killed in a car accident, return to their big, old house in Connecticut as ghosts. Despite the fact that they’re unable to leave the house, they’re pretty happy ghosts—that is, until the new owners move in.

Charles and Delia (Jeffrey Jones and Catherine O’Hara) are rich and pretentious—and Adam and Barbara just want them out of their house. So, from their hiding place in the attic, the Maitlands decide to do what ghosts do best: scare the new people away. But no matter how hard they try, nothing seems to work—so they decide to call on freelance bio-exorcist Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton) to do the job for them.

  
 
Little do they know, however, that by hiring Betelgeuse, they’ve only made matters even worse.

Burton’s Beetlejuice is a wickedly wacky adventure that’s every bit as silly as it is scary. In fact, although it’s technically a ghost story, there are only a few really scary scenes. The rest of the movie is just a quirky ghost story about a couple of mild-mannered dead people who find themselves struggling with an infestation of some real, live, human pests.

Mostly, then, Beetlejuice is a ghostly comedy—filled with Burton’s signature dark, offbeat humor. The script is wildly imaginative. The sets are strange and artistic. And the scenes are often hilarious (especially the dinner party scene, in which the guests are possessed and forced to perform Harry Belafonte’s “Day-O”).

Then, of course, there’s the cast. Young Winona Ryder is adorable as the angsty teen, Lydia—and O’Hara is perfectly over-the-top as spoiled society wife, Delia. But Keaton steals the show as the lecherous leech, Betelgeuse. Though his scenes in the movie are few and far between (and he spends a surprisingly small amount of time on-screen), they make for some of the movie’s best moments. Keaton’s Betelgeuse is bizarre and creepy and utterly demented—and he brings the movie a heavy dose of Burton’s twisted humor. Without him, Beetlejuice would be little more than a fluffy family film.

So if you’re tired of the same old slasher flicks and horror movies, be sure to pick up a copy this silly-spooky Tim Burton classic. It’ll make the perfect addition to your usual Halloween traditions.


DVD Review:
Though you might expect the 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of Beetlejuice to be filled with fun new extras, the new release is surprisingly light on special features. You won’t find a single making-of feature or cast retrospective here. Instead, the DVD features just three episodes of the Beetlejuice cartoon series (which was once a regular part of my Saturday morning routine), a couple of trailers, and a music-only, dialogue-free version of the movie. So if you already have a copy of Beetlejuice on DVD, there’s no need to rush out and pick up the new edition. If, however, your DVD collection is sadly Beetlejuice-deficient, it’s worth picking up.

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