Movie Review: Beetlejuice (1988)

Synopsis: A young couple is killed in a car accident and ends up haunting their house. When an eccentric family buys the property and begins making changes they don't approve of, the couple tries to scare them away. When the family is, instead, thrilled to be living in a haunted house, they consider hiring a maverick ghost to help them, despite being warned not to.

Who's in it? The movie stars Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara and Jeffrey Jones.

Review: I came across this movie last night while waiting for the kids to finish their desserts and get ready for bed. Since my wife was busy with a project, I ended up watching it.

It had been a long while since I had watched this film in its entirety and, other than bits and pieces, I didn't remember too much about it. After seeing it again, I can honestly say I enjoyed it.

There are a couple things, in particular, I like about this movie. The first is I love how this is basically a ghost story told from the ghosts' perspective. Usually, movies like this focus on a family trying to rid themselves of ghosts. With this film, it's the exact opposite. And, to be honest, it did make me think a bit. I wondered how I would feel if I were in the ghosts' (Baldwin and Davis) situation or, if my house is haunted, how the ghosts feel about my family being there.

I also found I loved the Deetz family, especially the parents (O'Hara and Jones), because they ended up being much more than I was expecting. When they are first introduced, they come off as obnoxious. However, as the movie progresses, it's actually easy to warm up to them. Yes, they are eccentric. But, overall, they really aren't as awful as they first seem and eventually end up being somewhat likable.

Keaton, for his part, is pretty memorable in the title role. He kept Betelgeuse funny while, at the same time, made sure the character came off as being untrustworthy. As a result, whenever he does anything in the movie, it makes you wonder what his real intentions are.

My only real complaint is I wish they would have given us more background information about him, just so it was easier to understand why he acted the way he did. Was he like that when he was still alive? What makes him hate the living so much? Details like that would have added a lot more depth to him.

Final Opinion: This is a fun comedy movie that, to date, has been enjoyable every time I've taken the time to watch it. If you haven't seen it or haven't watched it in a while, I do recommend taking the time to do so.

My Grade: A


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