Tuesday, September 13, 2011


A young couple movie into an idyllic country house and are killed in a freak accident. In death, they find themselves confined to the home even as a family of insufferable yuppies movie in. Unable to scare them off they employ the services of a crude, perverted bio-exorcist in order to clear the house for themselves. "Beetlejuice" is one of the early films of Tim Burton and is a prime example of the director getting carried away from himself. We get some really good work from Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis as the couple, Winona Ryder as the gothic daughter of the yuppie family, and Catherine O'Hara, Jeffrey Jones, and Glenn Shadix are  a hoot as the portentous yuppies. However when we get to the death scenes, we get the cartoonish oddities that have dominated Burton's work and Michael Keaton's work in the title role as a manic obscene Bugs Bunny like character is simply off putting and not as fun as most would lead on. I really liked the scenes amongst the living (particularly a possessed rendition of Harry Belafonte's Day-O) and I think there would have been a good film here in the hands of a more restrained director.