Every Tim Burton picture is capable of inducing many uncontrollable laughs from the audience. On the other hand, it’s also able to hypnotize through this specific Burton-y tone and visual style that characterizes all of his productions.
And Beetlejuice is definitely that one picture, which actually started a sudden Burton-mania and put him on the spot as one of the most eccentric and original directors of the 20th century.
When a light-hearted couple, Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam (Alec Baldwin) Maitland, unexpectedly die one day, they realize that they will be trapped in their own house for another ‘couple’ of years without any chances of getting out. And this wouldn’t be a bad thing, if it weren’t for one irritating family, which bought the home, moved in, and wants to make a few changes inside. Being two regular ghosts, the prime residents understand that the only way to get rid of the annoying new homeowners is to scare them away. Unfortunately, all this doesn’t seem to be too easy, as they quickly become a sort of attraction for the Deetz clan. The only person that is able to actually see and bond with the unhappy couple is the overly weird and gloomy Lydia (Winona Ryder). She wants to help her new and lifeless friends. Yet, as things still don’t go as planned, it appears that the only creature that may be of any guidance is the aberrant, obnoxious, and very impetuous Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton)…
Calling himself a ‘bio-exorcist’, he promises to scare away the Deetzes with a couple of his frightening tricks. However, there is something else on his wild mind – he wants to force Lydia into becoming his lovely bride. And this doesn’t seem to suit anyone in particular.
The movie has plenty of fantastically humorous gags, applied in a rather macabre and dark manner, so typical of a film created by Tim Burton. What’s more, all of the creatures that appear in the otherworld scenery are hilarious and look like they were taken straight out of a cartoon (also, look for the group of dead football players – a reference to a tragic plane crash that really happened).
Michael Keaton gives an incredible performance as the preposterous, ludicrous, and totally ridiculous deceased exterminator, who happens to look for some love in the human world. From the moment when we see him for the first time the movie gets on a totally different, much faster pace. He soon becomes the brightest star of the movie, with all that he says and does, and in a most amusing way.
It’s funny to watch Alec Baldwin in such an untypical role. I must say that even though we are accustomed to seeing him in more of action-hero-type movies, he still gives a decent performance. His character seems fairly likable, and combined with Geena Davis as his wife, the two create a couple that everyone can adore.
All in all, if you are looking for some fun time with a movie that won’t bore you for a second, give Beetlejuice a try. It’s a Burton creation that is as heart-warming, as it is crazy and bizarre.