Happy October and welcome! All 31 days this month, I will be reviewing all the films I watch in the month of October. They’re mostly a selection of horror or suspense films in my own library or films and shows that have been recommended to me.
Please enjoy and leave a comment!
And if you missed any of our past reflections, take a look:
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
The Haunting (1963)
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
The Other (1972)
The Legend of Hell House (1973)
Young Frankenstein (1974)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
The Shining (1980)
Halloween II (1981)
The Evil Dead (1981)
Halloween III – Season of the Witch (1982)
Teen Wolf (1985)
Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
The Monster Squad (1987)
The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
The Lost Boys (1987)
Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn (1987)
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
They Live (1988)
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
Ghostbusters II (1989)
Predator 2 (1990)
Our next film is…
WATCHING: The Addams Family (1991)
DIRECTOR: Barry Sonnenfeld, who started out as a camera guy for the Coen Brothers before making this film. The dude made the brilliant “Get Shorty” in 1995 and then gave us the hilariously ingenious “Men in Black” (and both sequels) in 1996. Yeah, he also did “Wild Wild West”, “RV”, and “Nine Lives” but we don’t count that crap.
THE PLOT: Gomez’s brother, Fester, has been lost for years, having vanished while traveling through the Bermuda Triangle. The Addams Family lawyer knows this about Gomez and utilizes this longing to get access to the family fortune — as it just so happens that Fester is still alive and has just forgotten who he is, working as the hired muscle for a local loan shark whom the lawyer owes to.
WHAT DID CRITICS THINK?: They thought the film was decent but didn’t like that the plotting didn’t add up to much. The BBC praised the casting, calling it “top notch”.
WHAT DID I THINK?: The late Raul Julia is perfect here Gomez. He plays the character with dark romantic intensity and style and he has a smoldering chemistry with Anjelica Huston who plays Morticia, his wife. The two are perfect every single time they’re on screen together. Morticia is sultry and Gomez is romantic and stylish as hell. Christopher Lloyd plays Fester to a tee and Christina Ricci is perfect as Wednesday. Carel Struycken plays the 7-foot-tall Lurch while Jimmy Workman is cast as Pugsley but he isn’t given many lines or much to do which is puzzling. Besides that, the cast is gold.
The plot involving Fester is pulp comic nonsense but you’re not watching this film for a lucid plot. You’re here for the visuals and the grim one-liners, which the film has in abundance.
Tim Burton passed up directing the film which, I believe, is a blessing because Burton has a penchant for making things a little TOO mean-spirited. In his place is director Barry Sonnenfeld who gave us films like “Get Shorty” and “Men in Black”. Anyone familiar with his work knows that he’s quirky enough to get the job done with surreal moments claustrophobic close-ups and angles which are beyond fitting for a picture like this.
The visual effects and style are outstanding. “Thing” is a wow. Not so much a special effect, his hand was actually played by an actor and was composited into the film at different points. The “expressions” that Thing gives range from happy to creepy and it’s a treat to watch.
“The Addams Family” is one of several films based on the comic by Charles Addams and it’s the best of them with perfect casting, stylish photography, and lively, inspired plot.