Beetlejuice (1988)

Beetlejuice (1988)

1988 PG 92 Minutes

Fantasy | Comedy

Thanks to an untimely demise via drowning, a young couple end up as poltergeists in their New England farmhouse, where they fail to meet the challenge of scaring away the insufferable new owners, w...

Overall Rating

8 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • WHAT I LIKED: Though he's always had fun turning up the dials on reality and examining and exaggerating people's little everyday behaviours, 'Beetlejuice,' is undoubtedly Tim Burton's most overtly comedic film.

    In large part that's enabled because its central concept is built around that kind of amusing observation, following a young couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) who die and come back as ghosts to haunt and observe the wealthy family who move into their house. They initially try and chase them out, but the satirically self-obsessed parents see their hauntings as a chance for commercial gain, so then it's down to them befriending their strange outsider daughter (Winona Ryder) to help reconcile them, the lovely dead people, with the nasty alive ones.

    That creates all sorts of opportunities for laughs, as does Burton's expectedly amusing realisation of the after-life complete with boring guidance manuals, social support services, and all sorts of rules about dealing with the pesky living.

    WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: As ever with Burton, it's more about those funny concepts and satirical observations than it is anything deeper, and some of those here (namely Keaton's titular character in fact) feel ridiculous and unsuccessful.

    VERDICT: Another Tim Burton film about observing and satirising the living, 'Beetlejuice,' is great fun, but little more.