Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbra (Geena Davis) were happily married when an accident happened and they find themselves dead. Now they have to spend the next century trapped in their home, haunting the new occupants. A family move in and start to change everything about the house (the architecture is scary when they’re done) and the only one who can see the ghosts is the daughter, Lydia (Winona Ryder). Not wanting the living in the house, except for Lydia because they have a soft spot for her, they go about bio-exterminating. When that fails, they call the professional; Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton). But he ain’t cheap.
Everything about this film, from the script to the design, is perfect. It has that odd flavour that only Burton seems to bring to every one of his pieces of work. The special effects add to the creep factor, only occasionally looking tacky (the sandworm world doesn’t do it for me). The costumes, the setting for the afterlife, everything about it is the right amount of creep.
I love the story. It has been a while since there has been a shake-up of the usual storyline. We automatically have dead people with no hope, but they’re not on a classic journey, they’re determined to protect what they love, and whom they love. It’s different.
The script is great too, Keaton getting the bulk of the good lines.
Mentioning him, he leaps into this character like he’s jumping into his own grave. Deranged, perverted, and opportunistic. No-one can say a bad thing about his performances. And the black and white suit is iconic. Or I thought it was until five years ago every girl was wearing the stripes and thinking they were fashionable, and giving me funny looks as I whispered the ‘B’ word in front of them. I’m not weird. They’re the ones dressing like a dead guy who eats bugs.
All I can say about Adam and Barbra; I think they have the perfect marriage in the world. It certainly didn’t end with “death do us part”. That’s what we should be aspiring to. Otherwise, get divorced or become an old maid. Just saying.
Anyway, this is a great film to watch. Not scary, just creepy and enjoyable. Though don’t go showing this to anyone under fifteen, you’ll give them nightmares for years to come, or make them develop an unnatural delight for stripes. Whatever you do, don’t say his name. At least not three times. Don’t. It’s like Bloody Mary when looking into a mirror. You’ll be asking for trouble if you do.