Halloween Haunted House Ha Ha’s Get Better With Beetlejuice

All that’s here is – Halloween Ha Ha’s

Halloween Boo Boo’s!

Haunted House Ha Ha’s!

BeetlejuiceYes, it gets better but hardly magnificent IMHO.  My first impressions of the movie?  Oh shit, there’s that guy that shot his cinematography director and director; man does Alec Baldwin look young!

See folks, what’s happening here is this middle age guy is taking his very first plunge into Beetlejuice land in the year 2021, thirty-three years late. Oh I have seen a scene (“seen a scene” – isn’t that a cool phrase?) here and there over the years. I was very familiar with the dinner party scene before watching the film. But for the most part, I was a Beetlejuice virgin.  How I wish I had seen this movie back in the 80s. I am sure I would have liked the film much better.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a good movie. But if I had taken a break from trying to sneak into bars and clubs back in March of 1988 when I was a minor and had gone to the movies instead, maybe I would have seen Beetlejuice then. The magical ways of Tim Burton would be fresh and awestriking. The claymation wouldn’t seem so dated. And maybe the starring couple Adam and Barbara Maitland (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) wouldn’t annoy me as 80’s style “squares.”  Then, years later, say, oh I don’t know, a year like 2021, I might revisit the film, take note of the datedness, but still fondly enjoy it for its nostalgic appeal.

For me, Tim Burton is hit or miss. I like him but don’t love him. My main critique is “His films are too dark for little kids….” and here is where my niece interrupts and rebuts my criticism with “But Uncle Danny, his films aren’t meant for kids!”  But here is the second part of the critique – “His films are too flavored with the stuff of fairy tales for adults”.  The critique applies to Beetlejuice. I liked the film, didn’t love it. On a grade scale allowing for pluses and minus, I might give it a B. Lowest grade B+

The bizarre-looking creatures, the circus-like scores of Danny Elfman, the flamboyant characters, the colors, the animation, all of this I have already sampled and devoured in Burtons’ films that came later. I missed the launch of his style. Well, I did see Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, and while what would become his signature style is certainly present in that film, it isn’t a fantasy story involving magical or spooky characters.

It is a unique plot I do admit. A ghostly couple wants to rid the house they are haunting of humans so they hire a bio-exorcist. His name is pronounced “Beetlejuice”.  Ghosts wanting to exorcise their house of humans, great twist! And Michael Keaton as the grisly uncouth ghoul steals the show. I was surprised at how little screen time his character had. More Keaton would have been much better. The “world of the afterlife as portrayed in this film – interesting and creative. And how cute a young Winona Ryder was!

Of course, that dinner party scene – Day-O (Banana Boat Song – is dope! It’s the best part of the film and here it is! (Unless YouTube has taken it down) It’s worth several “ha ha’s”

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