Beetlejuice

Before he was so well-known and before he became a sort of icon to the emo subculture, Tim Burton was only known for directing Pee-Wee's Big Adventure...and that was it. It wasn't until his second film, Beetlejuice, that Burton showed his darker, and oftentimes comedic, side to the world. The film's incredibly creative and fun, though a tad overrated by average film-goers and underrated by the critical elite. Regardless, the film's great for what it does right.

In the film, we follow a young couple, Barbara and Adam, as they've just discovered a horrifying fact - they're dead. On top of having to cope with this concept, the couple soon find their house inhabited by a new family. The couple tries to scare the family off, but as things turn out, only the family's gothic daughter can see Barbara and Adam. Mixed into this confusing fray is Beetlejuice, a self-proclaimed "bio-exorcist" who can easily scare away the living. However, the couple is warned against using the services of Beetlejuce due to his reputation as a trickster.

In terms of character, this film's got it made. There's plenty to love about these weird and eccentric people, and it's what keeps us, as an audience, invested into the lives of these people. Adam, Barbara, Lydia, Beetlejuice, Otho - these are all interesting people. They may not be the deepest or most philosophical characters around, but they're just so much fun to watch. They're goofy, they're bizarre, and they fit right at home in this film.

The visuals, on the other hand, leave something to be desired. They're not bad by any means, but they certainly look cheap nowadays. Ever since I was a kid, for example, I always thought the sandworms looked so fake. When compared with the visuals of something like The Nightmare Before Christmas, which Burton executively produced, one can't help but wonder what went wrong in this department. However, the film makes up for the visuals in terms of style. The camerawork looks nice, and the costumes and set designs really have that dark look that Burton's so well-known for.

The film's pacing is also really good. Though it's way too fast during the first fifteen minutes, the film finds its footing later on to create a rather smooth pacing. Once you get sucked into this zany world of Burton's, you'll definitely find yourself entertained from start to finish.

Beetlejuice is dark, zany, and completely fun. The characters are great, the pacing's pretty smooth, it's got an interesting style, and the entire experience is just a blast. You could blast the film for its poor visuals or its lack of a proper protagonist, but those complaints show that you're missing the point of the movie. It's just for laughs (albeit dark ones).





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