© 1988 The Geffen Company

Beetlejuice (1988)

I am continuing to go through all of Tim Burton’s movies.

I have always liked Beetlejuice–the premise of it at least.  The idea of the ghosts of a yuppie couple trying to drive out the living, even more yuppie couple from the house they loved in life is a good one. Alex Baldwin (whom I usually can’t stand) and Geena Davis (who I have always liked) are good as the dead couple and Jeffrey Jones and Catherine O’Hara are even better as the living one. Winona Ryder in the role of a proto-emo gloom queen inspired a teenage crush in a whole generation of boys, including myself, and Otho the interior decorator and part-time spiritualist is one of great original characters of. The ’90s. Anyone who denies enjoying the Harry Belafonte soundtrack is a liar. But what prevents me from calling this a film I like is Michael Keaton. Despite being the title character, Beetlejuice has limited screen time, but that doesn’t stop Keaton from being incredibly annoying when he is on screen. He was obviously trying to make the freelance ghost brash and in-your-face, but it wears thin, and fast. I wonder what the film would have been like with someone like Jack Nicholson (or anyone, really, other than Michael Keaton).

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“Ofelia! Magic does not exist. Not for you, me or anyone else.”
-Carmen (Ariadna Gil)
from Pan’s Labyrinth