Pop Junk’s 31 Days of Halloween #28 BeetleJuice
Before Tim Burton was a household name just updating old properties he was kicking out some of the weirdest, most original movies in Hollywood. Non weirder and more entertaining than 1988’s Beetlejuice. Some may argue that this isn’t a horror movie but I beg to differ, and try telling that to the 8 year old me who saw this in the theater and was pretty traumatized when the two main character’s ripped their own faces off.
Beetlejuice is the story of a young couple (Alec Balwin and Gina Davis) that dies in a car accident and due to red tape and burocracy they must wait to get into heaven. Therefore they must occupy their old house for 50 years which it’s currently inhabited by a family of yuppies and their occult obsessed daughter (Winona Ryder) So if that’s not weird enough things get a bit strangerd when the young couple inquires the services of a bioexocist named Beetlejuice played brilliantly by Micheal Keaton. Keaton clearly steals the show as the title character and thinking back to how great he was in this and Tim Burton’s Batman it’s a shame this guy faded away further into the 90’s because he’s a great actor. YES GREAT!
Like I said earlier people will argue this isn’t a horror movie because of how funny this movie is but it’s themes and tones not only exude horror but classic horror but reinvent them as well. After going on to direct Mars Attacks and Ed Wood it was obvious Tim Burton’s love for 50/60 horror classic and I think that is also present in Beetlejuice. This film is awesome visually as Tim Burton’s depictions of the afterlife is something to behold and sits somewhere between a fucked fun house and RMV waiting room. Over all Tim Burton is trying to say a lot about life in general where the dead teach those lessons to the living. This to be not only an underrated movie as far as Tim Burton’s film career is concerned but Horror films in general. Also worth mention are the song and dance numbers which are so weird that they just work and Danny Effman’s score is excellent. People may forget how embedded this movie was in pop culture 1988 but it was everywhere and still holds up. This movie is never in the conversation as one of the best and I for one will never understand why. Beetlejuice is a classic. period.