They’re Spooky and They’re OK, “The Addams Family”

Bradley Hare, Centurion Staff

The scariest part was the empty theater I was in.

Out of all the properties to make a return to the big screen, “The Addam’s Family” probably isn’t at the top of the list. With their last television series ending 20 years ago, it was safe to assume that people just forgot about them, but lo and behold, they have risen from the dead to give us a movie.

The film starts with the marriage of Gomez and Morticia Addams being interrupted by an angry mob, forcing the newlywed couple to flee to a place they believe is so horrible that no one will chase after them, that being New Jersey.

Picking an abandoned mental asylum with the only resident being a zombie butler by the name of Lurch, they live peacefully in their own gothic and dark way with their two kids, Pugsley and Wednesday.

This all changes when a fog that was covering the town vanishes thanks to the efforts of Margaux, a home repair expert, wanting to sell homes in the rebuilt town. For her to do this, she needs to change the Addam’s home to fit their style.

To make matters more complicated, Wednesday has taken an interest in something that isn’t the normal macabre nature and befriends the daughter of Margaux. Finally, Pugsley has to perform a special sword dance to truly become a man in the eyes of the Addams relatives.

As you could probably guess, this film has a lot to unpack, and as a result, it can feel very bloated with ideas not fully developed. That’s not to say these ideas don’t come to logical conclusions; it’s just that it feels formulaic.

No new surprises are added to change the stories up enough to feel unique. The only upside is that this makes everyone feel like they have a purpose for being there.

That said, the story really isn’t the selling point; it’s seeing the twisted ways the Addams Family live their lives.

This ranges from the house being haunted and wanting everyone to leave unless it gets morning coffee by flushing it down a toilet, Wednesday having a pet tree and octopus, the list goes on.

All of this is accomplished along with an eerie yet caring art style, much fitting for the Addams family still being a normal family that cares for one another.

Dark and demented imagery is everywhere, even in Wednesday’s design of having nooses on the ends of her hair. Electric chairs, padded rooms, the kids sleeping in execution chambers, their pet lion being a living garbage disposer, there is certainly something new to see that reinforces their unique lifestyle every minute.

However, as decent as it is, it definitely did feel like this series still was suffering from a two-decade long dirt nap. As stated before, the story wasn’t the prime focus, which is mostly obvious when focused on Wednesday’s emotional scenes.

Sure, her emotionless personality works when playing off someone else, but when we’re supposed to pity her, it’s hard to do so when she only has a default expression during such scenes.

As funny as the dark comedy of the film can be, it can definitely be overwhelming and even tiring. Your mileage may vary when that line is, but surely some of the talent spent on the visuals could also be used in telling jokes.

In the end, there really isn’t anything morally bad about the film. It’s completely harmless with little risks taken, resulting in a visually interesting, comical at times, yet somewhat disappointing movie.

With a sequel in the works, I’m hopeful that the next family reunion has more to offer and takes the criticism the first gathered to heart. If you watched the trailers and thought it looked interesting, you’ll be satisfied. To everyone else, this family may be different, but the type of movie they’re offering isn’t.

♫ They’re flukey yet still kooky, their writing is quite low key; completely hating them is hooey, the average family. ♫

Overall Score: 6/10