The Addams Family (1991)


After watching one lame attempt at a movie remake of a classic tv show a few days ago (see the review for the A-Team), it’s nice to see one that actually gets it right. The Addams Family captures the kookiness and the fun of the original tv series perfectly. The cast looks perfect onscreen, the fact they have fantastic chemistry too is the cherry on top. For me, Raul Julia IS Gomez Addams. I can’t imagine anybody else playing him. It’s a similar story for all the Addams family members. Anjelica Huston is perfect as Morticia, as is Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Fester. The lighting done on Morticia is really cool because it manages to make her look even paler. Christina Ricci is also clearly having a lot of fun playing the adorable sociopath, Wednesday Addams. Fun fact, the boy who plays Pugsley Addams is also Ariel Winters brother in real life. She plays Alex Dunphy on Modern Family.

The story is basic, but it is a great introduction to this weird family. Uncle Fester has been missing for 25 years, but he returns suddenly after getting lost in the Bermuda Triangle. ‘Spoiler Alert’ a brainwashed Fester is part of a plan by the Addams’ accountant to steal their fortune. This is a really fun movie that introduces this obscure family to the big screen well. If I had one complaint, it’s that Wednesday and Pugsley don’t have much to do. Thankfully, this problem is rectified in the sequel. This movie still holds up today though. Sally and I were both laughing out loud regularly during this flick. I think it’s the first one so far we will both agree is really solid.

I was also really impressed with the ‘Thing’ effects. Despite coming out over 20 years ago, I think Gomez’s pet hand looks almost as realistic as he would if the film were made today.

Rating: B+

The Addams Family is one of many films that I did not see for the first time until I was well over 18. When I tell people my age this, they look at me like I’m crazy. “How have you never seen [insert live action 90s family movie here]?!” It’s been just over a decade, but I think I’m finally catching up on my childhood movie watching. (The Goonies, check; The Sandlot, check; Beetlejuice, check…)

There is nothing about this movie that I don’t like: The casting is perfection. It’s impossible to single out any one actor, because they all nail their roles. No one steals the scene, because the entire cast works so well together.

Visually, the entire film is excellent. The set design is quirky and gorgeous, especially the Addams’ family graveyard. The costumes are fun to look at, and some pieces I’d actually love to own a version of (Raul Julia wears some striped jackets that would be very stylish today). The special effects, Thing in particular, still hold up. In fact, it was nice seeing a real “actor” portraying the hand instead of a CGI animation. Even small details, such as the dramatic swath of light highlighting Morticia’s face, are the perfect blend of drama and ridiculousness.

And who doesn’t love M.C. Hammer’s “Addams Groove” over the end credits? Sometimes I miss the days when every movie had a song written specially for it.

In short: I could watch this movie a million times and it would never get old.

Rating: A

4 thoughts on “The Addams Family (1991)

  1. Pingback: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

  2. Pingback: Addams Family Values (1993) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

  3. Pingback: Beetlejuice (1988) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

  4. Pingback: 21 Jump Street (2012) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

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