Beetlejuice review

A film about a couple who recently die, they become ghosts, trapped in their former home. They take it well until new owners move in, when the couple can’t scare them out of the house, they decide to look into hiring the services of a bio-exorcist, one who specialises in exorcising the living.

Isn’t it meant to be the other way around? Aren’t the living meant to exorcise the dead? Well that’s what this movie doesn’t do, the living want to ghosts to stay, it’s the ghosts that want the living to go. Exorcise means to drive out; usual evil spirits, but can mean something troublesome, or memories. So ghosts scaring people away is just ghosts exorcising the living anyway, but this is me being needlessly pedantic.

The recently deceased couple want a new family out of their house, and so decide to scare them out. However, they aren’t very good at it, or maybe their attempts are, but since they can’t be seen it renders it all pointless. They eventually get advice, in which they are told, they can only help themselves. However, their attempts make the family want to stay, not leave.

Betelgeuse is a bio-exorcist, he specialises in getting rid of the living, and he comes when you call his name 3 times. When the couple keep failing to scare the family away, they call Betelgeuse for help, but he doesn’t work well with others. Even though I expected him to appear a lot, he doesn’t really come into the film until almost 50 minutes in, and doesn’t stay long. He is by far the most interesting character, but that’s usually the case with the most interesting ones, they’re the ones you rarely see.

Most of the characters are likeable, the couple are charmingly innocent and goofy as new ghosts, Betelgeuse is insane and a joy to watch, and Lydia, the teenage child of the recently moved in family, can see the ghosts and is a good-hearted and friendly girl who befriends the couple. The characters relationships with each other, and the funny situations which result from them are entertaining.

The world that is built here is creative and weird, seeing the ghosts and what happens to them, what the afterlife is like, the powers you can get, how things work after death, and what you can and can’t do as ghosts; the visuals which go with these are incredibly entertaining. There is even a handbook guide for those that just died.

The film has moments of slapstick combined with enjoyable dry and dark humour. The visual jokes with the wordplay and how it can combine the 2 make it a great comedy. The attention to detail in how some jokes are told is well placed, adding callback humour to places you might’ve missed if you didn’t pay attention. The film is a well paced, creative, and entertaining comedy. It has got my recommendation.


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