HomeMoviesThe Addams Family Review: A Spooky Good Film

The Addams Family Review: A Spooky Good Film

Photo Courtesy of Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures

Written by Tom Moore

The Addams Family has always been an absolute treat for fans young and old to see around Halloween. Whether it’s the original 1960’s cartoons, the delightfully dreary ’90s live-action films or even their run-ins with Scooby and the gang, the Addams family’s love for hell-raising horrors has resonated with viewers for decades. Thankfully, MGM’s new animated adaptation of the first family of Halloween, The Addams Family, nicely introduces a new generation of viewers to the iconic family through great animation and a lot of laughs.

When the first few images dropped for film, I was pleasantly surprised to see the animation fall in line with Charles Addam’s original drawings—with some modern updates. The family’s lone helping hand, Thing, finally has an eye with a new watch and I love the addition of Wednesday’s (voiced by Chloe Grace Moretz) braids being in the shape of a noose. Honestly, while the live-action adaptations are still absolute Halloween classics, there’s just something special about the series returning to animated form. With animation, there are no limits to the kinds of creepy fun and terrifying treats the Addams Family can bring and there are plenty of great moments that come from the animation alone as the family is rebooted for a new adventure.

Seeing this reboot actually touch on the family’s origins with Morticia (voiced by Charlize Thereon) and Gomez’s (voiced by Oscar Isaacs) wedding, them being chased out of their homeland, running into, or really running over, their dauntingly tall butler Lurch (voiced by Conrad Vernon), and found their own haunted house on the hill to call home was a dreadful delight. It was a nice way to introduce the characters for new viewers without beating old fans over the head and it ends with a nice opening credit montage of hilariously haunting family photos that bring Wednesday and Pugsley (voiced by Finn Wolfhard) into the picture.

The humor of The Addams Family has always been centered around them loving everything that other people are scared of or think is gross—and that’s exactly what this reboot brings. The horror fan in me couldn’t stop laughing at all of the great deadpan humor and horror references that, while a little much at times, were fun to see. There are great references to films like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and It and while the film definitely has more humor that will likely be more appreciated by adult viewers, there are still plenty of great moments that will leave kids laughing. Pugsley’s wild love of explosives and crazy demeanor are just perfect and Wednesday completely stole the show for me with how many funny moments she has—especially when she gets to go public school. From channeling her inner Dr. Frankenstein to bring dead frogs back to life to the cold stares and moments of lurking, Wednesday is not only brought to life through the film’s great animation, but also through a strong voice performance from Moretz.

Honestly, all of the voice performances are strong and for such a well-known cast, they do a great job channeling the characters’ iconic voices to completely blend in. Especially, Nick Kroll as Uncle Fester. I’m not generally a fan of Kroll’s humor, but I ended up really liking him here and I laughed every time he shrugged off an arrow or something else impaling him. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the film’s antagonist, a crazed home remodeler named Margaux Needler (voiced by Allison Janney), as the character and plot behind her just aren’t strong enough to make its own mark. There’s nothing wrong with Janney’s performance, but the character is just so annoying and every time she came on-screen or her story in the town of Assimilation came into play, it just feels as if you are waiting to cut back to the Addams Family so you can laugh again. In fact, having the family in the town more would give the town’s revolt have more meaning, rather than a stupid ploy implemented by Margaux.

Not to mention, while I understand that the idea behind making everyone in Assimilation Margaux’s sheep, it makes the film’s themes of being unique and accepting change and difference incredibly heavy-handed. Personally, I feel like this theme is a little tapped out (especially with UglyDolls literally covering it this year) and The Addams Family doesn’t do enough to make these themes feel unique, as they’re incredibly on-the-nose from the opening scene. I actually think it would’ve been more interesting to see these themes be played out through the friendship of Wednesday and her public school friend, Parker (Elsie Fisher). Not only were the moments with Morticia being mortified that Wednesday would be wearing something more than just black or white funny, but there are some nice themes about growing up that would’ve matched well with the film’s other plot of Gomez training Pugsley for, essentially, an Addams Family style bar mitzvah. However, even with this weightless theme, the film never forgets the spooky fun the Addams Family always manages to bring and by the end, you’ll find yourself snappy and singing along to the iconic theme—just like all the kids in my theater did.

If anything, The Addams Family reminds viewers of everything fun about Halloween and that it really can’t come soon enough. It’s a perfectly funny and spooky kickstart to the Halloween season that greatly reunites old fans with the iconic family and introduces new fans to a new kind of devilishly delightful Halloween fun.

The Addams Family is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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