(Review originally written at 9 February 2010)

Well, to be honest, this movie was better in my memory than it actually turned out to be when I just recently re-watched it again.

I really like Tim Burton and than of course especially the style and atmosphere that he always brings to his movies. In that regard this movie is also really a typical Tim Burton movie. It however is also a very early Tim Burton movie. The only major movie that he had done before this one was "Pee-wee's Big Adventure". Seems to me that in those early days he was still somewhat searching for the right balance between the visuals, quirkiness and a story. The balance in this movie is at times still a bit off, with makes it a somewhat awkward movie at times.

Still I can appreciate "Beetle Juice" for being the cult-classic that it is. It's certainly a different movie and obviously a very well made one. It's a fun, light-hearted movie, even with all of its heavy subjects that are actually in it. I mean after all, this is a movie about death. But death never looked so colorful and hysterical.

The movie knows how not too take itself ever too serious and lots of stuff in the movie and its story simply make no sense. They simply decided not to let it. It's were part of the movie its quirkiness comes from.

But of course visuals also play an important role in that. If you have seen a Tim Burton movie before and of course you have, you'll know that his movies are very visually orientated and he has his very own distinctive style. This time the movie is not just partly Gothic looking it's also obviously inspired by German expressionism. Like basically all of his movie, it's a very surreal one but above all also constantly entertaining to watch.

Quite amazing to watch these days the actors that are in this movie. None of them were really big names at the time but they soon become after this movie. The most obvious names are Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder and Michael Keaton. I wished the movie had more of Michael Keaton in it as it though, as Beetlejuice. He's one over-the-top going, crazy, fun clown like character that can be hired in the afterlife as a bio-exorcist to scare out the living. But we also really shouldn't forget Jeffrey Jones and Glenn Shadix who both were also really hilarious and perfectly cast in their roles.

One of the other things that really adds perfectly to the movie its atmosphere, besides its impressive imaginative visuals, is the musical score by Danny Elfman. Ever since "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" he has pretty much scored Tim Burton's every work.

Even though it is not as smooth as a movie, especially story-wise, it still is an early Tim Burton movie that is worth seeing.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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