THE ADDAMS FAMILY (3.5 out of 5) Directed by Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon; Screenplay by Pamela Pettler; Starring Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Bette Midler; Rated PG for macabre and suggestive humor, and some action.; Running time 87 minutes; In wide release October 11, 2019.
They’re creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky. They also do what they want to do, say what they want to say, live how they want to live, play how they want to play.
If you understand either of those references then you are already well acquainted with the Addams Family. There’s Gomez (Oscar Isaac), the delightful mustachioed father who stands on his head; Morticia (Charlize Theron), the macabre matriarch, always sitting tall in her wicker chair and draped in black; Wednesday (Chloë Grace Moritz), the deadpan daughter with pigtails; Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard), a demolitions expert; lovable butler Lurch; and disembodied hand Thing.
This new take on the Addamses has Morticia and Gomez settling down in an abandoned asylum in New Jersey–an isolated paradise far away from anyone who would call them weird or scary. They raise their two children to be maladjusted youngsters with delightfully dark hobbies: Pugsley blows things up, and Wednesday beheads her dolls.
But one day they meet Margeaux, a walking advertisement for the wonders of hairspray, and their miserable lives are changed forever. Margeaux is the host of a home improvement show, and she has created an entire town called Assimilation. But the view of the Addams asylum lowers her property values, and she wants them gone. Or at least have them redecorate.
Her daughter and Wednesday attempt to bond, while Pugsley spends his time learning the Mazurka for his rite of passage. The entire Addams clan across the world will soon be descending upon Assimilation for Pugsley’s ceremony, and a cultural clash is imminent.
As a longtime, diehard fan of the Addams Family, I found this telling faithful to the characters. I mean, my last name is Adams, so in spite of the spelling I feel connected to them. So I was worried the humor would venture into childish jokes or crudity, but it was actually enjoyably funny with an interesting story.
Still, it’s light and fluffy compared to the live action films. A bit campy and, let’s face it, there’s way too much light and color in Assimilation town. Dreadful, and not in a good way. It’s like a fun, harmless romp through a graveyard, and certainly worth a watch. And the closing credits that mimic the opening of the original tv series will make you *snap snap* your fingers as you leave the theater.