Top positive review
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A truly original, very funny vision of a usually too familiar world – ghosts, the afterlife, etc.
on May 9, 2016
For me this is similar to, but more successful than, Burton’s more critically lionized ‘Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure’ "Beetlejuice" too creates an alternate reality universe, and fills it with surreal images, wacky performances, and that odd Burton mix of absurdity with just enough heart thrown it. But the visuals here are stronger than in ‘Pee-Wee’, and the protagonists are more relatable (a sweet, not all that bright, but endearing newly dead couple, who simply want to save their house from the yuppie couple that would destroy it’s charms).
Michael Keaton is very funny as the title character (which is really a supporting role) of a rogue ghoul who sells his services to help the young couple... but who is also insane and completely out of control. Keaton goes over the top, but it hardly matters, since the character is conceived as over the top. Indeed, the whole thing has the feeling of an absurdist somewhat adult cartoon brought to life. Wynonna Ryder gives one of her very best performance as the young Goth girl who can actually see the dead couple, played with charm by Geena Davis and Adam Baldwin.
Not every joke works, and the energy flags for a moment here or there, but overall this that rare thing, a truly original vision of a usually too familiar world – ghosts, the afterlife, etc. And what a vision of the afterlife! That alone is worth the price of admission!