When this movie first came out about fifteen years ago, my father owned a video store and every Wednesday night was "Beetlejuice" night. I'm older now, obviously, but I still cannot get enough of this movie. Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis play Adam and Barbara Maitland, two Connecticut yuppies who die prematurely in a car wreck. Within a couple weeks, their home is overrun by an ultra-trendy New York City family, Charles and Delia Deetz, and their Goth daughter, Lydia (played respectively by Jeffrey Jones, Catherine O'Hara, and Winona Ryder). Adam and Barbara want their house back, and attempt to scare the Deetz's out of the house by wearing sheets and even by possessing them over dinner, making them sing and dance to Harry Belafonte's "Day O." Those attempts fail and enter Michael Keaton as Betelguese, "the afterlife's leading freelance bio-exorcist." The movie is dark without being scary and funny without being ridiculous. In my opinion, one of the real gems in this film is the late Sylvia Sidney as Juno, Your Case Worker. Sidney was pushing eighty when this film was made, but turns in a great performance as the embittered equivalent of an afterlife social worker. Love how the smoke from her ever-present cigarette comes out of the slit in her throat. If you've never seen this movie, see it. If you have seen it but don't own it on DVD, get it. The picture quality is better than ever.
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