You’d think like any other 20-something female my favorite Halloween movie would be Hocus Pocus or Halloween Town. Nah. Screw that!
Beetlejuice is seriously where it’s at.
I’m going to do the best I can to give a few reasons why this 1988 Tim Burton classic is my favorite without turning it into a college dissertation. I won’t go too much into the characters, actors and all that because I’m 99% positive you’ve all seen it or know the gist. If you haven’t seen it, check this synopsis on wiki.
Style of Comedic Writing
Honestly I think what I love best about this film is the comedic style of writing and the pay off. Obviously there’s jokes and situations that are set up for the average viewer to catch (most of Beetlegeuse’s interactions with the Maitland’s, our recently diseased…deceased protagonists). But everything that makes me chuckle while watching are the simplest things: the barber talking to himself outside his shop earlier on in the film, Otho’s assessment while walking through the house, Delia’s resentment toward Charles. It all feels so real and relatable, whether you’re Adam and Barbara trying to figure out the afterlife, identifying with dream goth girl Lydia, or Charles wanting to get out of the city and becoming one with the country and birds.
Every casting for this movie is utter perfection. Each actor makes the character feel too real and you almost start to think that they’re not acting and they truly are as messed up as they appear on screen. You’ve never really thought about what a dead guy who’s hired to scare out tenants of a newly deceased person’s home would be like, but. Beetlegeuse is that dude. So unapologetic-ally gross and crude.
The Scares and Creepiness
This movie was never meant to be a full-on scare fest and (probably?) family friendly, but it still works for all ages. It doesn’t need to be balls to the wall nuts and endless jump scares. The subject matter is enough in itself, trying to guide yourself through the afterlife, the struggles of marriage, and young adulthood. There are some great late ’80s makeup and effects though. And of course, that signature, dark Tim Burton aesthetic going on.
At the end of the day, I love this movie because of how charming, funny, and creepy enough it is. I can recite it almost completely word for word. After viewing it for the first time, at which was at probably too young an age, I knew it would hold a special place in my heart. It almost makes you want to believe that the afterlife will be that goofy and vibrant, even if for a minute or two.
Now, come join me as I go watch Beetljuice for the umpteenth time!
If you want even more Beetlejuice check out this great cocktail inspired by Lydia and Beetlejuice!