A ghostly couple find their beloved New England home taken over by particularly revolting yuppies. In an effort to get rid of them they hire a "freelance bio-exorcist" named Beetlejuice.
Tim Burton's outlandish horror comedy has newlydeads Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis hiring trouble-shooting zombie Michael Keaton to keep their home from human habitation. At first this seems to offer a solution to their problems - the new inhabitants do indeed seem to be more scary than the ghosts - but rapidly Beetlejuice’s manic “solutions” descend into chaos.
There is loads to revel in - a young Winona Ryder as the estranged daughter of the new family, Harry Belafonte music, a glorious closing gag - and, despite the delightfully demented visuals on offer, little to contend with Keaton's full-on comedic whirling dervish.
At the time, it seemed like a one-off oddity; now it seems like a Burton blueprint: surreal sensibility (check), nutty energy (check) and an acute feel for the pangs of the outsider (check). Amazingly, it all still feels fresh, even though Burton has since become something of his own franchise since.
Still feels fresh, even though Burton has since become something of his own franchise.