Film Review: THE ADDAMS FAMILY

TITLEThe Addams Family

DIRECTOR: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon

SCREENWRITER: Matt Lieberman

STARS: Charlize Theron, Oscar Isaac, Chloe Grace Moretz, Allison Janney, Finn Wolfhard

RUNTIME: 86 minutes

CINEMATIC RELEASE DATES: Australia (5th December 2019), UK (25th October 2019), Thailand (TBA), USA (11th October 2019)

HOME ENTERTAINMENT RELEASE DATES: Australia (TBA)

CLASSIFICATIONS: Australia (PG), Thailand (G), UK (PG), USA (PG)

REVIEW:

The love for the world’s kookiest family is now multi-generational. The family first arrived on the scene as a cartoon series way back in 1938 and since then have appeared on our screens in four different television shows and now four feature films. They are the family that keeps giving and as a result they have become true cultural icons.

This fourth instalment into feature films sees the family return back to their roots. A quick glance at Charles Addams’ original sketches from the 1938 cartoon series shows some of the characters looking very different to how we have come to know them over the years, including a more rotund Gomez, and that has all been magically captured in the new film by directors Greg Tiernan (Sausage Party, Thomas & Friends) and Conrad Vernon (Monsters vs Aliens, Shrek 2).

In this version of The Addams Family the family have finally found a home, a creepy old mental asylum in New Jersey, after years of persecution that has seen their family scattered right around the world. Still Gomez (voiced by Oscar Isaac – Ex Machina, Inside Llewyn Davis) and Morticia (Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road, Snow White And The Hunstman) have managed to create their own family with their own children, Wednesday (Chloe Grace Moretz – Kick-Ass, Carrie) and Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard – It, The Goldfinch).

However, that peaceful family life is now under threat with reality TV star and budding entrepreneur Margaux Needler (Allison Janney – Juno, The Help) deciding that it is the Addams and their creepy house that is preventing her property development from being able to sell out. Using social media as her tool Margaux orchestrates a hate campaign against The Addams that once again may see them chased from their family home. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that Wednesday becomes friends with Margaux’s daughter Parker (Elsie Fisher – Eighth Grade, Despicable Me) who instantly changes her style to mirror Wednesday, something Margaux certainly doesn’t want to see.

True fans of The Addams Family are going to be a little bit torn about how they feel about this film. On the one hard it’s style and looks goes back to mirror the original 1938 cartoon series brilliantly well, while the fact that nearly all the favourite characters make a return to the series is also going to impress those that have known and loved the franchise over the years. It is where the film tries to mash the old school Addams Family vibe with modern day culture that the film feels a little clumsy at times. The film does so well capturing that 1930s and 1960s vibe that it is a shock to the system when suddenly a modern day pop-track shows up in the end credits. Still given the way that some old school franchises have been treated with re-boots over the years we should probably be pretty happy that that is the main gripe we have about the film.

Story wise the films works although the plot does seem to have so much happening at any given time. With Puglsey training for his Mazurka, Wednesday trying to fit into the outside world and the family involved with a battle against Margaux there does seem to be a lot going on and you can’t help but wonder whether the film would have been a little better if one of the sub-plots had been removed and instead the film concentrated on its main moral of ‘being different really isn’t something that should be judged.’

The film also crosses the generational gap very well to. There are enough jokes in their for children to be kept happy, although I am sure many of them will feel that they seen this kind of theme and humor before in Hotel Transylvania, while there are few adult jokes splattered through-out the film that will have the adults chuckling without offending little ears.

The other big plus for The Addams Family is the fantastic voice cast that has been assembled. With the likes of Oscar Issac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz and Allison Janney doing so well with their roles you can’t help but think as the film goes on just how amazing this cast would have looked if this had been a real life portrayal of the characters.

As far as paying respect to The Addams Family adaptions that have come before it this film does an amazing job. Once again the story of this ‘creepy’ family will appeal to kids and adults alike just don’t expect the film to stray into any territory that hasn’t been explored on screen before. Having said that though it is truly amazing to once again see the kookiness of The Addams Family hit the big screen where it belongs.

3/5 Stars

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Dave Griffiths

Dave has worked as a music & film journalist for over 20 years now. Aside from Heavy he does radio and various podcasts as well. He is the proud owner of Metal Cat.
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