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Films to See Before You Die: #59 Beetlejuice


Beetlejuice (1988)

Director: Tim Burton

Cast: Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Michael Keaton, Jeffrey Jones, Catherine O’Hara

Synopsis: Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara (Geena Davis) Maitland, have been involved in an accident where they have drowned and died. Unaware that they have died the Maitlands, return home but don’t have any memory of how they got home Adam decides to go outside to retrace their steps, but instead, finds himself on a strange desert planet, inhabited by striped sandworms. When he returns to the house, Barbara says he was gone for 2 hours, and shows him a book that she found on a table, titled “Handbook for the Recently Deceased.” While accepting they have died they also must deal with the house being sold to Charles (Jeffrey Jones) and Delia (Catherine O’Hara) Deetz, who also bring their daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder). Lydia is the only living person who can see the Maitlands and she forms a bond with them. In a desperate attempt to get the elder Deetz family members out of the house Adam and Barbara hire Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton), a bio-exorcist, to scare them out. Betelgeuse goes too far which forces Adam and Barbara to protect the Deetz family and get Betelgeuse out of their house.

Trivia: Betelgeuse reveals a hideous (albeit unseen) face to Adam and Barbara. Originally, Betelgeuse’s “scary face” was going to be seen, and an elaborate makeup effect was created to that end, but ultimately went unused. The number 3 is used ‘3’ times: The number of times to say commands (“Betelgeuse”, “home”), the number of times to knock on the door to get to the other side, and the number of first class intersessions allotted.

Why I think you should see this: Tim Burton has always been a favourite of mine although I prefer his older stuff to his newer movies. This is the most fun you will ever have watching Michael Keaton and he is absolutely amazing as the wacky bio-exorcist Betelgeuse. This is also a chance to see a young and very slim Alec Baldwin as well as a young Winona Ryder. Jeffrey Jones is also hysterical in the few scenes he has in the film. I love Tim Burton and couldn’t recommend this film enough check it out!


About Trevor

Hi my name is Trevor and this is my blog! Films are a passion of mine. I am a total film geek. I own over 700 films and the collection is ever growing. I studied Film Studies and Scriptwriting in College. What I have learned about films is mostly self taught.

6 responses to “Films to See Before You Die: #59 Beetlejuice

  1. Lesley

    Awesome Week! Two in a row I completely agree with. Well done, sir, well done.

  2. You are on a roll. Love this one too.

  3. sarahjaneprosetry ⋅

    I completely agree with you, Lesley. I lI’ve this movie as well. When Danny Eldman and Tim Burton get together it’s magical.

  4. “Go ahead make my Millenium!”

  5. Lesley

    “Not so fast, round boy. We’re gonna have some laughs.”

  6. noa834 ⋅

    Another gem from the 80’s. Wonderful!

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