REVIEW: ‘The Addams Family’ knocks ‘em dead

The animated film “The Addams Family,” released Oct. 11, introduces a new generation to the creepiness, kookiness, mysteriousness and spookiness of the titular Addams family.

The movie stars Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Bette Midler, Allison Janey and Elsie Fisher. It was distributed by United Artists Releasing in the United States and Universal internationally.

“The Addams Family” shows audiences the secluded life of Gomez and Morticia Addams (Isaac, Theron) and their children, Wednesday (Moretz) and Pugsley (Wolfhard). 

The family is seen facing normal problems: Pugsley must perform his Mazurka, an Addams coming-of-age ceremony, and Wednesday is just not feeling up to her usual, ghostly self.

Like the doting and attentive parents they are, Gomez and Morticia try their best to help their children overcome their pre-teen problems against a backdrop of social pressure to conform.

The movie itself is perfectly Addams — it holds up the wonderfully spooky aura of a traditional Addams Family show. 

Gomez and Morticia are just as in love with each other as they were in previous installations, and the love and support they give their children follows the usual Addams storyline as well.

The message of the movie is one of acceptance of those different from you. 

While this is an important message for young children, the main demographic of the film, older audiences, noticed a small discrepancy.

What made the Addams family entertaining for decades has been its belief that they are no different from the rest of the world. 

They’re just like you! Audiences see that in previous iterations of the family.

However, in this film, Morticia is incredibly aware that they are different. She cloisters Wednesday and Pugsley, homeschooling them to keep them away from the murderous and judgmental outside world.

Gomez, on the other hand, is fully convinced that the family is no different than any other, insisting that the neighbors already understand the Mazurka Pugsley is practicing for.

Despite the seemingly normal plot, the movie has many comedic scenes. 

It’s full of kid-friendly jokes that the whole family can laugh to as well as more adult-oriented jokes that fly right over the kids’ heads. 

Possibly the funniest scene is the introduction of a fan-favorite family member, Cousin It (Snoop Dogg).

Cousin It appears on screen to a perfect soundtrack: Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” a hilarious tie-in to the voice actor.

When the rest of the family appears throughout town, there are a few interesting Easter Eggs: various callbacks to famous and not-so-famous horror movies. 

Their names are also callbacks to classic horror, most relevant being the sentient tree that lives in front of the Addams’ home, Ichabod, a reference to “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

Except for its one narrative inconsistency with the rest of The Addams Family lore (Morticia’s cognizance that the family is different), “The Addams Family” is a fun family flick for the Halloween season. 

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