Ever since the willowy mistress of the dark, Morticia, and the goggle-eyed Gomez first tied the noose, er knot, their lives have been going well. After being chased out of their wedding ceremony by a mob, they set their sights on a life someplace suitably horrible and despicable. And then quickly move to New Jersey where they chance upon an abandoned and haunted insane asylum shrouded by a perpetual fog of swamp gas. They know they’ve found home.
Then comes the birth of their dead-eyed daughter, Wednesday, and their pyrotechnically prone son, Pugsley. Oh, life for the Addams Family has been bleak and painful. Or as they might put it: quite wonderful!
Now it’s time for the repugnant little Pugsley’s Mazurka—a traditional Addams family rite of passage ceremony. Gomez has been schooling the boy in the fine art of swordplay for days now. And Morticia is giving the asylum a fresh coat of blood and spider webs, a perfect welcome for the visiting relatives. It’s going to be a killer event.
But there is a hitch; it seems that a home-renovation celebrity named Margaux Needler is also planning a celebration. She’s purchased a nearby village and given the place a complete make-over. She’s planning on revealing the changes on her show and making a fortune on house sales. And it’ll go live on the same day as Pugsley’s Mazurka.
Oh, yes. For when the determined Margaux drains a local swamp, clears the air, and suddenly becomes aware of a certain black and rotting blight on the nearby hilltop, she calls foul. There must be some way of removing that problem, she grumbles. Not to mention the repulsive family living in it who call themselves Addams.
Time to break out the torches and pitchforks.
- We shouldn’t judge others for being different.
- We need to be, and rely on, who we are.
- And not every family looks and acts the same.
These three solid messages are presented repeatedly in this breezy, predictable and gross-out gag peppered tale.
It could be said that Morticia’s black, skin-tight dress is somewhat slinky and seductive, but in a comically dark and creepy way.
We see the bulbous Uncle Fester—Gomez’s bald, boil-like brother—naked in a bathtub (his lower half covered by water). And we spot his underwear from under his sackcloth tunic as he climbs a mountainside. He seems to flash town citizens during a song-and-dance number and makes a winking joke that adult viewers will identify as a nod to Viagra.
The independently moving, severed hand, Thing, looks at images of bare women’s feet online (perhaps a subtle reference to porn.) Margaux has cameras built into each of her make-over homes and spies on people. We hear about a woman who puts her underwear in the freezer and a woman who sits backwards on her toilet (both off camera).
Pugsley attacks his father with a huge rocket and ends up in a ball of fire as the rocket explodes in the air. He falls from enormous heights, smashes through several different glass barriers, and he’s buried alive. In each situation, he stumbles out unscathed.
It appears as if all the Addams family members are impervious to harm. Uncle Fester, for instance, is repeatedly hit with bolts launched from Wednesday’s crossbow. Morticia squeezes her husband’s head in a vice. Morticia and Gomez first meet Lurch by running him over with their car. Wednesday sleeps under a guillotine.
We see fevered crowds with pitchforks and torches. People dance with sabers and threaten a young boy’s life. A girl is attacked by a swarm of frogs. Huge boulders are catapulted through the walls of a large house. Explosives are tossed about, blowing up the scenery. People are thumped and pummelled.
CRUDE OR PROFANE LANGUAGE
Just a bit of name calling, such as uses of: “creepy,” “monster,” “stupid.”
OTHER NEGATIVE ELEMENTS
We hear potty humour throughout the show and there’s a general creepiness about the Addams themselves as they eat a plate full of eyeballs and tentacles for dinner and feed their front gate with bloody chunks of meat. Plus, Wednesday repeatedly tries to lure her brother into a situation that might kill him, including burying him alive in the front yard. The movie also winks subversively at the “sameness” of the typical American culture, for example, with school children singing a song about the joy of being alike. “It’s easy to be happy when you have no choice,” they croon.
A bully repeatedly picks on nerdy kids. And Margaux uses social media to stir people up and send out nasty comments from fake accounts. The Addams’ Grandmama talks proudly of cheating people and stealing their money.
Margaux has a difficult relationship with her daughter, Parker, and when Parker and Wednesday strike up an unlikely friendship, both rebel against their families in different ways.
They’re creepy and they’re kooky. Mysterious and spooky. They’re altogether kooky, the Addams family.
This latest rendition of The Addams Family captures all those elements in the old TV tune from back in the ‘60s, especially the creepy part, oddly enough.
This works both for and against this kids’ flick.
For example, the Ouija board spirit-calls and demon-worship-depicting knick-knacks feel way too spiritually dark, especially in a film aimed at children. That said, there are some great single-panel moments, such as when Wednesday shows a school bully that she’s way out of her depth when it comes to torment.
Ultimately, though, the filmmakers' attempt to stitch together a living, breathing, heartfelt story ends up as a crypt full of predictable and potty-humoured silliness.
"These reviews are meant to help parents determine whether a movie is appropriate for their children, and are not an endorsement by Focus on the Family Singapore."
This review was adapted from Plugged In: the entertainment guide your family needs to make family appropriate decisions through movie reviews, book reviews, TV reviews, and more.