If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Beetlejuice was the second outing for director Tim Burton, and here they allowed him much more freedom to do what he wanted to do. It proved to be a great idea because the result was a very amusing and very offbeat comedy about some very dark subjects.
Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara Maitland (Geena Davis) have recently died in an accident and are not sure how to deal with the new family that bought their home. They decide that since they are ghosts now, they should scare the family out and reclaim their property. But this proves to be a rather daunting task and they just may have to call in reinforcements in the guise of a ghost named Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton).
This movie is the embodiment of the term "dark comedy." It's literally about a couple people dying and having to deal with both their own deaths as well as other dead people. But it's an interesting take on the subject with limbo essentially being set up similar to how life is on earth, or at least just the worst parts of it. I do like the world they established and I sort of wish they had continued it into a franchise (well, there was the animated show, but that had its own entirely separate mythos).
Baldwin and Davis make a great couple, wide-eyed and naive to the bone. Their chemistry works well to show their struggle with what they're going through. Winona Ryder plays Lydia Deetz, the macabre daughter of the couple who buys the Maitlands' home, and she does just as well as she needs to, though she isn't given a whole lot of range to work with. The alleged highlight is Michael Keaton, who does a great job as Betelgeuse and is definitely the funniest character in the film, but he isn't really given a whole lot of screen time when you consider he's the title character. And really, I'm more drawn to the Maitlands and watching them figure things out. I also really love watching Catherine O'Hara, Jeffrey Jones and Glenn Shadix ruining their afterlives.