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The Addams Family

Opening Date
31 Oct 2019
87 mins
English with no subtitles
Animation, Comedy, Family
Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Charlize Theron, Oscar Isaac, Chloë Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Allison Janney, Nick Kroll
Get ready to snap your fingers! The Addams Family is back on the big screen in the first animated comedy about the kookiest family on the block. Funny, outlandish, and completely iconic, the Addams Family redefines what it means to be a good neighbor.
By Rachelle  30 Oct 2019
The Addams Family lacks the charisma and appeal one normally finds in an Addams Family adaptation.
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Da da da dum *snap* *snap*, da da da dum *snap* *snap*!

When you hear the name the Addams Family, two main things should immediately come to mind: (1) its iconic theme and (2) their dark and kooky looks. This new addition to the long line of Addams Family adaptations has given us a fresh take on how the theme song came to be but as for the dark and kooky look, this version feels like it tried too hard to contrast the family’s eeriness with bright colours and characters that might’ve escaped from a Despicable Me film for all we know. 

This family has seen itself through multiple television series and films both animated and real-life over the course of 55 years. Created for the papers by cartoonist Charles Addams, the Addams Family consisted of a loving couple Gomez and Morticia Addams, their children Pugsley and Wednesday, family members Grandmama and Uncle Fester, as well as their butler Lurch and a disembodied hand named Thing.

In the 2019 animated version directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan (both responsible for the R-rated film Sausage Party), The Addams Family begins with the origin story of how Gomez (Oscar Isaac) and Morticia (a Charlize Theron who sounds more like Silicon Valley’s Laurie Bream) found a butler in Lurch, an escaped mental patient, and moved into an abandoned asylum that becomes their iconic morbid mansion. 

Years passed and the family continue to live in isolation from the outside world. Gomez and his brother Fester (Nick Kroll) prepare his son Pugsley (Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard) for Mazurka, an Addams’ rite of passage, while Morticia struggles to contain their ever curious daughter Wednesday (Chloe Grace Moretz) when she discovers a balloon and confetti that tastes like cotton candy, two very un-Addams-like things.

Wednesday has an encounter with Parker, voiced by Eighth Grade breakout star Elsie Fisher, and requests to attend public school where Parker goes, slowly making her descend into normalcy and straying further away from her family’s kookiness.

A perfectly cast Allison Janney voices Margaux Needler, Parker's mother and a reality TV host with a plan to build the perfect community called ‘Assimilation’ even if it means getting rid of the Addams family mansion. If you think the colourful and bright setting of Assimilation against the dark and gloomy Addams family feels familiar, it’s probably because it reeks a little too much of Tim Burton’s 1990 classic, Edward Scissorhands

While Vernon and Tiernan tried their best to utilise each family member, the multiple subplots caused the film to feel too disjointed rather than as a unit. Even though they all came together in the end, the film still lacked the familial bond this family is well-known for. 

As different and new this film has tried to be from their predecessors, it still services the true Addams Family fans who will no doubt enjoy little quirks this film has thrown in such as Morticia’s pet plant and her knack for cutting off roses, Lurch’s love for the organ, as well as Fester and the lightbulb in his mouth. It even ends with a shot for shot remake of the opening scene from the 1964 television series!

Vernon and co. also managed to factor in their pop culture prowess by having scenes such as Wednesday delivering Rorschach’s iconic line “I’m not locked in here with you, you're locked in here with me!” from Zack Snyder’s Watchmen and giving Uncle Fester a ‘NO REGERTS’ tattoo that clearly mirrors the ever memeable ‘NO RAGRETS’ one from We’re the Millers (2011).

Perhaps their goal was to aim for a more family-friendly vibe but unfortunately, The Addams Family lacks the charisma and appeal one normally finds in an Addams Family adaptation. This adaptation of the family was drained of its macabre, the very thing that the Addams are known for. Maybe a Tim Burton version would have faired better but we will never know now.

Da da da dum, da da da dum, da da da dum *snap* *snap*!
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