Anika Goes to the Movies: The Addams Family

Quick review 3.75 stars. The plot is reasonably original, and very modern so the kids will like it. No one can trump Angelica Houston as Morticia Addams, but Charlize Theron makes a close second. The cons are villains and themes that are a little heavy handed, but your kids probably won’t notice a thing. Have fun with it. It’s a great riff on the classic vibe with a tribute to the old TV show at the end. I’d say 8 and up if your particularly concerned, but I’ll likely be taking my five year old for my son’s birthday. Don’t judge.

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Long review with a few spoilers, but it’s Addams Family. The trailer is pretty straight forward, Addams come into contact with the outside world, hijinks ensue, villains are eventually defeated/won over. 

So here’s the deal, the premiss is that upon marriage and subsequent murderous mob, Morticia and Gomez long to find a place where they can live in an isolated peace. The abandoned asylum in New Jersey they stumble upon offers them a perfect refuge from the cruel misunderstanding of society. 

It is in this isolation that Wednesday(voiced perfectly by Chloe Grace Moretz) and Pugsley are born and raised. When the swamp next door is drained and given an HGTV (titled here the HAG network-hah!) style makeover the Addams are forced into contact with the outside world once more. 

As mentioned above, the villains are a little cookie cutter, overly plastic, totally near sighted, and rigidly devoted to creating the “perfect” community. 

A trend I have noticed about books and movies for kids lately is a propensity for heavy handed virtue signaling at the expense of plot, character development, and general enjoyability. While I appreciate the overall message: those we don’t understand aren’t necessarily monstrous, and those who wear the veneer of the acceptable can themselves behave monstrously; the overtly creepifying, conform-or-else cheer performed by the children, the town christened Assimilation (cue Borg reference here), and the stereotypical ambitious, perfection obsessed, emotionally chilly mother figure really fall flat for me. 

There are a solid dozen “grown up” jokes sprinkled throughout, that make it fun for the adults, but there were more than a few places where I thought they missed opportunities for real wit or a few more inside jokes. 

If you are on the fence about the Addams in general, maybe wait until Redbox. But if you dig the show and the dark humor that characterized the property in the past it’s worth a watch. It’s a nice Halloween-vibe flick for the season and if you want something to take the kids to for 90 minutes of peace, you could do worse.

*Snap, snap* Until next time, enjoy the show!

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