The Addams Family (1991)    1 Stars

“Creepy. Kooky. Spooky. Ooky.”

The Addams Family (1991)
The Addams Family (1991)


Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

Cast: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd

Synopsis: Con artists plan to fleece the eccentric family using an accomplice who claims to be their long lost Uncle Fester.

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The 1960s American comedy The Addams Family was given a successful update by Barry Sonnenfeld in 1991 (and a somewhat less successful follow-up in 1993), although with a different cast to the TV series as most of the original cast members had died in the intervening years. It’s pretty lightweight stuff, but it’s entertaining enough, even if it doesn’t contain any big laughs.

Raul Julia (Stiletto) and Angelica Huston (Seraphim Falls, 50/50) play Gomez and Morticia Addams, the heads of the titular ghoulish – but loving – family. They live a contented life in their spooky mansion, but Gomez desperately misses his estranged brother Fester, whom he hasn’t seen or heard from since a teenage argument over a woman – or, strictly speaking, women, as they were conjoined twins. When his crooked accountant (Dan Hedaya – The Usual Suspects) learns of this he cooks up a plan with his loan shark (Elizabeth Wilson – The Birds) to have her hulking lookalike son, Gordon (Christopher Lloyd – Back to the Future, Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead) pose as the long-lost brother so that they can get their hands on the Addams Family fortune.

The cast seem to be having a good time, and a young Christina Ricci makes a big impression as Wednesday Addams, Gomez and Morticia’s solemn daughter. The comedy’s fairly broad but at least falls short of descending into slapstick. Unfortunately, despite the obvious care that has gone into recreating the sets and atmosphere of the TV series, Barry Sonnenfeld’s version is ultimately too lightweight to be memorable – or even to really merit a sequel.

(Reviewed 3rd May 2015)

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