Friday, 20 September 2013

Addams Family Reunion (1998)

I have since discovered this film was in fact a reboot of the franchise which is odd seeing as the first two films were big hits. Yet despite the reboot the film does follow on from the second in terms of visuals at least. The location of the Addams mansion/estate seems similar to the second film, as does the house interior, 'Granny' is back as a main character and more like the original films incarnation and of course good old Carel Struycken is still 'Lurch'.

The plot is also not too much of a diversion from the previous two films. Again it revolves around the family, this time 'Gomez's' grandparents, who appear to be turning 'normal'. So Gomez organises another reunion to find a family member to help. The twist is there is a company that helps Gomez do this but a spelling mistake on the Addams name (Adams) sets up a reunion with a different family who are regular people.

As you might expect there is much ghoulish silliness which has been filmed and edited in the same way as the previous films. A lot of fast cuts, sped up sequences, odd camera angles etc...the whole atmosphere and approach is very familiar and still enjoyable. Sure some of it doesn't look at slick or polished as the other films, this is clearly a much cheaper production and more in line with TV movies but these films get away with it. As the earlier films showed, hammy hokey effects work well with the franchise and add charm to the proceedings, its not meant to look top of the line, more comic book or cartoony.

Unfortunately the creators thought to include the usage of CGI dotted throughout which does spoil the film. Its only used in places but it looks terribly cheap, the CGI mutated puppy is pretty awful and brings back memories of 'The Mask 2'...yep that kind of CGI.

I guess the whole thing will hinge on the cast, can the classic family be re-imagined once again?. Happily and surprisingly I say yes they can, and have been. Tim Curry is probably the best man for the job as Gomez by far, this role fits him like a glove. Daryl Hannah is also surprisingly good as 'Morticia' in both acting and looks, I didn't think a blonde could pull off the goth thing but she nails it. The rest of the creepy bunch are mostly unknowns to me but they do a fair job in their roles, of course I miss Lloyd and Ricci.

I went into this fearing the worst but its actually not too bad. Plot wise its poor and never really goes anywhere, add to that various meaningless subplots. The cast save the film from complete failure and the fact they managed to keep it in line with the older films is nice, makes it feel more complete, more of a third film in a trilogy. Would be interesting to see this cast in a much higher production with better effects etc...