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Beetlejuice (1988) Film Review

Updated on April 2, 2020
Michael Keaten
Alec Baldwin
Adam Maitland
Geena Davis
Barbara Maitland
Catherine O'Hara
Deela Deetz
Winona Ryder
Lydia Deetz
Jeffrey Jones
Charles Deetz
Sylvia Sydney

About the film

  • Released: 1988
  • Director: Tim Burton
  • Producers: Michael Bender, Larry Wilson, Richard Hashimoto
  • Running time: 1 hr 32 mins
  • Genre: Fantasy, Comedy
  • Distributed by: Warner Bros
  • Genre: $15,000,000

The Film

Released in 1988, Beetlejuice is a classic film which I have recently viewed on Netflix. The film is about Adam and Barbara Maitland who haunt their former home after being killed in a car accident. They were on their way to their country home in Connecticut when their car accidentally plunges into the river. On realising they are dead, they start to read a book called "The Handbook for Recently Dead."

Jane, a Real Estate agent, sells the home to Charles and Delia Deetz and their daughter Lydia. Delia completely redecorates the house. Adam and Barbara, however, return to the house as ghosts and can't believe how their former home has changed. Technically, it is their former home. But both Adam and Barbara refuse to believe this, even though they're now dead and living as ghosts.

In the afterlife, they are appointed a case worker called Juno. She informs them they must stay in the house for 125 years. Charles and Delia are unable to see the Maitlands, but Lydia is able to see them, so she befriends them. Now, Juno advises Adam and Barbara that they should go about scaring the Deetz family out of the home. But they should never, ever, call Betelgeuse, as it is correctly spelt. By calling him, this would be a mistake. After attempts to scare the family fail, the Maitland's do, however, call Betelgeuse. But they soon regret this as he is a very rude and obnoxious man. Betelgeuse lives in this little model village, which is quite funny to see.

The film takes us through the antics the Maitland's have with trying to get the Deetz family out of what they think is their home. And also grappling with having Betelgeuse helping them.

My Thoughts

Surprisingly, I had never seen this film until recently. And I only watched it because it came up in conversation with a friend and he recommended it. I'm glad I did though as I quite enjoyed it. I didn't really find it a horror film though, more of a comedy film. Even when Adam and Barbara realise they are dead they didn't seem that bothered about it. And I found it quite comical that they should find a handbook for the recently deceased.

If I didn't know that Michael Keaton was playing Beetlejuice, I would have never have guessed under all that make-up. I think he played an excellent role as the little character. And the special effects I thought were quite good too. I thought it was good how they made him look like this little man living in a model town. There are some comical moments in the film. The comedy may be quite dark, but still, made me laugh.

The film has quite a Gothic and burlesque feel about it. But I don't think this made the film any less funny or comical. It still made me laugh out loud in parts. This may be one for you to watch if you haven't already.

Beetlejuice Trailer

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Louise Powles


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    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      10 days ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      After reading your review Beetlejuice seems one fun film I would enjoy watching. Thanks for the review.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks for the review. I have heard of this movie, but have never watched it. If it is as funny as you wrote, I will look for it. It is good to laugh!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      8 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I like the review encourages me to watch it.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      8 weeks ago from UK

      I remember hearing of this film, but I have never watched it. Your review is very helpful and informative. It gives me a clear idea of what it's all about.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      2 months ago from USA

      I have not actually seen this either and now is as good a time to catch up. I’m glad you reviewed this. Thank you!

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      2 months ago

      I loved this cult classic and with Tim Burton as the director it did not disappoint. An excellent review Louise and even though I haven't watched it recently, you have encouraged me to do so again.


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