My first introduction to The Addams Family was actually a DVD my family got from a fast food restaurant when I was a kid. I want to say it was McDonald’s but I honestly can’t remember much about it other than it had a few select episodes of the TV show (and a few from The Munsters). I liked The Munsters well enough, but there’s something special about The Addams Family. Maybe it’s the catchy theme song, maybe it’s Gomez and Morticia, or how iconic Wednesday is, but regardless The Addams Family is pop culture icon.
To kick off this month, my co-conspirator in this endeavor, Natalie, and I wanted to watch something fun. After all, not every aspect of Halloween is jump scares and spooky stuff. We went back and forth about which film would fit the bill, but in the end, The Addams Family was the obvious choice and I’m sure Gomez and Morticia wouldn’t have it any other way.
The 1991 feature film from director Barry Sonnenfled and writers Caroline Thompson and Larry Wilson, captures the goofy spirit of Halloween’s most beloved family and has become a seasonal staple for many people. It’s included this year in Freeform’s newly expanded 31 Days of Halloween so don’t miss out if you don’t already own this gem.
While no one would call it a cinematic masterpiece, how can you go wrong when you have such a stellar cast such as Christopher Lloyd, Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, and, of course, Christina Ricci? To be frank, you can’t. Though it’s got some plot holes and its storylines aren’t always followed through, it’s full of so many memorable moments.
In the off chance you haven’t seen the film already (I’ll assume you know at least a little something about The Addams Family in general), the story picks up 25 years after a falling out between Gomez and Fester. The family lawyer, Tully, finds himself in a deep financial bind and teams up with his loan shark who’s “son” looks suspiciously like the missing Uncle Fester. What follows is a ridiculous, but fun adventure as The Addamses struggle with whether this man is truly their missing Uncle or just a fraud trying to steal the family fortune.
There’s a lot of memorable scenes, but who can forget the opening sequence when The Addams pour a bubbling cauldron of uknown steaming contents on unsuspecting Christmas carolers in truly medieval fashion? The mamushka dance? The bloody take on Shakespeare’s Hamlet as performed by Wednesday and Pugsley at their school talent show? Any scene Wednesday Addams is in in general?
If you’re looking for a film to kick start your Halloween marathon or a family friendly hit, consider The Addams Family. It’ll bring a smile to your face and give you the Halloween aesthetic without the scares.