Conrad Vernon Greg Tierman (director)
25 October 2019 (released)
25 October 2019
The Addams Family as one would expect just won’t stay dead. From the comic strips of the 30’s to the tv programme of the 60’s, then animations and movie relaunches, they just keep getting dug back up. The latest iteration is a full-length animation though looks to take its visual cues from the feature films.
The film starts with a short introduction to the family as Morticia (Charlize Theron) and Gomez (Oscar Isaac) are married and then promptly chased off by villagers with torches. Finding their way to New Jersey and picking up Lurch (Conrad Veron) on the way they come across an abandoned asylum that suits them down the ground. It even has a spirit that urges them to ‘Geeet Ouuut’ in a deep cauldrony voice every day until it has its coffee. The couple settle and along come Wednesday (Chloë Grace Moretz) and Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard).
Swiftly moving forward the fog that has shielded the house from everyone else starts to lift as the town project of Assimilation is now at the foot of the hill, super-lacquered-volume haired TV celeb Margaux Needler (Allison Janney) looking to make a killing from selling an identikit town and community. It’s a pastel coloured community that thrives on conformity and when Margaux spots the house on the hill see a threat to her plans and an opportunity to renovate. Needless to say things don’t go quite as planned with Margaux now seeking to stir up trouble against the Addams’.
Meantime the Addams’ are going about their gallows humoured way with the children at each other’s throats, Pugsley training for his ‘Sabre Mazurka’ routine that he has to perform to the entire clan. While Wednesday befriends Parker Needler (Elsie Fisher), goes to school, sorts out the bully and brings frogs back to life. It’s here that the girls are inspired to break away from their comfort zones as Parker turns goth and Wednesday starts to wear pink dresses and a unicorn hair-clasp which has the desired and predictable effect on their respective parents.
There’s isn’t that much here that is going to surprise Addams’ Family devotees as directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tierman stick to the notion that they are a perfectly normal loving family going about their business, thinking that the others are a little strange. Which is the complete opposite of the townspeople of Assimilation who are initially shocked and then incited to attack the family by nefarious sources. It will be interesting to see how The Addams Family plays to new, probably younger audiences.
Bluntly, there is no subtlety at all in this film with the satire layered on with a trowel with the name of the town, the kids’ song and the rest of it. The message of tolerance is syrupy thick and just as indigestible however well intentioned.
However it is not devoid of fun, with some decent gags, and some references to genre films old and new, and Lurch’s musical interludes are a nice touch. The voice cast are all good with the material they have to work with and don’t sound particularly stretched in any emotional way. So for its running time it’s perfectly enjoyable but after the only thing that will remain in the memory will be Margaux’s incredible hair.