Itís probably safe to say that Michael Keaton is probably the most underrated actor ever. Hell, heís the guy who made a totally implausible pile of shit like Desperate Measures be mildly interesting and entertaining. Here, he also makes best of Tim Burtonís second movie that doesnít go farther than being just plain weird.Two ghosts Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam (Alec Baldwin) are trapped in their own house after theyíre killed in a car crash. Then suddenly, a new obnoxious family moves into their house, comprised of father Charles (Jeffrey Jones), mother Delia (Catherine OíHara) and their creepy daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder). So now, Barbara and Adam hire the services of a bio-exorcist named Beetlegeuse (Keaton) to get rid of those fuckers.
This film is pretty much notable since it establishes Burtonís crazy world vision once and for all, full of weird-ass dimensions of the living world and the underworld which will keep you quite glued to the movie. The FX are a bit lame by todayís standards, like that striped dragon and the little toy car. The atmosphere is quite odd, with a sense of creepiness that it isnít necessarily scary but still interesting, and humorous; especially in the hilarious dining room dancing scene when theyíre all suddenly forced to dance to Harry Belafonteís ďDay-O.Ē The story is strange and sometimes it makes little sense; itís quite weird, especially since this film is branded as a horror movie. The ending is just plain weird. Longtime Burton composer Danny Elfman brings again his share of oddball music that only heís capable and blends well with all Burton films.
Oh, one question: Why is the movie called Beetle Juice, when the guyís name is Beetlegeuse? Maybe Iím missing something.
The acting is all right. Michael Keaton single-handedly walks away with the entire film. The guy is such a sleazy oddball that itís just hard not to like him and even harder not to hate him; in fact whenever heís off the screen, the film seems to tank, and whenever he appears the movie gets revitalized almost immediately. Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis are pretty flat and donít bring much for their characters. Jeffrey Jones and Catherine OíHara are even better than Baldwin and Davis mostly since theyíre just behaving oddly. Wynona Ryder is also weird and to a certain point effective.In the end, this film is a notable and curious entry into Tim Burtonís early stages of cinematic maturity, full of weird-ideas, well-crafted settings and a somewhat confusing storyline. Itís worth a curious view from time to time, though Burton would outdo himself with his next release. 3-5