Addams Family Values
addams family values | barry sonnenfeld | paul rudnick | anjelica huston | raul julia | christopher lloyd | comedy | fantasy | united states | the addams family | sequel | joan cusack | christina ricci | carol kane | jimmy workman | carel struycken | david krumholtz
Film: The Addams Family Values
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer: Paul Rudnick
Starring: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia and Christopher Lloyd
This sequel is another one that I would watch regularly growing up. I’m sure that I rented it and then it seemed always be on the movie channels. This is also another one that Jaime had not seen and since I see this as a gateway horror film, it worked to watch in October for me. For this movie here, our synopsis is the Addams family try to rescue their beloved Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd) from his gold-digging new love, a black widow named Debbie (Joan Cusack).
We begin by getting meet our family once there. There is Morticia (Anjelica Huston) and her husband of Gomez (Raul Julia) They are pregnant and she goes into labor to start this one off. Back once again as Gomez’s brother of Fester (Christopher Lloyd). We also have the children Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman). This time around Granny is Carol Kane, who is Morticia’s mother. Their butler is Lurch (Carel Struycken) and they still have the favorite hand, Thing (Christopher Hart). As I was saying, Morticia goes into labor and informs Gomez. The whole clan goes to the hospital where they have another boy, named Pubert Addams (Kaitlyn and Kristen Hooper).
Wednesday and Pugsley have it in their head that they have to kill the baby or one of them will be killed. Granny confirms this was the way in the past. They try a few different ways to take care of the problem, but something thwarts them at every turn. It is decided by Morticia and Gomez to hire a nanny.
After going through a few different candidates, the last one they see is Debbie Jellinsky. She is quirky like they are and they hire her. She starts that night. We learn though while she watches television that she is a Black Widow Killer. She has been married before, a couple times, and has killed her husbands for their money. We see that she has her attention turned to Fester, knowing that he is rich.
Her first order of business is to get Wednesday and Pugsley out of the house. She succeeds in sending them to summer camp. Their parents can’t believe this is what they want, but they are convinced by Debbie. They’re sent to Camp Chippewa, which is for privileged children and ran by a married couple of Gary (Peter MacNicol) and Becky Martin-Granger (Christine Baranski). Our two Addams kids don’t fit in well with the Grangers or the suck-up campers who are led by Amanda Buckman (Mercedes McNab).
With the children out of the way, Debbie sets her sights on Fester. It is quite easy and after their first date they are engaged. They get married soon after and Debbie doesn’t wait any time in trying to kill her new husband. On their honeymoon, she drops a stereo into the bathtub with Fester in it. He survives though, being an Addams.
Wednesday and Pugsley try to find a way out of camp. They befriend Joel Glicker (David Krumtholtz) who doesn’t fit in at the camp either. He’s into serial killer trading cards and gets Debbie’s card of the Black Widow Killer. Things are falling apart when she keeps Fester from his family, which causes issues with Pubert. This all needs to be resolved before it is too late.
Now what I have to say here is that the last time I watched this and the original, I liked this one better. Having watched this almost back to back, I’m not so sure. That is not to say that I don’t like this one anymore or anything to that effect. This one has already established characters and doing a bit more with them, which I do like. We are focusing more on Fester and the children during their time at camp than the Addams family themselves. Again, not a bad thing, but just what I’ve noticed.
What I will say though, I love Wednesday and even Pugsley at camp. Wednesday with her crusade against Gary, Becky, Amanda and the rest of the camp is great. Workman isn’t as strong an actor as Ricci, so that is part of why I said what I did. They focus on her more, which is smart. I love seeing them trying to break these two along with Joel. It is comical all the way up until the destruction of the camp. I do enjoy this.
Something that didn’t work as well this time around was the interactions with Fester and Debbie. The early stuff when we have Morticia, Gomez and the crew, that all worked. When he goes off with her though, it feels rushed and not as interesting when I watched it recently. Going along with that not working as well, Pubert isn’t as fun when Wednesday and Pugsley aren’t trying to kill him either. That feels morbid to say, but it is the Addams family.
I don’t want you to think that I hate this though. The acting is good here still. I think cutting down the time we have with Huston and Julia is part of it, as they’re great. Lloyd is still on point with Fester. I don’t even hate Cusack as Debbie. She has this weird bubbly personality that she grows tired of as things progress. She is diabolical which is hard to do when dealing with the oddities of the Addams family. Ricci is also good. Workman is fine, but it is hard when his sister in the movie is just more talented. I do like Kane taking over as Granny. The addition of Krumholtz also worked. Struycken and Hart are solid as well. I also liked the cameos by Dana Ivey, MacNicol, Baranski, McNab, Sam McNurray, John Franklin, Cynthia Nixon, Peter Graves, Ian Abercrombie, Tony Shalhoub and Nathan Lane. The acting here is on point for me to be honest.
Then the last things to go into would be the effects, cinematography and the soundtrack. For the former, they are solid. We have some CGI here that isn’t great, but this doesn’t ruin the movie either. They went practical where they could. It isn’t as good as the original, but it is far from bad. The cinematography there was well done and the soundtrack fit for what was needed. If anything I prefer this to the original in that department.
So then in conclusion here, the last time I saw this one, I liked it better than the original one. This doesn’t hold up as well for me. I like the expanding of the story, but some of the things they focus on aren’t as interesting to me. The acting though is on point. The cinematography is well done. The effects aren’t as good here, but the soundtrack works better for me. I’d still say that this is a fun movie that I would recommend, especially if you want to get children into the horror genre. I consider this a horror film, where not everyone does. This is still an above average movie to me.
My Rating: 7 out of 10