Star-studded cast can’t save unremarkable reboot

The Addams Family (IMDB)

Since it first appeared in cartoons published in The New Yorker in 1938, The Addams Family has appeared in many different formats. The latest is this computer-animated film. Source: ACOFB.

By Peter W Sheehan, ACOFB

All relay the adventures of members of a weird family, who have inspired public affection, and have created pop-horror cultural entertainment as an eccentric group of people, who regularly behave in a dark and creepy way.

This computer-animated version was released in cinemas late last year.

In the film, Gomez Addams (Oscar Isaac) and his gloomy wife, Morticia (Charlize Theron), are chased away from their own wedding ceremony in Europe and become refugees wanting to settle in America. There, they find an abandoned and haunted mental asylum situated in New Jersey on a hill surrounded by a perpetual fog of swamp gas. Immediately, they are attracted to it and they decide to call it “home”.

The couple and their two children – Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard) and Wednesday (Chloe Grace Moretz) – are the kind of family that likes to give its house a fresh coat of blood and spider webs to make it more pleasant-looking and comfortable. They have a severed hand that is always there to help, and Lurch, an ex-mental patient, as its butler.

It is not long before The Addams Family raises the ire of greedy, reality TV host, Margaux Needler (Allison Janney), who feels she can’t sell an image of a village with any real estate potential unless members of the Addams Family move on. She knows they won’t change, and she declares war.

The Addams Family tries to win the battle to stay as it is. Wednesday practices her killer tendencies, Pugsley plays destructively with his bombs and hand-grenades, and the Grandma of the family (Bette Midler) exercises her mean disposition at every opportunity. The film descends into Halloween happenings wherever it can, and through it all The Addams Family have a fun time.

The animation in the movie is well-paced, but curiously flat-balled in its imagery. Fantasy is clearly differentiated from reality, but the fantasy aims itself as if violence and meanness count the most.

The PG rating tells the viewer that the violence never gets completely out of hand, but the enjoyment the film engenders is gothic in character and never uplifting. This is an animated movie where one finds little meaning.

Released in cinemas in December, The Addams Family is available now to rent or purchase on Apple TV, Google Play and Foxtel.

The Addams Family: Starring Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, and Bette Midler. Directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon. Rated PG (Mild themes and animated violence). 87 min. 

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The Addams Family (ACOFB)

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