“The Addams Family” stars Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Bette Midler, Allison Janney, and Elsie Fisher. Released on October 11, 2019, the film has the Addams Family facing off against the 21st century.
The film is directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan, who also directed “Sausage Party”, and it is based on the comic series of the same name by Charles Addams. We all have families that are different or weird like the rest of us, and that’s OK. However, there is one family that’s way more different than the other families: the Addams Family. Since their debut in 1938, “The Addams Family” has been impressing multiple fans with their charm and macabre-loving personalities throughout certain types of media, such as single-panel cartoons, live-action films, and television. Personally, I only know the Addams Family from the live-action films in the 1990s, “The Addams Family” in 1991 and its sequel “Addams Family Values” in 1993. So I pretty much knew what I was getting myself into when it comes to this latest adaptation of the comic series. Based on the marketing, it looked like it will do wonders for those who grew up with the mysterious family, but is it mysterious and spooky enough to impress newcomers as well?
If I were to describe the story based on my own perspective, I would say that it is somehow an origin story on how the Addams Family came to be as well as their first experience with the modern-age society. Like the source material itself, “The Addams Family” is filled with a bunch of macabre-related moments, but it never shies away from inserting plenty of charm and color into its creepy atmosphere, which would make itself perfectly acceptable for young kids. More importantly, the film’s effort in capturing the spirit of the source material will more than likely fill the long-time fans’ heads with nostalgia. Unfortunately, for certain newcomers, that’s the only thing that it’s good at. The film’s story is pretty much what you would expect from an “Addams Family” movie, which is them fitting in with modern society. While it has its own share of simplicity and a relatable family-friendly message about accepting people’s differences, no matter how weird they are, the film’s narrative failed to create that certain spark to save itself from the horrors of genericness. What’s also a bit disappointing is its humor, which is one of the qualities that made the source material so well-known. Even though it did have some chuckle-worthy moments, the humor didn’t really stick with me after the credits roll. It’s filled with plenty of macabre-related jokes and pop culture references that happen to wore thin rather quickly. Considering the fact that it’s directed by the guys who delivered the raunchy animated comedy about talking food, I was hoping that they could’ve done a lot more with its concept. On the plus side, it was able to make itself enjoyable thanks to its voice cast and the animation. Ranging from Oscar Isaac as Gomez to Nick Kroll as Uncle Fester, the voice cast did a fantastic job at delivering the charm and the spookiness to the characters that we know and love since their inception. The animation is best described as a colorful CGI cartoon that’s nicely-rendered and eye-catching. The best part of it has to be the designs of the Addams Family. It perfectly matches the character designs that were shown in the comics. However, I’m not a huge fan of the designs of the human characters as some of them came off as either uninspired or unappealing. There’s just something about the supporting human character designs that kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Are they sure that the Addams are the only weird ones around here?
Overall, “The Addams Family” does serve as a suitable and delightfully spooky treat for the fans, but it unfortunately struggled to fit in with the other animated gems of 2019. Despite its brilliant voice cast and colorful animation, the film wasn’t able to scare any newcomers in a fun way due to its generic plot and forgettable humor. I can see this being enjoyed by little kids throughout the Halloween season, but based on my personal experience with the film, I believe there are way better choices than this when it comes to spooky kids films. If you want a more proper introduction to the Addams Family, I would recommend the 1990s live-action adaptations. Otherwise, it’s worth watching just for the voice cast and the character designs for the Addams and nothing else.