Electric Boogaloo: Addams Family Values

Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams - (Empire)

This is the easiest argument I’ve ever had to make. It’s obvious isn’t it? This is the film in which Christina Ricci becomes a heroine for all 90s weird girls, only to be rivalled by Lydia Deetz.

I have fond memories of this film, I remember asking to stay up late so we could tape (yes, VHS, those clunky boxes of dreams) The Addams Family Values after the 10oClock news. I still have this VHS with a snippet of the weather forecast and the old BBC One ident with the hot air balloon, remember? I don’t even have a Video Player anymore but I can’t part with the tape. And then the film begins, Uncle Fester howls from the top of that beautiful, creepy house silhouetted against a full moon.

It’s a tiny, gorgeous detail as well as, arguably, the most enduring image of the entire film.

I would like to state that I adore the first film (“Are they made from real girl scouts?”) but there is no denying that Values is the superior film. Let’s investigate:

Firstly, as if The Addams’ couldn’t get any weirder or sexier they throw a smokin’ hot batshit crazy Joan Cusack into the mix. Yes, please and thank you. It’s also worth noting that it is only in the sequel that they light Morticia’s eyes independently of everything else. It’s a tiny, gorgeous detail as well as, arguably, the most enduring image of the entire film. Apparently, they also taped her eyes so they appeared more slanted giving Anjelica Huston daily headaches, now that’s dedication, people!

Secondly, sending the two Addams’ children to Summer Camp is a stroke of undeniable genius, to have Wednesday and Pugsley in their gothic garb thrown into the gaudy world of Middle Class Suburban America. I can’t stress enough that the performance of every single actor in this film is pitch perfect, from Joan Cusack’s maniacal black widow to Gary and Becky’s saccharine and sinister camp leaders to the adorkable Joel Glicker, not to mention Carol Kane’s introduction as the gloriously unhinged Granny. (“Just a curse. Have a nice day!”)

I could wax lyrical about this film forever. It’s the best, and if you don’t agree then all of your old noses will grow back!

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