Top critical review
Better than you think
Reviewed in the United States on January 18, 2020
I was hesitatnt to watch this movie based on the reviews because some people really slammed this movie. and as someone who is an Addams afficionado, as well as a naturally dark and cynical person I was expecting to hate it. I took the risk, and I am glad I did. It's a pretty good movie.
Like many others say, this movie is more true to Charles Addams and his original 1938 New Yorker illustrations. Anyone who knows the original comics will see this. The opening sequence shows Lurch as the Christmas tree, and Wednesday is instructed to "kick her father goodnight". The characters are also quite similar to the original, with Wednesday being the older sibling (fun fact Wednesday WAS the older sibling originally, and the exception was the TV show, though the original girl cast was 13 years old).
Also, they gave Pugsley some character. In the early 1990s movies, he was overshadowed by a very dark and morbid Christiana Ricci as Wednesday, and he fell into a near secondary character next to her strong dark demeanor. In this movie he has his own personality and storyline.
Gomez and Morticia were pretty good, more gothic and dark than passinate as in the past renditions, and they kept up the morbidity and sadism with the medivieval torture instruments and swords they're known for, I liked that, and they looked more like the Chas Addams characters, he being short and kind of greasy while she tall and very pale. Morticia did have the Carolyn Jones' walk as well in the tight dress. Fester was the funniest character, in my opinion, with his nonchalant attitude towards injuries and explosions. The main characters were actually pretty good. Grandma was an crazy old hag, Lurch an asylum escapee turned butler.
My issue was the plot. It's always the same, with the Addams eventually alienating the neighbors for one reason or another, but in this case the new neighbor was so happy and suburban most people would throw up daily living there. They pitted an extremely white bread neighborhood run by a rich reality HGTV type star with a dark, misunderstood family to once again show prejudice and ignorace against those that are different. In the TV the visitors were funny when the encountered the Addams's. This just seemed recycled with people just running off scared at first sight opposed to actually visiting the home. then of course there's the popular girl vs. Wednesday (remember the summer camp in the sequel?) It gets old. At least Pugsley had a more original subplot.
I would have liked to have seen some of the other family members from the Tv show at the family reunion, such as Morticia's sister ophelia. They were kind of just goofy side characters but they could have had a lot of fun with the extended family, as they did in the 1991 film.
However, the one thing I really hated about this movie was the ending (spoiler alert). I simply hated the ending of this movie and how they pied up the whole plot with a goofy, unrealistic "feel good" kind of weird and pointless truce where everyone just seemed to have a collective epiphany and played nice. It was just...dumb. No one was scared anymore, no unesiness, just everyone coming together in some sort of peace love harmony dribble that was pointless.
Finally, my favorite part was the spirit of the house. He hated the Addams and was just dumbfounded by them but the interactions with the spirit and the family were great. I recommend the movie for the scenes, but knocked some stars off for the plot.