Prepare to feel old, Tim Burton fans – because the director's delightfully macabre comedy-horror Beetlejuice has turned 30 years old.
The movie is getting a special anniversary re-release in Cineworld on 26th October, so to get you in the appropriately spooky mindset, here are five reasons why you can't miss the madcap classic back on the big screen where it belongs.
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1. It's a showcase for Tim Burton's ghoulish imagination
Back in 1988 when Beetlejuice was first released, the world barely knew of Tim Burton, aside from his zany movie Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. However, Beetlejuice was the movie that cemented the director's house style, one filled with dark comedy, a love of classic horror conventions, and a dazzling visual approach mixing up witty special effects with enjoyably physical performances.
It's an approach that Burton went on to deploy in any other number of hit movies including Batman, Edward Scissorhands and Sleepy Hollow, and yet, among his canon of movies, Beetlejuice stands on its own as a pure, undiluted dose of Burton craziness.
2. It features possibly Michael Keaton's greatest performance
Come again? What about Batman? Birdman? Or Spotlight? Brilliant as all those performances are, it's Beetlejuice that showcases Keaton at his most unfettered, deranged and memorable. He plays the grisly 'bio-exorcist' enlisted by recently deceased couple Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis to remove their home of its obnoxious new incumbents, and the performance remains hilariously bonkers.
Physically adept and unconstrained by any notion of subtlety, it's a perfect marriage of actor and director.
3. You can experience Danny Elfman's score in all its glory
They're now established as one of the greatest director-composer partnerships in film, but back in 1988, Burton and Elfman only had one collaboration to their name. (That was Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, trivia fans.)
However, just as Beetlejuice announced its filmmaker's visual style, so too did the movie announce Elfman's arrival as a brilliantly witty partner-in-crime, mixing up oompah bands, pastiche Gothic horror and segments of Harry Belafonte in one enjoyably eccentric package.
4. The movie's terrific special effects come to life
Beginning with that classic opening fake-out, in which an aerial shot of a road transitions into a model of the same location, it's clear that Burton is having a blast with the visual capabilities of his movie. The big screen is the perfect environment to experience his lurid mixture of stop-motion effects, broiling storm clouds and the shadowy interior locations, not to mention the anything-goes weirdness of Beetlejuice's final resting place.
5. It's the perfect primer for Halloween
Let's face it, any movie built around a character who claims to find the Exorcist increasingly funny after 167 viewings is ideal Halloween viewing. Burton has showcased a love of classic B-movies and Hammer horrors throughout his career, and the deliberately overwrought nature of Beetlejuice is nothing less than a salute to the creepy movies with which he grew up.
Plus, of course, the movie's undead themes (capped off with that brilliant waiting-room scene at the end) pretty much announce it as a classic Halloween movie.