They’re creepy and they’re kooky. Mysterious and spooky. Okay, we’re not gonna recite the whole thing, but you know their theme and love ‘em. They’re the Addams Family: an utterly bizarre, aristocratic family who, underneath their macabre appearance, is ultimately charming and completely devoted to each other. Created by cartoonist Charles Addams, they originally appeared in the New Yorker before being adapted to other media such as TV shows and films.
Shockingly, it wouldn’t be until the ‘80s that interest in an Addams Family feature film ignited with producer Scott Rudin spearheading the idea. While the gothic production design would lead you to think Tim Burton was somehow involved, it was actually directed by another skilled filmmaker. After breaking out as a cinematographer working with the Coen Brothers on Blood Simple, Barry Sonnenfeld made his directorial debut with 1991’s The Addams Family, resulting in a huge hit at the box office yet a mixed critical response. It’s funny to think that technically this may be considered one of the earliest successful “comic book” adaptations for the silver screen.
The sequel, Addams Family Values, premiered in 1993 with even better reviews than the first one. It was also the final film starring Raul Julia to be released in his lifetime, as he, unfortunately, passed less than a year later in 1994. Thanks to this film, the actor truly went out with a bang. But is the sequel really superior? Or does the original deserve another shot? With Halloween right around the corner and the Wednesday television series premiering on Netflix soon (from the mind of Tim Burton no less), it’s prime time to take a closer look at this peculiar family and see how they stack up.
So snap, snap to it cause it’s time for… FACE OFF!
This episode of Face Off is written by Matthew Hacunda, narrated by Dave Davis, and edited by Matthew Hacunda. But don’t let us have the final word — tell us in the comments which spooky flick is your pick — The Addams Family or Addams Family Values?