Beetle Juice

  • Directors: Tim Burton
  • Producers: David Geffen, Larry Wilson, Michael Bender, Richard Hashimoto
  • Writers: Story, Michael McDowell, Larry Wilson, Screenplay, Michael McDowell, Warren Skaaren
  • Genres: Comedy, Fantasy
  • Actors: Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Catherine O Hara, Jeffrey Jones

Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam (Alec Baldwin) Maitland decide to spend their vacation decorating their idyllic New England country home. While the young couple is driving back from town, Barbara swerves to avoid a dog wandering the roadway, and crashes through a covered bridge, plunging into the river below. They return home but realize they cannot exactly recall how they got there. When Adam attempts to leave the house to retrace his steps, he finds himself in a strange otherworldly dimension referred to as Saturn, which happens to be covered in sand and populated by enormous sand worms, which he abruptly encounters. Based on the fact they have no visible reflection in the mirror and are unable to leave their house, the Maitlands realize that they might not have survived the crash. A book entitled Handbook for the Recently Deceased confirms the couple’s suspicion that they are, in fact, dead.

The Maitlands’ peace is later disrupted when their house is sold and the obnoxious new residents, the Deetzes, arrive from New York City. The new family consists of Charles (Jeffrey Jones), aspiring sculptor and Charles’ second wife Delia (Catherine O’Hara), and Charles’s goth daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder). Under the guidance of interior designer Otho (Glenn Shadix), the Deetzes transform the house into a gaudy piece of pastel-toned modern art. Although the Maitlands remain invisible to Charles and Delia, their daughter Lydia can see the ghost couple and befriends them.

In an attempt to contact the Maitlands, the Deetzes hold a seance that summons the couple, but begins to visibly harm them. A desperate Lydia summons Betelgeuse, agreeing to marry him if he saves the Maitlands. Betelgeuse disposes of Charles’ co-workers and releases the Maitlands from the spell, but then conjures a ghostly priest to wed him to Lydia. The Maitlands narrowly stop the ceremony before it can be completed, and Betelgeuse is devoured by one of the Saturn sandworms. The Deetzes and the Maitlands decide to live together in harmony and share the home. At the film’s conclusion, Betelgeuse is seen waiting in the afterlife reception waiting room, where he unwisely angers a witch doctor who shrinks his head.

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