A couple on-the-day Halloween watches to wrap up the Spooky Season, which for me apparently means mostly cheery-morbid comedies?
The Addams Family
I had never seen this before! Which I don’t think anyone will find more surprising than I did while watching it. All about those dark weird cobweb-chic aesthetics, a tone that puts the dead in deadpan, and a candy-sweet core. For The Addams Family is, in fact, about family, both formed and found, and it is deeply sincere about that. It’s sarcastic about other things — fear of death, silly societal “rules”, Freudian psychoanalysts — but not about familial love. It’s love that beats in the heart of the Addams’ haunted home, making it feel so creepily, delightfully alive. And at the heart of that is the particular love Gomez and Morticia have for each other — a wildly passionate, kinky, worshipful devotion between these long-married parents of two that is, hey, charming as hell.
In other news, Christopher Lloyd has become my Actor Of Autumn, showing up in a surprising number of things I’ve watched recently: Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, Clue, Over the Garden Wall, and now The Addams Family.
What We Do In the Shadows
I started giggling at the perfectly out of focus New Zealand Documentary Board logo that stayed on screen for two beats too long, and then did not stop. This is a mockumentary, I guess would be the first thing to know, following a group of vampires who live together in a flat in Wellington, New Zealand. It’s a slice of life, dealing with typical vampire domestic concerns like talking to that one flatmate who hasn’t washed his bloody dishes in five years, how to negotiate bringing over guests you’re going to drink, or ways to make sure the squad is looking good for a night out when you can’t see yourselves in a mirror.
You know the sort of hilarity that comes from masterful improv actors who know each other really well and have been given an incredible premise to play with? That’s this. An instantly quotable treasure.