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The Addams Family: The Paramount Years [Blu-ray review]

The Addams Family is one of those franchises that seems to sneak up on casual audiences. It’s something I’ve been studying over the last few months. Try it for yourself. Grab at least two people from different demographic backgrounds. Bring up a rather bland property and see what draws them to it. For the Addams Family, I kept seeing them bring up the theme song and then try to defend it as not being a Halloween movie or being a Halloween movie.

Arriving around Thanksgiving 1991, The Addams Family offered something different to audiences in a post Home Alone haze. This means nothing to audiences that treat this stuff as mindless entertainment. Hell, they can’t remember movies that hit Thanksgiving audiences last year. But, what about them? I ask this, as I watch two people have a nasty argument over whether Addams Family is a Halloween oriented property or not. Right now, the bigger one is using the recent Hershey’s commercial for the animated film as the cornerstone of his argument.

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Eventually, I’ll have to get out the spray bottle and break them up. But, it raises something that I find interesting. The average viewer embraces the weird in the temporal sense. It explains a lot of the success enjoyed by The Big Bang Theory. Basically, people see something that doesn’t gel with their commonplace activities. They poke at it and make fun, then move on. However, repeated saturation of the same joke produces a result that makes something cold. They can’t tie it to anything in particular, it’s just that weird moment.

By the time that Addams Family Values hit theaters, it seemed like the momentum had left. You can catch an audience’s attention once while being weird. However, it’s the true fans that will stick with the schtick while others move on. Raul Julia was never better and the kid actors seemed to really develop their characters. All the while, your faithful writer was heading out to the Showcase Cinemas arcade to play Addams Family pinball. Regardless of your background, everyone embraces the macabre in their own way.

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Director Barry Sonnenfeld mixed Dr. Strangelove fonts, a love of the Addams material and a desire to make something that would stand as a feature comedy. It’s a charming effort that showed the ability to grow and develop into new ways. But, it might have been a little too ahead of its time. Still, it’s not like the direct to video sequels did anything better.

The Blu-ray comes with two films. If you were looking for special features, then reflect upon a time when older movies were shown a modicum of love. The A/V Quality is still pretty solid. I’ve owned the UK Blu-ray release of Addams Family for the last two years and this transfer feels more authentic than that one. Mainly because that release looked like a First-Gen Blu-ray release. So, take the better 1080p transfer and DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track presented here.

The Addams Family 2-Movie Collection is now available!

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