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Film review: The Addams Family

Film & TV

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky – and they’re venturing into suburbia in this new CGI-animated take on the gothic tale of The Addams Family.

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Directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon (who voices family butler Lurch), this latest reimagining of the ghoulish Addams family – originally created by cartoonist Charles Addams  and first brought to the small screen in the 1960s – sees them living in an isolated hilltop home in a former asylum in New Jersey.

When they discover a thriving suburban neighbourhood nearby, dad Gomez (voiced by Oscar Isaac) decides it is time to stop hiding from the world and make new friends – much to the delight of teenager Wednesday, who has grown tired of her isolated existence.

But the family’s strange ways put them at odds with home-improvement queen and reality television star Margaux Needler (Allison Janney), who launches a cruel campaign against them after Wednesday befriends her daughter Parker.

There’s plenty of recognisable voices among the extended clan, including Charlize Theron as the gloomy family matriarch Morticia, Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard as trouble-making son Pugsley, Bette Midler (Grandma Addams), Snoop Dog (cousin It), Martin Short (grandpa Frump) and comedian Nick Kroll (Uncle Fester).

However, it’s Chloe Grace Moretz (Greta, The Miseducation of Cameron Post) who steals the show as the voice of Wednesday, delivering an entertaining character who is part brooding teenager, part homicidal maniac.

The film’s use of colour to accentuate difference is clever, with the bright surrounds of the neighbourhood and its residents providing a stark contrast to the Addams family, who are portrayed in gloomy colours with exaggerated, almost grotesque physical features.

Well-crafted animation brings the varied cast to life and, while the storyline is a little dull, there are some lovely messages about the importance of being an individual. It’s a film likely to keep the kids amused even if their parents find it only mildly entertaining.

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