Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! Say his name three times and he’ll magically appear. Beetlejuice is the Tim Burton mega hit from 1988 with a huge cult following. Featuring Michael Keaton, Winnona Ryder, Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin and Kathleen Turner, this movie had such great actors it was bound to be a hit. It was so popular it went on to spawn an animated series, a collection of computer games. and in time thousands of Beetlejuice tattoos for die hard fans.
The story of Beetlejuice, revolves around the afterlife and their interactions with humans. It begins with a young married couple, the Maitlands who decide to spend their vacation doing up their country home. On one of the days they take a trip to town and unfortunately on the way home, their car swerves to avoid a dog and plunges into the river.
They manage to make their way home but cannot remember how they got there. Adam decides to retrace their steps and wants to venture outside to their starting point of the river. The minute he takes a step out the front door he’s taken to a dessert that inhabited by these monstrous sandworms. Barbara pulls him back inside the house where they notice that they no longer have reflections in mirrors and find a book, “Handbook for the Recently Deceased”. They slowly realise that they died in the car crash.
As the Maitlands are now dead, their home is sold to a family from New York called the Deetz. The Deetz family comprise of the dad Charles, a real estate developer, his wife Delia who is a modern art sculptor and Lydia their goth teenage daughter. Much to the horror of the Matilands, the Deetz begin to transform their home into a modern art piece ripping all the character from their previously quaint picturesque house.
Barbara and Adam try to scare the family off themselves with no success. This attracts another spirit called Beetlejuice to offer his services to get rid of the living. The Maitlands don’t originally take up his offer but consult their handbook and travel to a waiting room in the netherworld to discuss their options with their caseworker. Their caseworker Juno advises them that they have to remain in the house for 25 years and if they want to get rid of the Deetz’s, they would have to do it themselves.
While in the Netherworld, Lydia finds the couple’s handbook for the undead and reads it. Although invisible to everyone else, Lydia can now see the couple and becomes friends with them. Frustrated with their lack of success to get rid of the Deetzes, the couple decide to hire the services of Beetlejuice to get rid of them. Very quickly they realise their mistake in hiring Beetlejuice with his crude behaviour and morbid demeanor and fire him. They decide to try again to get rid of the Deetzes at a dinner party they are hosting but their paranormal exploits only intrigue the living further.
Charles Deetz tries to pitch the house and town as a tourist attraction to his boss but his boss wants proof that Ghosts exist. Otho using the Handbook of the Dead, summons the Maitlands to a seance but he is actually performing an exorcism and the Maitlands start to decay and fade away. Lydia asks Beetljuice to save the Maitlands. Beetljuice agrees as long as Lydia marries him in return so he can bring his chaos to the land of the living. Bettlejuice saves the Maitlands and arranges a ghoulish minister to marry Lydia and himself but the Maitlands disrupt the ceremony before its completed. Barbara comes crashing through the house on a sandworm which devours Beetlejuice whole.
The film ends with both the Deetz and the Maitlands sharing the house in harmony. The deetz live in a refurbished modern section of the house and the Matilands live in the other section. Beetlejuice appears to be banished back to the netherworlds waiting room.