ADDAMS FAMILY REUNION
The first two Addams Family films have a delightfully droll touch all arch mock Goth with a dash of macabre black humour but nothing too serious. Alas, by the point of Addams Family Reunion, director Barry Sonnenfeld was no longer aboard and all the arch Goth purring, all the writhing in delight at suffering, the encouraging of the children to torture better, not only falls heavily but seems to only be slavishly treading in the other films footsteps. All the arch wit is reduced to cartoon pratfalls, which are pitched at a shrill juvenile level the torture of the straights who end up in the house, the banquet scenes and especially the persecution of a postman in the opening scenes hit an agonising excess. Tim Curry is not Raul Julia but his fruity acting style is well suited to the part of Gomez. However, the rest of the cast, especially Nicole Fugeres Wednesday, seem pale shadows of their cinematic counterparts.
Certainly, there is the germ of something worthwhile to Addams Family Reunion. There is the amusing idea of Gomezs parents coming to visit and developing Waltzheimers, a geriatric condition that starts making them behave normally, dressing as wrinklies, watching sports on tv and mowing the lawns, all to the Addams aghast consternation. There are various plot arcs introduced the titular reunion, Pugsleys girlfriend and if one can see them as enacted by Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston, Christina Ricci et all and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, this could have actually made for a fair third Addams Family cinematic feature. The film also takes up where Addams Family Values left off in seeing the Addams Goth kinkiness as harmless and normal and conservative WASP values as anathema. In fact, this film goes even further and climaxes with the normals being tortured variously electrocuted, hung up and beaten in their own house, even having an atomic bomb detonated on them.
Director Dave Payne first appeared with softcore thrillers like Concealed Weapon (1994), Showgirl Murders (1996), Under Oath (1997) and occasional genre films such as Alien Terminator (1995), Not Like Us (1995) and Alien Avengers II (1998). He had a reasonable word of mouth hit with Reeker (2005) and its sequel No Mans Land: Rise of the Reeker (2008).
Full film available online here:-