There can't be many TV series left that Hollywood hasn't raided as inspiration for a feature film. Often these spin-offs turn out to be embarrassing failures but not so with the successful adaptation of the original Addams Family 60s TV show.
It's a wafer-thin plot that this movie skids along on but first-time director Barry Sonnenfeld displayed some of the talents that would help him so successfully meld comedy and special effects for "Men in Black". Back in 1991, "The Addams Family" was hailed for its effects, most notably the impressive sequences involving Thing - the hand that runs around the Addams mansion.
But despite the clever trickery, it is the top-notch cast that elevates this film from flimsy to sheer delight. Raul Julia ("Kiss of the Spiderwoman") plays Gomez with relish and swashbuckling zeal. Anjelica Huston plays the deliciously dark femme fatale Morticia and the then unknown Christina Ricci steals the scenes with her hilariously demure portrayal of the child Wednesday.
Their lives are turned upside down by the reappearance of Gomez's long-lost brother Fester (Christopher Lloyd). Unbeknown to them though, he is an impostor who is after the family fortune. There is a happy twist to this but the opportunities for skulduggery and a slew of sight gags aren't wasted as Fester bumbles his way in search of the money while trying to maintain normality. At times this can all become a little silly but Sonnenfeld manages to rein the film in before things get too ridiculous.