The Addams Family welcomes a new baby, just as a black widow
attempts to seduce Uncle Fester and steal his immense fortune.
Addams Family Values (1993)
Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld
Written by Paul Rudnick
Starring Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd,
Christina Ricci, Jimmy Workman, Carol Kane, Joan Cusack,
David Krumholtz, Peter MacNicol, Christine Baranski,
Carel Struycken, Mercedes McNab, Christopher Hart
Sequel to 1991's The Addams Family
Based on the 1964-1966 TV series
Oscar Nominations - Best Art Direction
Addams Family Values is the perfect example of "practice makes perfect." This quirky sequel took every issue I had with the first film and mended it, creating a hilariously dark second look at everybody's favorite Gothic horror family. Though the actors' chemistry was already spot-on in the first film, the inclusion of Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd) as part of the family instead of an amnesia-stricken villain definitely helped make the film more reminiscent of the show.
The plot revolves around a black widow named Debbie (Joan Cusack) who seduces Fester and tears him away from the family, just as Gomez (Raul Julia) and Morticia (Anjelica Huston) welcome new baby Pubert into their home. The only ones who are wise to Debbie's scheme are Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman), whom Debbie sends off to summer camp before they can spill the beans. Wednesday and Pugsley's adventures at Camp Chippewa are easily the best scenes of the whole film, with fun-loving camp counselors Peter MacNicol and Christine Baranski trying to coax them into having fun against their will. Their less than excited reactions make for some frequent laughs.
The story for Addams Family Values is a lot more focused, which was one of the biggest issues I had with the first one. This film tries to create a franchise, which no doubt would have been successful had Raul Julia not tragically passed away in 1994. This film stands on its own far better than the first and is considerably more well-constructed due to a superb cast and consistent plot. I wish there'd been a third film, but I'm happy we at least had these two.