Beetlejuice (1988)

From Television and Film Character Encyclopedia

A recently deceased couple conjure up a spirit in order to rid themselves of the family that moved into their house.


Genre

Horror, Comedy

Characters/Groups

Adam - Alec Baldwin

Barbara - Geena Davis

Jane Butterfield - Annie McEnroe

Ernie - Maurice Page

Old Bill - Hugo Stanger

Betelgeuse - Michael Keaton

Little Jane - Rachel Mittelman

Delia - Catherine O'Hara

Moving Man 1 - J. Jay Saunders

Moving Man 2 - Mark Ettlinger

Charles - Jeffrey Jones

Lydia - Winona Ryder

Otho - Glenn Shadix

Receptionist - Patrice Martinez

3-Fingered Typist - Cynthia Daly

Char Man - Douglas Turner

Messenger - Carmen Filpi

Janitor - Simmy Bow

Juno - Sylvia Sidney

Maxie Dean - Robert Goulet

Bernard - Dick Cavett

Grace - Susan Kellermann

Beryl - Adelle Lutz

Dumb Football Player - Gary Jochimsen

Dumb Football Player 2 - Bob Pettersen

Very Dumb Football Player - Duane Davis

Sarah Dean - Marie Cheatham

Preacher - Tony Cox

Voice of Preacher - Jack Angel

Sandworm

dead

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

[Adam] is working on his scale replica of the town of Winter River, Conecticut when Barbara gives him a "happy vacation" present and then Adam gives Barbara a present, both presents dealing with the remodeling of their house. The local real estate agent, Jane Butterfield goes to their house and tells them of an offer made on their house, but Barbara tells her it isn't for sale. Adam and Barbara drive into town so Adam can get a tool part and a part for his town model. They stop and say hello to Ernie who is polishing a lion statue. Adam is walking to Maitland Hardware which he and Barbara own, when Old Bill asks him if he wants a haircut, which Adam declines. Adam goes inside and picks up some items and then takes some money out of the cash register and leaves. While trying to avoid hitting a dog, Barbara swerves the car and drives into the side of a covered bridge. The car ends up balanced on a board, with the car on one end and the dog on the other. The dog walks off its end of the board and Barbara and Adam's car plunges into the river below.

They get back to their house and find the fire place already lit. When Barbara is sitting by the fire her hand catches on fire, but she doesn't feel any pain. Adam tries to walk back to the bridge to retrace his steps, but once he steps off the porch he is transported to another world. He is pulled back by Barbara who tells him he was gone for two hours. Barbara shows Adam that they don't appear in mirrors and then points to a book entitled Handbook for the Recently Deceased on a book stand next to a chair. Betelgeuse is reading the newspaper and opens the obituary section which list Barbara and Adam as recently deceased. They hear a noise and Adam goes to the window. He sees and calls out to Jane, but she doesn't respond. Jane leaves their property and passes by a Sold sign. Adam and Barbara are woken up by a noise and find Delia Deetz and Charles Deetz moving in. Delia immediately takes a disliking to the house and its decorating style. Lydia Deetz is carried into the house sitting on a couch by Moving Man 2. Delia tells Moving Man 1 to be careful as he is carrying in one of her sculptures. Otho climbs in through the window, because he thinks going through the front door is bad luck. Barbara is crestfallen about the Deetz family moving in, however Adam tells her they can use their ghostly powers. Delia and Otho go through the house spray painting the walls with the colors they are going to paint them. None of Adam and Barbara's ghostly tricks work and Barbara gets discouraged and runs out the front door. Adam also leaves the house and they have to run away from a Sandworm.

During the Deetz family dinner, Delia tells Charles everything in the house must go including everything in the attic. While searching through the Recently Deceased handbook, Adam finds an advertisement for Betelgeuse. While taking photographs, Lydia sees Barbara and Adam in the attic window. Jane drives to the house and hands Lydia a skeleton key. Lydia immediately goes to the attic however Barbara and Adam hold the door shut. The television in the attic turns on and a commercial for Betelgeuse's services is shown. Adam draws a door into the wall after telling Barbara he read something in the book about getting help during an emergency. Adam and Barbara then walk into the portal that opens. They enter a waiting room populated by the dead including a swimmer with one leg engulfed by a shark, and a safari hunter with a shrunken head. They knock on the reception window and are greeted by the Receptionist. She warns them that they have to stay in the house for at least 125 years and they are only given three help meetings with Juno their case worker. Lydia enters the attic and finds the Recently Deceased handbook. Char Man offers Adam a cigarette, however Adam declines and Char Man tells him he is trying to cut down himself. Messenger opens the door and tells Barbara and Adam to go to the sixth door and bring their handbook, and they are chastised when they say they didn't bring it. As they are walking down the hall Barbara opens a door and sees a group of groaning spirits. They are told by the Janitor it is the room of lost souls, which are ghosts that have been exorcised. They enter the sixth door and enter their home. Juno walks up and tells them they were gone for three months. She denies their request for help and tells them to read the handbook and use their talents to scare the Deetz family. She also warns them against using Betelgeuse's help. Juno admits that he used to be her assistant, but he got into trouble.

Charles calls his boss Maxie Dean and tries to convince him to go to Winter River to look at buying retail property there. Barbara and Adam try and scare Charles and Delia wearing sheets but fail. When they cross paths with Lydia she takes Polaroid pictures of them and notices the sheets are floating in the air. She asks them if they are the ones hiding in the attic and they ask her how she can see them while the others cannot and she tells them she read the handbook and she thinks it is because she is strange and unusual. They take Lydia to the attic and tell her they are trying to scare them out of the house and she agrees to help them. The next morning Lydia tells Delia about Adam and Barbara, but she refuses to believe her. Barbara calls out Betelgeuse three times and her and Adam are transported into the town model. They find his grave and use shovels to dig him out. Betelgeuse flies out of his grave and offers his services while also continually trying to molest Barbara. Adam and Barbara decide not to pursue Betelgeuse's help which makes him angry. Delia holds a dinner party for her agent Bernard, an art writer named Grace, Otho and Beryl. During Delia's dinner party Lydia mentions she saw ghosts. No one believes her, but Delia all of a sudden becomes partially possessed and sings the Banana Boat Song, while the other dinner guests begin to dance. After the song, Adam and Barbara think they have been successful in their haunting, but find out the dinner guests enjoyed it. Lydia goes downstairs and tells everyone Barbara and Adam aren't going to come downstairs and Bernard, Grace and Beryl leave after Bernard calls Delia a flake. Deciding they want to see the ghosts themselves, Charles, Delia and Otho go up to the attic. Otho finds the handbook and takes it with him. Betelgeuse manifests as a giant snake and scares the family, but is forced back into the town model when he tries to attack Lydia and Barbara calls out his name three times.

Barbara and Adam appear in Juno's office where she is dealing with a group of football players who died in a bus accident. They are chastised for calling Betelgeus and letting Otho get the handbook. Dumb Football Player calls Juno coach and asks her where the men's room is, and Dumb Football Player 2 asks when the curfew is. Juno orders Adam and Barbara to get the Deetz' out of their house. As they are leaving Very Dumb Football Player walks into the office and tells Juno he doesn't think they survived the bus crash. Lydia walks into the attic and Betelguese tells her Adam and Barbara left. He tries to convince Lydia to say his name three times, but she wants to wait and talk to Barbara. Barbara tells Adam she doesn't want to scare the family away because she likes Lydia. They go back to the attic and tell Lydia they have decided to let her family stay.

Charles and Otho enter the attic and take the town model. Charles gives the presentation to turn the town into an amusement area to Maxie Dean and Sarah Dean. Otho uses the handbook to force Adam and Barbara to appear in front of them. Once they appear they slowly start to age and shrink and Lydia runs to the city model and calls Betelgeus' name three times in exchange for Lydia marrying him. Betelgeuse appears and then manifests a test your strength game behind Maxie and Sarah. He then transforms his hands into giant mallets and strikes a platform making Maxie and Sarah crash through the ceiling. Betelgeuse then opens a portal in the fireplace and a skeletal Preacher appears. Barbara and Adam try to stop the ceremony by saying Betelgeuse three times, however Adam is sent into his model and Barbara is sent into the sand dimension after saying his name twice. Before the wedding ceremony can be finished, Barbara crashes through the roof riding a Sandworm and the Sandworm swallows Betelgeuse whole. Lydia returns home from school and the house is back to how Barbara and Adam had it decorated. Charles is reading a pamphlet entitled The Living and the Dead, Harmonious lifestyles and peaceful co-existence, and Delia shows him her latest artwork while walking past a framed cover from Art in America with her on it and entitled Images of the Afterlife. For reward of getting an A in math Lydia is is floated in the air by Barbara and Adam using their ghost powers. Betelgeuse is stuck in the waiting room when he steals the take-a-number ticket from a witch doctor, who was next in line. The witch doctor then uses magic powder to shrink Betelgeuse's head.