Beetlejuice is a 1988 American comedy horror fantasy film directed by Tim Burton, produced by The Geffen Film Company and distributed by Warner Bros. The plot revolves around a recently deceased young couple who become ghosts haunting their former home, a quaint and quiet house on a hill overlooking the fictional town of Winter River, Connecticut. When a family of metropolitan yuppie from New York City move into the house, the ghosts seek the help of an obnoxious, devious and mischievous "bio-exorcist" named Betelgeuse (pronounced "Beetlejuice") from the underworld in order to scare the new living inhabitants away permanently. Beetlejuice stars Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Jeffrey Jones, Sylvia Sidney, and Michael Keaton as the titular Betelgeuse (the film's title being a phonetic spelling of the character's name).
After the success of Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Burton was sent several scripts and became disheartened by their lack of imagination and originality. When he was sent Michael McDowell's original script for Beetlejuice, Burton agreed to direct, although Larry Wilson and Warren Skaaren were hired to rewrite it. Beetlejuice was both a financial and critical success, grossing $73.33 million from a budget of $13 million. The film spawned an animated television series that Burton produced, and the unproduced Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian sequel.
Barbara and Adam Maitland decide to spend their vacation decorating their idyllic Connecticut country home, with Adam continuing to craft his detailed scaled model of their town, Winter River. While driving back from town with Adam, Barbara swerves to avoid a dog wandering the roadway and crashes through a covered bridge, plunging the car into the river below. They return home but realize they cannot exactly recall how they got there. When Adam attempts to leave the house to retrace his steps, he finds himself in a strange, otherworldly dimension covered in sand (later referred to as "Saturn") and populated by enormous sandworms. Realizing that they have no reflection in a mirror and are unable to leave their house, the Maitlands suspect they have not survived the crash. A book entitled Handbook for the Recently Deceased discovered in the house confirms the couple's suspicion that they are, in fact, dead.
Compounding their distress, the Maitlands' house is sold and the obnoxious new owners, the Deetz family, arrive from New York City. The Deetzes consist of Charles, a wealthy contractor who is recovering from a nervous breakdown; his wife Delia, an aspiring sculptor; and Charles' goth daughter Lydia. Under the guidance of interior designer Otho, the Deetzes transform the house into a gaudy piece of pretentious, self-indulgent pseudo art. Although the Maitlands remain invisible to Charles and Delia, Lydia can see and converse with Barbara and Adam and befriends them.
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