This film a little "darker" than anticipated. Then again, Goonies caught me off guard with the same thing. What surprised me most about this was the fact, you know... people died. And not only did some people die, some completely random, innocent characters were given some pretty terrible demises. How would you like to be a totally random person sucked into an everlasting void of limbo and suffering? Others also got their heads crushed, necks broken, etc. Craziness. Another aspect that caught me off guard was the father in the movie. It seems in so many 80s or early 90s kids flicks, the dad is either non-existant, a doofus, or an a-hole. Here, he's a pretty cool guy, and I really liked that about this movie.
Yeah, there were some little things (inconsistencies and logic issues) that bugged me, but I tried to just let them go considering this is an 80s kids movie--you could tell due to all the Pepsi, by the way. I tried to just take it for what it was, and it was OK with me in the end. Well, maybe not the very end. The last couple minutes really bothered me, and I can't get over the extreme cheesiness of it all (from Dracula's final demise onward). I mean, there's cheese (which the movie has quite a bit of), and then there's too much cheese. The ending was too much for me.
Still, you can't hate a movie this cool. It has fun characters, to start. And Rudy, the "badass teenager" character, is pretty cool as he should be. And bringing together all the classic monsters is just fun in a way Van Helsing couldn't pull off. I particularly loved the third act, when the writing gets especially 80s awesome. There are a lot of fun, quotable lines thrown in, including some killer one-liners around some death scenes. Then again, the movie was co-written by Shane Black, so you knew that had to show up eventually. I think on the whole I would have benefited most from having seen this as a kid to have the nostalgic factor, but I still enjoyed myself. It's definitely not perfect, especially without nostalgia goggles, but it's still too hard not to like.
I Am McLovin!
(P.S. Rather coincidental that I review this the day after Dark Shadows, a film that also has almost every type of supernatural monster in it.)