Since storytelling has to involve change, some characters besides Addams pere et mere do evolve. Alice Beineke comes to speak her mind, thanks to a potion that Pugsley intended for his sister. Not to be outdone, her husband eventually reverts to the youthful exuberance she originally fell in love with, complete with bandanna and Grateful Dead T-shirt. And it's mandatory that Wednesday and Lucas have a falling out before getting back together — after he proves his love by letting her shoot an apple off his head with her crossbow. Ah, impetuous youth.

As entertaining diversions from the fear of death go, war movies are too violent, vampire movies are silly, and horror movies are sick, and not in the good way. The Addams Family offers a droll option. And, these days, with no nightmares afterward about a giant squid.

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