A little more than a week out from Halloween, we’re well into spooky movie season, and it just so happens that this year marks the 30th anniversary of an all-time great movie about the worlds of the living and the dead, “Beetlejuice.” To be clear, the Tim Burton-directed film isn’t scary in the slash-’em-up, crazy-creature sense; rather, it takes creative liberties with the ideas of life, the afterlife and ghosts.
A quick-and-dirty description of the plot, such as it is: Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin) are small-town residents who die in a car accident. They appear back at their house and find a copy of “Handbook for the Recently Deceased,” which leads them to a consultation with a case worker on how to reach the afterlife. Back on Earth, a bougie cosmopolitan couple (Jeffrey Jones and Catherine O’Hara) and their very goth daughter (Winona Ryder) buy the Maitlands’ house and plan to turn it into a chic rural getaway. After unsuccessfully attempting to scare the new occupants away from their happy home themselves, the Maitlands enlist the services of a freelance “ghost with the most,” Betelgeuse (a scenery-chewing Michael Keaton).
But you probably knew all that already, right? “Beetlejuice” is an all-time classic that, somewhat incredibly, inspired a children’s cartoon, action figures and a brand new musical production. Like all film classics, the best way to relive the experience is on the big screen, and the Parkway tonight is offering that chance. If nothing else, it’s worth revisiting Keaton at his elastic, zany best. It’s showtime.
9:45 p.m., The Parkway Theatre, 5. W. North Ave., mdfilmfest.com/parkway-original, $10.