6+ Creepy, Kooky, Mysterious, Spooky, and Altogether Ooky Picks
Buckle up for the neat, sweet, and petite.
Since L.B. was seven, she and I have dreamed of adopting a precocious black kitten and naming her Wednesday as a symbol of our undying appreciation for the Addams Family—the only clan that rivals our own, we like to think, in both weirdness and warmth. Their stellar comedic timing, their familial bond, their individualistic fashion sense and knack for vintage decor, their fierce love and protectiveness toward one another, their otherness in general—it just lights us up like a 60-watt bulb in Uncle Fester’s mouth. The only downside to our obsession with America’s most benignly macabre brood has been the ability to easily and affordably access the 1990s movie The Addams Family, starring Anjelica Huston as Morticia and tween Christina Ricci as Wednesday—that is, until now. Start snapping!
The Addams Family TV show (1964-1966; IMDb TV via Amazon, the Roku Channel): Second-grade L.B. devoured all 64 half-hour episodes of the black-and-while original in a time span so compressed I’m going to decline to share the hard numbers for fear of parental judgment. The child couldn’t as much as look at the monstrous-looking, big-hearted butler without giggling and letting out an, “Awwww, Lurch!” She was an Addams lifer.
The Addams Family movie (1991; Netflix): To mark L.B.’s eighth trip around the sun, she was finally allowed to watch the ’90s movie. (She’d been asking for a while.) In an otherworldly stroke of serendipity, the movie happened to be playing on the big screen in our town for a single showing—on the Sunday afternoon following her birthday! Well, we went, we laughed, we ate too much popcorn, and we overreacted at every faux jump-scare. There were several adult jokes and a few risqué running gags that made me think twice about the outing, but they all flew straight over L.B.’s head, never once distracting her from the uncanny charms of Thing and Cousin It. Back then, streaming this rendition cost $3.99, curbing the rewatches we approved for L.B., but now that it’s free on Netflix, it’s no-risk viewing for Addams newbies.
The Addams Family Values movie (1993; rent from $3.99): For diehard and mature-enough fans, this bizarro sequel, in which Morticia and Gomez spawn a creepy, kooky, mustachioed baby, is a why not kind of watch. For young kids, it’s not worth the genuinely dark hijinks and sexual undertones (which too often become overtones).
The Addams Family and The Addams Family 2 animated movies (2019 and 2021; Hulu and rent for $3.99, respectively): As a longtime Addams stan, I’ll be the first to admit that this gang is hot IP. Still, I have zero need to actually watch the Charlize Theron- and Oscar Isaac-voiced cartoon remakes. L.B., however, watched them each as soon as they were available for streaming, and says they’re both “GREAT!” though she refuses to elaborate. Unlike her strong-willed daughter, my mother was conned by L.B. to screen the sequel alongside her; GrandDea’s review was similarly circumspect, “It was very cute,” she said with a closed-mouth smile. (GrandDea is usually quite the talker.)
What about The Munsters?!
I know this is the question on everyone’s lips. So here’s the deal: The Munsters (1964-1966; Hulu), which is bizarrely similar to The Addams Family in setup and aired on CBS at the exact same time the Addamses were rippin’ it up over at ABC, is totally fine! It’s even got a cute opening-theme sequence. It just doesn’t have the teeth—or Morticia-and-Gomez-fueled frisson—that you’ll find over at the Addams pile. Think of The Munsters as Jay Leno to The Addams Family’s David Letterman. Which reminds me: I need to show L.B. some high-quality Dave reruns!