Addams Family Values is that rare sequel that is better than its predecessor. It’s also more darkly comic and assured than 1991’s The Addams Family. Based on Charles Addams’ macabre comic-strip clan, Family Values takes its name from an infamous Dan Quayle speech. The tongue-in-cheek, nod-and-a-wink mirth seldom lets up. It helps that the returning principal cast members are very comfortable in their pallid skin (even though Raul Julia, who played Gomez, was seriously ill and died a year later), preferring subtlety to the grandiose in this goth comedy. This time, there are two clear villains — Joan Cusack’s deliciously seductive serial killer, who wants Uncle Fester’s inheritance, and the self-righteous types who run Camp Chippewa, where Wendy and Pugsly run amok. Chalk one up for the outliers.
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