Presenter Information

Emily BrammerFollow

Document Type

Panel Presentation

Keywords

Beetlejuice, genre, film

Biography

Emily Brammer is a junior English and history double major from Proctorville, Ohio. She also minors in digital humanities and film studies.

Major

English and history

Advisor for this project

Dr. Squire

Start Date

19-4-2019 9:15 AM

End Date

19-4-2019 10:30 AM

Abstract

“Scared Sheetless: Beetlejuice and the Ghost Comedy” looks at Tim Burton’s film Beetlejuice (1989) through the lens of genre. Other scholars and Burton himself believe that Beetlejuice, with its elements of both horror and comedy, does not belong to a single genre. This paper, however, argues that Beetlejuice is a ghost comedy that borrows from its predecessors in the subgenre. As a subgenre of horror-comedies, the discussion of ghost comedies begins with the description of common characteristics of horror and comedy films. The next section details “recurring themes” in ghost comedies. Examples from the 1930s and 1940s show how these themes function in a story and suggest the popularity of ghost comedies at the time. The analysis of Beetlejuice uses quotes from Burton and other authors as well as specific details from the movie to characterize it as a ghost comedy and connect it to the previous films. The paper then acknowledges the way in which Beetlejuice steers away from other ghost comedies: it depicts the afterlife. The conclusion comments on a possible reason for the popularity of the subgenre, namely that ghost comedies allow viewers to deal with a serious subject (death) in a light-hearted matter.

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Apr 19th, 9:15 AM Apr 19th, 10:30 AM

Scared Sheetless: Beetlejuice and the Ghost Comedy

“Scared Sheetless: Beetlejuice and the Ghost Comedy” looks at Tim Burton’s film Beetlejuice (1989) through the lens of genre. Other scholars and Burton himself believe that Beetlejuice, with its elements of both horror and comedy, does not belong to a single genre. This paper, however, argues that Beetlejuice is a ghost comedy that borrows from its predecessors in the subgenre. As a subgenre of horror-comedies, the discussion of ghost comedies begins with the description of common characteristics of horror and comedy films. The next section details “recurring themes” in ghost comedies. Examples from the 1930s and 1940s show how these themes function in a story and suggest the popularity of ghost comedies at the time. The analysis of Beetlejuice uses quotes from Burton and other authors as well as specific details from the movie to characterize it as a ghost comedy and connect it to the previous films. The paper then acknowledges the way in which Beetlejuice steers away from other ghost comedies: it depicts the afterlife. The conclusion comments on a possible reason for the popularity of the subgenre, namely that ghost comedies allow viewers to deal with a serious subject (death) in a light-hearted matter.