The Munsters 2022 Movie Review
One of the things that brought my wife and me together was our love of the two comedy/horror TV franchises of our youth: The Addams Family & The Munsters. The Munsters quite often gets passed over when it comes to movies and remakes, with there being only one special to the show’s credit (Though it did get a reboot in 1988 with The Munsters Today, which lasted till 1991). Recently, The Addams Family gain renewed life with a CGI reboot movie, and a spin-off with the Netflix series Wednesday, but will a movie from Horror movie filmmaker/Heavy Metal musician Rob Zombie bring The Munsters back into the spotlight? Let’s take a look.
The Munsters is an origin story set in Transilvania, during the time before The Munsters became a couple. Grandpa (aka The Count) is looking for a husband for his daughter Lily, setting her up with Count Orlock (The Universal monster Nosferatu). However, the date is a failure as Lily doesn’t take to the Count’s love of his own rats, the black plague, and other activities. Meanwhile, Dr. Henry Augustus Wolfgang and his assistant Floop (Grandpa has Igor) are robbing graves to create the perfect human being, though through a mistake by Floop getting the incorrect brain, Dr. Wolfgang’s creation becomes Herman Munster, a wisecracking Frankenstein. It’s through Herman’s debut on TV that Lily notices him and falls in love, following Herman to a local nightclub where Herman is playing in a rock and roll band. The two meet and sparks fly, with Lily inviting Herman to dinner at the family castle, much to the displeasure of Grandpa. Eventually, Herman asks Lily to marry him, and she accepts. At the wedding, Lester (A Wolfman who is in debt to local Gypsies) convinces Herman to sign over the deed to Lily and Grandpa’s castle, leaving them homeless. This leads the newlywed Munster Family to pack up and move to Mockingbird Heights, buying the classic Munster house from the local real estate agent. Thanks to the street celebrating Halloween, The Munsters fit right into the celebration with the townsfolk and The Munsters mistaking each other for being in costume and monsters at the same. The next morning, Herman discovers that they have moved into a typical nice suburban 1960s town… And this is where The Munsters TV Show begins…
Coming from a pure fan perspective, The Munsters is one of the best reboots/adaptations of the original works ever made. You can really tell that Rob Zombie is a huge fan of The Munsters (Which he is, as he has many TV show-era props in his home) to the point where you can put a black and white filter over this movie (Which I did with my copy, and I highly recommend you do too if you know how) and you would think you were watching something made for the 1960s TV show. The casting for the main three is pretty good, with Sheri Moon Zombie actually looking like she could be a contender for a future Morticia Addams if needed (Maybe in an Addams Family Netflix show?)… Actually, all the cast could drop right in as a new TV version of The Munsters if that ever could be a thing. With The Munsters, you get two things from what a movie like this should do: Have time go quick (The 110-minute run time goes by so quickly you’d think it was a 30-minute show) and leave you wanting more… and that’s what we got here. When The Munsters was over and the credits were rolling (With a great homage to the TV show opening sequence), we both said that we wish there was a TV show version using this cast to follow things up. I know we have the original TV show from The Munsters‘ movie here, but we want to see this cast continue the adventures of The Munsters after the show wrapped up too.
While we both walked away from The Munsters with smiles on our faces and a laugh in our hearts, The Munsters isn’t quite perfect. There are some points where you see Rob Zombie’s use of low-angle camera work and sweeping techniques from his music videos that you know are there because he loves those shots. Then there are the bigger gripes people online seem to have: The Munsters is presented IN COLOR!! (Insert dramatic sting here) And it “ruins the original work” because it’s not the exact same thing it was over 60 years ago… Honestly, while I do agree that The Munsters being presented in color is a bit out of the norm when pitted against the show (Flashbacks of The Munsters Today came to mind very quickly), and a quick trip through Adobe Premier with a Black and White filter fixed that issue, the way color is used in The Munsters gives it a very 1960s look and feel, like the movie was recorded in the Hippy over-saturated colors of the movies of the age. As for “ruining the original work”… The Munsters Today already did that, so shut up. If there was one thing that I really had to pick on The Munsters that got annoying, it was the use of more modern-era slang and sayings. As The Munsters is meant to be a pre-1960s TV show movie, using modern language did remove the value of nostalgia from the film.
If you walk away from The Munsters with a negative look on the movie, you have either one of two problems: You either are not a Rob Zombie fan and just want an excuse to bag his filmmaking style once again, or you haven’t watched The Munsters TV Show in a long time. The Munsters TV Show was a B-Grade horror-based comedy with very limited production value and scale, and The Munsters reflects that era perfectly. The acting isn’t top tier, the script isn’t cinema quality, and the distribution is going to see this film go straight to the graveyard. But in the end, The Munsters is a great recreation of a 1960s classic that stands on the same level as it’s source material and should be added to your Netflix watch list as soon as it releases and would be a great addition to any The Munsters fan collection… As it will be when I can get my hands on the Bluray.