Uncannily cast and visually opulent, The Addams Family is a case of pure contagious delight. TV shows made into movies have failed more often than not, but Barry Sonnenfeld breathes life into a creatively stunted genre with his gleeful take on Gomez, Morticia, et al. Sonnenfeld's status as a former cinematographer is a real boon to the production, as the Addams home spirals away into a gothic maze that rivals anything in the films of Tim Burton. As lively as the sets and costumes are, it's the devilish good time displayed by the actors that makes The Addams Family such a grin. Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston are relaxed and clearly suited to their roles. The film's three credited scribes produce plenty of fodder for their pun-heavy, campy portrayals. Equally dead on is Christopher Lloyd claiming to be Uncle Fester, as bald-headed and bug-eyed as anyone could want. Eleven-year-old Christina Ricci, whose dour yet mischievous Wednesday Addams earned endless superlatives about her future in acting, has gone on to realize that potential. Tone is this film's most important attribute. Beyond the actors and snazzy art direction, there's an additional flawless special effect that nearly steals the show -- namely, Thing, the disembodied hand, which scurries about the house, interacts humorously with the characters, and displays the identifiable quirks that make it an equivalent member of this offbeat clan.