While it wasn't one of my favorite movies growing up, I would by lying if I said it didn't have an impact on me. It was one of the first movies I ever saw that was obviously morally ambiguous.
Beetlejuice himself wasn't a villain by any real definition of the word. He was unarguably selfish, sure, and he enjoyed scaring people, but while some of his tricks were terrifying, I would put forth that there was actually very little malice in what he did. He's lazy, sleazy, and disgusting, but he's undoubtedly not evil. He's just not afraid to use other people to get what few things he wants. (Don't ask why I'm flaunting my vocabulary tonight, I don't know.)
Likewise, the Deetz's hire the exorcist because they honestly believe they're helping Adam and Barbara to cross over. It never crosses their minds that they might not want to go, or that it might be painful for them.
Anyway, with no signs of a real sequel on the horizon, my writer's mind took it upon itself to come up with its own story that a sequel might follow. I'll be putting it down here (as an idea, not a story) for future reference and for other people's entertainment. So, as the man himself would say...
The movie starts not too different from the first one. A car winding along a familiar road as the opening credits roll. It pulls up to a familiar looking house. A woman in all black gets out and looks the place over.
"Home, sweet home."
This is Lydia, much older now. A full woman. There's a baby in the car that she plays with and talks to for a few minutes before telling them she'll be right back. She walks up to the house, pulling out a key and letting herself in.
The house is dark and everything is covered in dust. Furniture is covered with plastic, and the drawers and cabinets are still full of things from the previous owners. She checks the lights, they work. The water still runs. Down in the basement there's still a huge model of the house and the surrounding area from over twenty years ago.
She cleans up a bit in the living room and brings in the baby and a suitcase. The television is old and doesn't work, so she leaves a radio on while she takes the suitcase upstairs and starts getting one of the bedrooms cleaned and made up.
She checks in on the baby every so often, though he's barely old enough to crawl yet. Still, on one of her checks, she notices a cockroach sitting on the coffee table, seemingly looking at him. She goes to smash it, but then stops, narrowing her eyes for a moment.
"Do I know you?"
It doesn't answer, but it looks up at her, waving it's antennae around. She leans down and looks at it.
At that, the roach scurries off the table and under the couch. Satisfied, with a small smirk, she returns to cleaning up around the house. Dinner for herself is a delivered pizza, that she had to walk down the driveway to collect, people being afraid of the house with stories of it being haunted.
Sitting at the counter, taking bites in between feeding the baby, she sees a roach crawling toward the box. Again she looks at it, then takes a pepperoni off the pizza and sets it down on the counter. The roach looks up at her, then walks over and munches on it. Lydia isn't disgusted, but actually seems happy to have the company.
Over the next couple weeks, she gets the house cleaned up and in decent shape. The only roach she sees is the one that seems to follow her around, and even flies around in front of the baby when he starts crying, dodging little hand's attempts to grab it.
One day, she's talking to it absently while reading (a book on the occult and magic, no less).
"It is you, isn't it? Beetlejuice."
The roach flips over, squeels, twists, and twitches. Then it speaks.
"You...you said my name."
It is him. After the events of the first movie, as punishment, Beetlejuice had his spirit powers sealed, and his form trapped in the shape of the bugs he loved to eat so much. Saying his name once allowed him the ability to speak again, saying his name three times would free him from being stuck as a cockroach, though his powers would remain sealed.
They talk for a long time, catching up. Lydia reveals that she went off to college, and that her parents decided to move to a newer house, but to hold onto ownership of the old one to maintain it for Adam and Barbara. Beetlejuice tells her that just a few years after they all moved out, the ghostly couple found peace and passed over on their own, leaving him alone, trapped as a bug.
Lydia wasn't just coming back without a reason though. She continued her interest in spirits, the afterlife, and the occult. She even got married, and the baby is hers. It turned out though that her husband didn't just share her interests, he was actually part of a cult, and after finding out Lydia was pregnant, they made a plan to sacrifice the infant to raise a demon to Earth. She had returned to the house on the run, to hide from him.
They continue talking over the next few weeks, the cockroach becoming a constant companion, to both Lydia and the baby.
Escaping her husband is harder than she thought though, and Lydia discovers he's tracked her to town, but not yet to the house. Even worse, it seems he has the demon in tow through a partial possession, looking for the child so that it can possess it and be born into the world proper.
Desperate, she asks Beetlejuice for help, or anything that he knows about demons. He tries to flee, but gets stopped at the doors and windows of the house by the sandworm dunes. He tries to convince her to keep running, telling her how bad a demon can be, that even with all his powers he would be nothing compared to it.
"Look babe, a demon in here would swallow me down like half a peanut, okay. I really don't want to see it come knocking...I mean, with all my powers I might stand a chance against, like, half a demon, maybe a third, but yeah, I scare people, demons, scare ME."
It's too late to run though, as her husband pulls up.
In her desperation, she calls Beetlejuice's name three times, returning his (more or less) human form, but he still has no powers and can't help her. He can't even return to the spirit world. It's all he can do to hide while the husband, and the demon, search the house for Lydia and the baby. The demon finds him, but dismisses him, slapping him around and leaving him in a corner. Then Lydia's husband finds her and the baby in the basement, trying to hide under the old model of the house and town.
He ties Lydia to a chair and smashes the model, setting up everything he needs for the ritual to seal the demon's spirit into the child. Then he mentions how weak the demon is, compared to how strong it will be inside the child. This sparks Lydia's memory, to a spell she read in one of the books. She recites it, adding her own little twist. (This would be the chant Lydia uses in the cartoon)
"Though I know I should be wary, still I venture someplace scary.
Welcome spirits, show your power, as we approach the witching hour.
Ghostly haunting, I turn loose. Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!"
So we're set for a showdown between the full-power Beetlejuice, and a partial demon. Of course, the anti-hero takes a little convincing to take on the burden, but then we have the fight similar to the astral projection confrontation in Doctor Strange. Beetlejuice manages to win, and then turns on the husband, ejecting him from the house with his own trademark flair and wit.
Safe, Lydia decides to stay in the house. While Beetlejuice, given the risk he took to protect her, is allowed to keep his released powers, and is even offered the chance to pass on.
"Nah. See, I know a girl that's planning a little party. And I can't wait to scare her friends out of their socks..."
Cut to a scene of Lydia setting a table for several people, she looks up and smiles as a car's headlights roll through the window...
So what do you think? That might be a movie you all would want to watch?