Staff Review/ Edward Scissorhands

Cornerhouse LiveWire Young Film Critic Paddy Johnson reviews Edward Scissorhands

There’s something quite mystical about Edward Scissorhands; something beautiful and amazing yet dark and disturbing at the same time. The location couldn’t demonstrate this more appropriately; a pleasant and colourful American town with a dark, imposing castle planted right in the centre. It is here that our protagonist, Edward was created by an inventor. Much like Burton’s animated creations – The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and Corpse Bride (2005) – Edward Scissorhands manages to enchant, fascinate and creep out audiences at once.

It is crucial for family films be target not just young film fans, but also parents and adolescents also. Burton manages the rare achievement of this with this masterful film. Social alienation is a principle which should appeal to all; particularly adolescents, but I doubt many would experience quite the estrangement and hostility felt by our protagonist. As the title suggests, Edward (Johnny Depp), has long, sharp scissors in place of his hands; just imagine how he’d fit in with a stereotypical surburban American town. This provides the basis of a great deal of well composed humour; as he’s faced with an inflatable bed, begins work as a local hairdresser, and even customises the neighbours hedges.

But make no mistake, Edward isn’t the blade wielding maniac or monster you may initially think. He’s a shy, humble and quirky young man who doesn’t mean to cause harm to anyone. The plot revolves around Edward’s moulding into ordinary society with the Bogg family; Peg, an Avon saleswoman, her husband Bill, their son Kevin and, most importantly, Kim whom Edward falls desperately in love with.

Burton and Depp have frequently collaborated on film projects and rarely let audiences down with their distinct style and tone. Edward Scissorhands is no exception. The visuals are stunning with Burton’s charm and visual flair as a filmmaker evident throughout – from the dark, sinister confines of the mansion Edward was created, to the sparkling, bright neighbourhood surrounding. The acting is also superb, with Depp once again demonstrating his acting versatility with this oddball character. Bravo!

Edward Scissorhands screens on Sat 22 December at 18:10. Book your tickets here.