Monday, 10 November 2014

Film Review: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Fig.1 - Edward Scissorhands movie poster (1990)
Undoubtedly Tim Burton's greatest film, Edward Scissorhands is a magical, romantic fairytale about an artificial boy who is brought from a lonely darkness into pastel perfect Suburbia. Edward was created by The Inventor (played by horror legend Vincent Price), who died mid-project, preventing him from attaching the intended human hands. Instead, Edward was left with scissors for hands, hence his name. He is discovered alone in the castle overlooking the town by prim and proper Avon lady Joyce, who brings him home. As the story unfolds, Edward unintentionally goes from the exciting new hedge- and hair-trimming attraction to the neighbourhood freak, falling in love with Joyce's cheerleader daughter Kim along the way.

Fig.2 - Edward trimming hedges, movie still (1990)
The film is very reminiscent of the typical 'freak falls in love with the girl-next-door' story, as Alan Jones mentions in his Radio Times review: "This bewitchingly oddball "Beauty and the Beast" fairy tale from director Tim Burton is a superlative masterpiece and one of the best fantasy films ever made." Edward is played by Johnny Depp, who before this film had typically played 'bad boys'. This film saw him convey a very innocent, naïve and childlike character. As Jo Berry says in the Empire Online review: "One of the many successes Burton pulls off in this delightfully odd film was to cast his various players against type in this dreamlike world."
Fig 3. The grounds of Edward's home, movie still (1990)
Fig.4 - the ice sculptures in Edwards castle, include the one of Kim Boggs
in the foreground, movie still (1990)
We can see how Burton was influenced by many of the classic horror films, such as The Cabinet of Dr Caligari and  La Belle et la Bete. A review in the Guardian also suggests "Burton pulls inspiration from Chuck Jones cartoons as well as classic horror films." The production art for this film is mainly what makes it so magical, along with the music. Refreshing too is the point that the 'freak' is the good guy and despite the misunderstanding by the neighbourhood at the end of the story, we leave the film feeling satisfied and warm and fuzzy inside that things have turned out ok for Edward and Kim.
Illustration List:
Fig.1 - movie poster (1990) (Accessed on 10/11/14)
Fig.2 - Edward trimming hedges, movie still (1990) (Accessed on 10/11/14)
Fig.3 - Grounds of Edward's home, movie still (1990) (Accessed on 10/11/14)
Fig.4 - Ice sculptures, movie still (1990) (Accessed on 10/11/14)
Jones A, Radio Times - (Accessed 10/11/14)
Berry.J, Empire Online - (Accessed on 10/11/14)


  1. Hi Emma!
    2 more readable reviews...good stuff!

    Remember to reference your quote directly after it, with the author's surname and the year, both in brackets - so (Berry, s.d) The 's.d' means that you don't know the date...

    You are also missing some information in the bibliography; here is an example, taken from the referencing guide, as to how a website should be referenced -

    Giles, J. (2001) A Filmmakers' Guide to Distribution and Exhibition. At: (Accessed on 14.06.09)

    (In this case, the name of the article is in italics - unfortunately the comment box here doesn't let me use italics!!)

    Have a look here, for the full list of how to reference just about anything -

    Once you have all the required elements of the bibliography, it is organised alphabetically by author's surname.

    Hope this helps! :)

  2. PS... also, it would make your writing look a lot more prose-like and less like verse, if you did not centre it...either align it to the left or better still, justify it :)

  3. Ahh that's brill, thanks so much Jackie. I'm working on my next one now so will try and get the referencing right. Also, very good point about the justification of the text. :)