‘Edward Scissorhands’ (1990) Review

It had been a very long time since I watched Edward Scissorhands! I vaguely recall seeing it when I was much younger, but I’ve forgotten most of it. Anyway, it felt like a good time to watch it again, especially with it being so close to Halloween (when I watched it) and now the holidays (as I write this review, finally). I enjoy Tim Burton quite a bit. And by Tim Burton I mean, Old School Tim Burton, with films like BeetlejuiceThe Nightmare Before Christmas… even Sleepy Hollow.

Edward Scissorhands was really a joy to watch, though some of that could have been my nostalgia for the 1990s. Tim Burton’s imaginative production is one of my favorite things about him as a director and Edward Scissorhands is the perfect example of why.

Edward himself, pale and dressed in black, covered in metal, is a stark contrast to the rest of the pastel-colored world around him. In terms of appearance, maybe he’s the one to fear – hello, scissors for hands! But of course, Edward is the kindest character in the entire movie and, yes, it’s the “real people” who are the absolute worst. They gossip, they lie, they turn quickly on the person who has brought them some semblance of joy in their bored, suburban lives. Edward simply wants to live and belong in society, but can he? And should he?

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder have some pretty great chemistry together, but to be honest, I don’t think I really bought into their romance. I think it had more to do with the story itself than anything else. I could see Edward’s attraction to Kim, but Kim’s feelings for Edward seemed non-existent until… well, they suddenly existed. It felt contrived to me, and honestly, maybe a little unnecessary to the story but for the ending. Depp gets the most attention for his performance in this movie, deservedly so, but I really loved Dianne Wiest’s subtle yet effectively funny performance as Avon Lady, Peg Boggs. It’s not always the showy roles that carry a movie.

Putting that aside, Edward Scissorhands still holds up pretty well thirty years after its release. The production design is so imaginative, from the cookie cutter, pastel-colored suburbia, to the gothic castle where the Inventor created Edward. The story itself is very much a modern fairy tale, think Beauty and the Beast, and is incredibly creative in its depiction of isolation. Burton’s talent for quirky characters and unconventional directing is on full display with Edward Scissorhands, and I really wish he would get back to telling these kinds of fantastical stories.

Author: Romona Comet

"I'm probably watching a rom-com right now."