Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Coraline: Far Creepier Than Any Kids Movie Has A Right To Be


Coraline is a stop motion animation movie based on a story written by Neil Gaiman, another of my favorite authors. The story starts off with Coraline, (pronounced similar to Caroline, with the last syllable pronounced like "clothes line") moving to the "Pink Palace" with her parents, who are trying to make a living writing a seed catalog, yet apparently hate the concept of gardening. I find it funny that the parents seldom work in the same room together, and while mom works on the kitchen table using a moderin-ish laptop, dad works upstairs in a "study" with mountains of papers, while tapping on an ancient beige desktop computer using a monochrome green monitor display.
Coraline is your typical little girl, in that she is charming, incorrigible, and has no patience. Add onto that the fact that she's been moved to this new place, with no friends, and nothing's yet unpacked. She soon makes the acquaintance of Wybie, the grandson of the landlord, who lets her in a secret that as a rule, no one with children is allowed to rent out any of the rooms of the Pink Palace, on account of his grand aunt disappearing while his grandma was a little girl and living there. Shortly after he gives Coraline a doll that his grandmother had that resembles Coraline.
In short order, Coraline discovers a door that leads to an alternate world, with replicas of her parents, Wybie, and the other tennants of the Pink Palace, as well as the Palace itself, except here everything is fully functional, and splendidly made up, as opposed to the rather shabber state of things in the real world. There are a number of very subtly creepy things going on here, but the most disturbing thing is that everyone here looks normal, except their eyes have all been replaced with buttons.
Eventually it turns into a great adventure, with a battle, and many surprisingly horrific things occuring on both sides of the door.
One last thing that I will point out, is that there is very mangy chewed up black cat, that can apparently travel between worlds at will, and when he's in the other world, he can talk, with the voice of Keith David, which you may remember from my review of They Live. There's no 10 minute fight sequence over the cat putting on some sunglasses, but he gives an unexpected voice to the cat, which works surprisingly well.
Overall, I'd highly recommend watching it.

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