Tuesday, September 26, 2023


I liiiiiiiive!

You didn't think I was going to miss this would you? How could I not ressurect myself from the styggian abyss for the most wonderful time of the year? Coraline, a movie I could have sworn came out much earlier than 2009 and frankly I haven't seen it again in almost 15 years time (moving swiftly on from that fact), so how does it hold up? I truthfully feel this is the new stop motion cult classic focused on more spooky things, I mean Nightmare Before Christmas is waaaay too recognizable in this day and age to be a cult film anymore, and I really have not heard or seen anybody talk about this film at great length since it premiered. Oh it has a good standing and rightfully so, concerning a young pre-teen girl who after moving to a new house and finding not much to do or attention as well discovers a portal to a world where everything she wants happens buuut there's a catch to it all. It's kinda brilliant how the story takes on a straight up Grimm's Fairy Tales style with a central moral to the story but be made so recently and by Neil Gaiman no less! I'll admit I haven't read the source material so I can't fairly judge it as an adaptation, but as a film it's pretty dang good! This is the same animation studio that gave us Paranorman and Kubo And The Two Strings, and even back then Laika was delivering truly impressive and fantastic stop motion. The expressions, the environments, the movements all look superb and gives it a look no other film has. Dakota Fanning I feel didn't have to act all that much in this seeing as she was around the age of Coraline, she's got the attitude and personality and you really do get where she's coming from easily. As an only child myself it was easier to slip into a world all of my own too. I gotta give big time props to Teri Hatcher here, cause it didn't immediately click for me that she plays two roles, Coraline's mom and the perfect world mom, so she has quite a lot to play with and gets that dichotomy of overworked boring mom and affectionate magical mom, and I'll admit the origins of the perfect world do stir my imagination in part due to this character. Wasn't really expecting to see Keith David as a talking cat but hey this job surprises you often. Actually that's another thing entirely, I really did not remember a lot of the details about this movie since watching it as a young teen, I remembered Coraline with her blue hair, the magic garden, the buttons for eyes, but that was about it so it was close to watching the movie brand new again. And while the film only dips it's toes into the scary stuff it still kinda works effectively, it's not in your face horror from the word go but implied horror or for lack of a better term what I would call aftermath horror. Where you see the result or the after effects of something bad that happened, Aliens does this, certain modern horror games do this like Dead Space or Doom, and it's the imagination that you put into it that makes it scary. So it doesn't pull any punches but neither will it traumatize kids. It's a very fine balance between family film and scary movie which makes it perfect for this week. It's a very imaginative, creative, creepy, solidly good film that does deserve some more attention. I feel it's more a movie you hear in passing rather than focused on so I'm happy I could write a little about it. Give it a shot if you haven't already! I give it 3 stars, 8/10, and I will see you tomorrow for an even lesser known film.

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