Monday, February 16, 2009

Oh, The Horror! #24: Coraline

Henry Selick, the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas, teams up with book wizard Neil Gaiman to bring us the magical world of Coraline. This stop-motion 3D film will simply blow you away. The simple word "brilliant" comes to when I think back of this movie. Coraline is about an 11 year old girl (voiced by Dakota Fanning) who moves into a new home with her parents who are less than attentive to her. She meets a strange boy by the name of Wybie and a black cat that seems to pop in and out whenever it pleases. She also meets her neighbors, Miss Forcible and Miss Spink, a pair of retired actors with lovely jumpy dogs and maybe dozens of them dead and stuffed on their walls, and Mr. Bobinsky, a blue-skinned acrobat who's also a circus ringmaster of jumping mice. As Coraline gets bored in the new house in which her parents always being busy never helps, jumping mice begin playing around in her room late at night which eventually leads her to discover a door to another world. Another world where her mother is a good cook and is happy to see her and her father is a chipper pianist who has helpful hands coming out of the piano and gardener who makes a garden resemble Coraline. One strange setback: they have buttons for eyes. Yeesh. At first Coraline is skeptical about this world and goes to sleep after being treated with delicious food and wakes up back into her world. Confused but at the same time excited, she later visits the world again and greets her other parents and this magical world with open arms. But previously before, she was warned by many that she is in grave danger. But of course, she isn't going to listen. Where's the fun in that?

Now I'll admit the story is a little slow at first. But once the story picks up, holy goodness does it pick up! There comes to a point where Coraline visits the world again where it's time for her to be a part of it. This leads to the happy and chipper Other Mother, voiced delightfully by Teri Hatcher, to bring Coraline her own pair of buttons to sew into her eyes. This is when everything gets flipped out and even more bizarre than it already was, especially when Coraline sees that she can't wake up back in her real world. Now Coraline must battle her Other Mother while trying to find her way out of this world and at the same time release the souls of kids who the Other Mother had trapped previously along with her guide, the black cat voiced by awesome-that-is Keith David. An absolute joyride is this modern Alice in Wonderland and you will have a blast watching this. My little sister was asking me to see it when she first saw the commercial and I was excited myself given that I love "Gaiman films" (still need to finish reading a lot of his books I started and never finished!) and I love stop-motion animation more than straight CGI. There's just something about stop-motion animation that seems a bit more raw and fascinating than straight CGI. And when you see this movie you'll be amazed of just how much stop-motion has advanced to get what we have today for this movie. The visuals were just amazing and enough to keep you hooked. Besides to magical story is wonderful eye-candy. This is a movie for everyone and their grandmother. Heck, even the music was catchy as all heck and kept you happy and joyful while watching. The song the Other Father played Coraline is still stuck in my head after two days and I loved the bouncy music that was played when Coraline visited the other Mr. Bobinsky and his jumping mice. And once again, Hatcher as the Other Mother was superb. For me she definitely stole the show and added to the creepiness of this story. I can definitely see kids being frightened of her but not too scared that they want to leave the theaters. I think it's great that we can have such movies like this with so much heart and magic and still be a horror movie for the whole family. It put a smile on my face when the movie ended and I took off my 3D glasses with my baby sister and she said to me with glee, "Now that was a horror movie!"


BrikHed said...

cheers man - sounds like a decent movie... a little old for my kids but cool none the less

Greg said...

I think your kids would get into it. There were a lot of really young kids there at the showing along with adults there to hang out, etc.

Celia said...

I wanna see this movie!