Thursday, September 20, 2012


Please note that this is the rough draft for a review I wrote for Please check out the final draft of the review here.

Paranorman, made by the same people who made the excellent Coraline and the decent-but-not-great Corpse Bride, is a very interesting film, if for no other reason than it keeps shattering your expectations. Just when you think that you've figured the movie out, it takes a sharp turn and becomes something else entirely. In my experience, it's rare that you run across what is ostensibly a kid's movie that dares to be this smart without losing any of its accessibility.
Paranorman is the story of Norman, a young boy who loves scary horror movies and talks to dead people. He lives in a small New England town with the sole claim to fame that they once had a good old-fashioned Puritan witch-trial, with a real witch that cursed her accusers to come back as the living dead and everything. Pretty much everything in the town is devoted to advertising that fact. The town also has ghosts all over the place. Not fake ghosts advertising the witch, but real ghosts that Norman talks to. In fact, they seem to be the only people to accept Norman for his ability. Naturally, since no one else can see the ghosts, he gets shunned by... everyone. His mother seems to be the only person to even try to understand him, and even she comes off as a bit distant. Then one day, Norman's crazy uncle, who apparently can also see dead people, comes to Norman to tell him that he must carry on the family legacy and keep the spirit of the witch at rest so as to prevent to curse from being fulfilled. Naturally, things don't go quite so well as planned.