The Head of Many Nails

After seeing the trailer for “Coraline,” I was certainly intrigued. Artistically it was stunning, and the story seemed right out of “The Twilight Zone” or “The Outer Limits.” Finding yourself in a situation that seems too good to be true, only to learn that something sinister is calling the shots is Standard Creepy Horror Plot 11A. The more I thought about it, I wondered if it was too dark a premise for the kids that the movie was obviously marketing too.

The Nightmare Before Christmas” had a lot of dark and monstrous imagery, but the story was pretty tame (until the end when Oogie Boogie tries to murder everyone by gambling them to death). “Coraline,” on the other hand seems to have darker themes of evil doppelgangersand giving yourself over to evil in exchange for pleasure… that’s pretty wicked shit right there. This is why I was pleasantly surprised to hear that kids are interpreting “Coraline” as more of an action/adventure story while adults are picking up on the darkness and horror aspects. I guess kids aren’t yet ruined enough by harsh, real life experiences to see the things we adults consider to be staring us in the face. If “Coraline” manages to work on two levels and satisfy both age groups for entirely different reasons, then it must be a fantastic film. I’ll be checking it out on my next baby-less night out (they are few and far between).

Regarding the 3D aspect, I’ve heard from reputable sources that 3D is the ONLY way to view “Coraline.” Unlike the rereleased “Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D” that was actually “Nightmare of Glasses that Give you a Headache and the Movie Isnt really in 3D because it Wasn’t Shot That Way,” this film was actually intended to have a robust 3D experience from the get go.

Have you seen it? Were you a fan of the book? Share your opinion on “Coraline” in the comments.

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10 Comments

  1. Having read the book in high school Brit Lit, it was [sadly] one of the best books I read in high school. I saw it more as a really good episode of “Are you Afraid of the Dark,” it actually reminded me of the dollhouse episode. Gaiman is a great writer in general, “American Goods” and “Good Omens” are both terrific, though I didn’t know he wrote Coraline till I watched Mirrormask, (another great movie,) and I noticed the art styles were similar to the book jacket.

    The book itself is very good. Buttons were very creepy after reading it.

  2. I realize this is about 5 months too late, but i just found this particular comic (I had missed it), and had to chime in.
    1. Coraline came out when I was 7 or 8. I read it and had nightmares for the next week, but 8 year old girls get scared of a lot of stuff. I remember thinking 'what an amazing adventure story' and 'what would I do in coraline's place? would I be that brave?' but I also got a hint of the darker undertones. I think the pieces of the adult meaning that I had glimpsed were what scared me; adventures are just romps.
    2. Fast forward about 10 years. my friends and I decided to go see it, so I reread the book. my thoughts: -no wonder I had nightmares! is this really a children's book? -this is a work of genius. weaving a kid's adventure into an adult theme and doing it well is hard. -perfect example of forsaking good for pleasure. I need to show this to Sam.
    3. saw it in 3d. absolutely majestic. burton films are amazing, but this one was the best. nothing truly shot out at you; the 3d served to emphasize (not create) feelings. I'll get the DVD, but they better have a 3d version.

    again, sorry this is WAAAAAYYYYYYYY late.
    Hannah

  3. I watchd every horror/sci-fi movie made between 1981 (when my eldest sister was born) and 2000 by the time I was ten… then the horror movies started to suck and I watched only about a third of the ones that have come out since then.

    Also, I dressed as Jason, Mike, CaraPiel, Cabeza de muchos Clavos, Frederico, y la Huesuda (version judeo-christiana) before I became an adolescent and gave up halloween along with everything else fun due to hormonal brain damage.

  4. See I never saw it as marketing to kids. It seemed clear to me that it was for adults and most other parents said "well it's animated right so it's for kids"

    Uhm sure hey take them to see Fritz the Cat or Heavy Metal next you know cuz they are animated. And afterwards let me introduce you to a couple of guys named Spike and Mike

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