Halloween Horror Movie: Coraline

Lisa Clair ‘21, Life & Style Editor

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As one does when getting in the Halloween spirit, I have begun to watch as many horror movies as I can possibly fit into the month of October. This Halloween season, on of the top rated movies on Netflix is Coraline. Although I have heard from peers how bone chilling this movie is, it always has slipped my mind when thinking of horror movies to watch, I decided I could take a few hours break from studying and see what the talk surrounding this movie is all about. 

After her family moves out west from Michgan into an old, Victorian home in Oregon, Coraline, the protagonist of the movie, discovers a secret door that takes her into an alternate universe; in contrast to her neglecting parents and dusty, gray living environment, Coraline’s other home entices and spoils her with an ideal life: loving, involved parents, delicious food, a beautiful home and garden, and noninvasive friends that make Coraline genuinely happy. However, this alternate universe has a price. Her “other family” (the family from the alternate universe) does their best to keep Coraline trapped in the alternate universe, and eventually steal her soul and lock her away. 

To be perfectly honest, I did not think this movie would be as creepy as everyone told me it was. The PG rating and child-like animation mislead my thinking, and made me question how scary Coraline would actually be. I was mislead. While the storyline seems basic on the outside, the movie definitely created extra, subtly nuances that made the plot and visual aesthetic bone-chilling. The replacement of big, black buttons for eyes was the most upsetting visual aesthetic, along with constantly blending together human and doll abilities (i.e. sewing on a smile instead of making someone happy). Additionally, this movie also did a pretty good job with suspense, plot twists, and using repeated objects or images to create certain tropes. 

I would not call this movie “scary”, per say; it could be a lot scarier if it used real life instead of animation. However, the animation still has a disturbing effect on viewers; since animation is usually associated with children’s movies, it makes the movie seemingly innocent while a horrifying plot unfolds. I still feel like this movie did a very good job at disturbing and creeping out viewers. I would watch this movie if you are looking for a good story, but still wish to sleep at night!

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