You ever have that feeling that your being watched when your alone? Maybe because your not. There’s probably a ghost nearby. Being fascinated by the spiritual world, I do believe in ghosts and their ability to communicate with the living. Though it now seems they can’t speak to us directly, they try to make their presence noticed. But why do they want to be seen? Probably because their looking for help to move on onto the other side. I would love to be able to talk to these ghosts. It would be an interesting conversation starter, Though I could see why people would think me bizarre.
There have been many movies about communication with the dead. There has even already been another movie about a boy with that magical gift; The Sixth Sense. I happen to find that a great psychological drama about the fear we face with our gifts and how we chose to use them. While I was afraid of getting the same thing with this movie, ParaNorman is different. This story instead reverses the situation and questions how everyone else views the boy who can talk to ghosts. Rather then looking into Norman’s fear, we see the fear of everyone else.
ParaNorman is a horror movie that was made by horror fans. Norman himself loves zombies and anything that eats brains. He never minds striking up a “hello” to the ghost that passes him every morning. But being that he’s the only one that can see him, he’s an easy target for bullies and makes for a sad outcast. Immediately, you can connect with this kid, as we have all felt alone one and a while as children. I too have had my own interests (film and anything Disney related) that made me the butt of jokes with my peers (in school of course).
Coincidentally, on the same day, his uncle Prenderghast tells him that he needs to recite words from a book to stop the witches curse, and he sees a vision from the past about the witch burnings. Just as he is about to fulfill his uncles legacy, the school bully Alvin (voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) interrupts his intensions. So a classic zombie breakout happens and they have to team up with each other to survive. In fact, Norman joins forces with Alvin, his chubby friend Neil, his popular sister Courtney (played by Anna Kendrick), and Neil’s jock brother Mitch (Played by Casey Affleck).
ParaNorman sounds like something standard, but I was presently surprised. For something that sounds like a dime store concept is a story that’s more powerful then the witches curse. The story of this group of kids coming together is basically The Breakfast Club meats Night of the Living Dead. But what’s more important is that this shows the consequence of what fear can do to an entire town. I won’t spoil it, but the ending moral addresses the importance of being different in a great way. Let’s not forget that this is a stop-motion animated movie, so I can also say that the animation looks great. The somber atmosphere along with some nifty computer effects brings another impressive movie from the same people behind Coraline.
I’ll give this four and a half zombie hands out of five. While I really liked this movie, I really wished they could have held it off until Halloween. This movie got me in the mood. I promise that this will ne be a frequent watch during the Hallows Eve.
Note: I saw this without 3D, so I cannot say weather or not it was necessary.