REVIEW: ParaNorman

August 20, 2012


Mr. Frights

It’s pretty hard to go into this movie and not know what it’s about. The trailers do a decent job of setting expectations, giving the audience a clue as to how much fun this movie is going to be without going so far as to ruin it. Like a skilled pusher, they give you a taste & then you’re on the hook for more, unable to resist wanting to see this. Even people outside the targeted audience are clamoring to check it out. The thing is, it’s WAY better than you think!

I went in a couple days late, I’d not seen a lot of discussion on the flick, but comments were favorable, not that it really mattered because like I said, it looked great! If you follow my blog then you saw me post about ParaNorman being worth seeing and tossing you it’s website. Hopefully you went to check it out because they have some fun things on there including a mobile game, info on the characters, info on the people who made the movie, it’s a good pre-show experience. If you haven’t seen it yet, go check out the site: http://www.paranorman.com/

And don’t forget to hit up the production company’s website which looks pretty cool as well: http://www.laika.com/

Without giving anything away… The story is about a kid who can see and talk with the deceased, but he’s used to it and it’s like they are just normal people. There’s this curse on the town and it’s his time to use his gift to help save everyone after his creepy uncle who has the same gift ends up passing on. Norman is joined by a typical group of “friends” to help him along, however, they turn out to be anything but the usual lot after all which does a lot for the movie. The film is full of scares and very intense moments, especially toward the end, but it’s also filled with a great message or two not just for the kids, but for everyone; and it hits on many levels without being preachy.

The first writing & directing credit for Chris Butler, it’s a very impressive mark on both kid films and horror cinema. Previously Chris worked on “Corpse Bride” and “Coraline”, according to IMDB, as a storyboard artist. So, who knows where he got his ability to put something so completely amazing together. The movie is Co-Directed with Sam Fell, who also doesn’t have a huge IMDB resume just yet, other than the hit “The Tale of Despereaux”. Another thing of note is the music which was really impressive. I don’t know too many films that had me paying any attention at all to the score they way this did and this just stirred something in me, especially how it added to the movie – so I have to mention it.

I didn’t recognize a ton of names in the cast, but they all did a great job. My only issue with the movie is that the mom’s face looked really weird to me for some reason. It kind of reminded me of someone who might have had dental work done recently and just had this deformation from swelling or something. Oh and John Goodman’s character has this beard that reminded me of one of those shag type carpets that are so popular these days. So nothing really big deal to dislike, and nothing took me out of the story.

Anyone who goes to check out this flick is going to have a lot of fun! I saw it in 3D and that was exceptionally done with the right depth and not just as a gimmick. Not to mention I got a sweet pair of special green ParaNorman 3D glasses!

ParaNorman | Official Theatrical Trailer – Rated PG [HD] – YouTube.

As for this being a movie for the whole family… I went and saw it with my 8 year old daughter. I saw someone post it would be scary for kids, and I can totally see what they are talking about, but she loved it! The movie is intense and it’s not your typical family fun flick. They did a great job with this movie, giving everyone something to enjoy, they pushed the intensity though and that’s the part that might get to a child if they scare easily. However, there’s no real gore or anything, the zombies are a bit scary but fun, and it is a cartoon so…

I highly suggest going to see this in theaters, the scope of the film and the intensity of it makes it one of those movies you don’t want to pass up while it’s out there. Especially the 3D aspect of it. If you want to see a family horror movie done the right way, this one is what will hold up as the standard both as a family horror flick and as a 3D movie. It’s a great opening to the Halloween season of films and while I’m looking forward to the other similar type of movies coming along here in the next month, this one sets the bar pretty high!

Enjoy the horror my friends!

– Mr. Frights







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