The Creepy Case of Coraline.

Saturday 12 October 2019

Like most animated movies they're usually adorable and aimed at the younger generation, but with Coraline, the story is one that could end up giving kids nightmares. Coraline started like as a book by the author Neil Gaiman, I still have yet to read the book and will get around to it one day (or so I hope). I was only aware of the book a few years ago when a friend of mine was reading it, no I never jumped to the conclusion that they made a book from the movie I merely asked if the book Coraline had any connection to the movie and my friend said yes it came first in 2002, the movie was released 7 years later in 2009 which now makes the movie 10 years old which is hard to believe.

Over the years I have seen discussions about why it's wrong to make a stop animation movie that would appeal to kids yet terrify them, me personally I would say that films like this are good for the imagination, I probably wouldn't let my kid see it unless I knew they were mature enough and knew things like this wouldn't give them nightmares. Personally, as a child I got scared easily and used to wind myself up over noises outside so this would have added to my fears, even now I'm older I get scared but there is something about Coraline that leaves me more intrigued than anything.

Coraline is about a young girl who moves home, the new house which has now been converted into flats, it's the perfect kind of place for a kid to explore and for their imagination to run wild. In one of the other flats live two old women but the 3rd flat is unoccupied and probably hasn't been lived in for years. Coraline being inquisitive found a door that linked her flat to the unoccupied one but it was bricked up, the two old ladies in the other flat warn her not to go through the door but do you think that strong-willed little girl would listen? Nope! The first time she unlocks the door she finds it's bricked up but the next time she discovers the bricks have gone and she is able to go inside.

Not going to lie, I would have done the same as Coraline, me and my sisters would spend hours exploring and making up stories in our garden, one, in particular, was about a witch that lived at the bottom of our garden and if we went down there she would try to get us and eat us but we would always try to save each other! Funny enough there is a witch in Coraline and the movie is what made me think of the games me and my sister played. When Caroline ventured through the door she found the flat was exactly the same as hers even down to her parents, the only difference was that they had buttons for eyes. This alone would shit me up and I would be out of there faster than you could say Run Elle but Coraline isn't that kind of child, as we learn the further in we get.

Since moving with her parents, Coraline found herself ignored by them as they were always busy, the real world feels so dull and glum but in this Other World she felt like she was visible and had the attention she was craving, it was such a vibrant place that it sucked her in. A lot of the time there are children who feel this way and when they find someone or something that listens to them they tend to hold on to it which is what Coraline was trying to do, can you blame her? She does eventually go back to the real world but can't help returning to the Other World, she felt happiest there but in order to stay Coraline's Other World Parents needed her to sew buttons on her eyes just like theirs, She refused, why would she do something so awful to herself? So she makes the choice to go home to the real world only to find her parents are gone!

Now before I get to this part I need to introduce a character, one that I love more so than Coraline in this movie and that's a black cat who Coraline isn't too fond of but it turns out that kitty is a lot of help to her! In the Other World, this cat can speak but it's not a copy of the cat it's the same cat from the real world, it turns out this feisty feline can travel between realms and knows everything that has gone on over the years due to this other realm. When Coraline's parents don't return the kitty wakes her and shows her the mirror where she sees her parents trapped, the Other World has got to them so that she is forced to come back but it's much more sinister than that!

Her trapped parents write "Help US" on the other side of the glass and this pushes Coraline over the edge, she is overcome with fear and courage at the same time and makes her way to the other world to save her parents. Her spirit reminds me a lot of Chihiro from Spirited Away, they both had to find a way to save their parents even if it meant being scared and facing their fears. When Coraline finally faces the Other Mother it's clear that she will try her best to make her stay whether Coraline wants to or not, so when Coraline refuses her again she holds her prisoner behind a mirror.

Terrified and unsure what will happen she ends up meeting the ghosts of three children about her age, these ghosts hold a very important part of the story as they once too were drawn there by Other Mother for a better life, the soon found out she was far from that and turns out she is what they call a beldam which basically means a malicious old woman which is pretty spot on from my perspective. They agreed to let her sew buttons on their eyes which can't have been an easy choice considering they were leaving all they knew behind for something they thought was best for them but unfortunately the Other Mother began to resent them and not care for them anymore so they eventually died.

I told you this was sinister, it's a case of wanting something but growing bored of it so wanting to explore what else is out there to peak that interest again, what I found to be the worst thing about it was the fact she kept hold of their souls trapping them forever when all they really wanted to do was move on, their parents never knew where they disappeared to and were constantly longing to see their children again, it's heartbreaking and shows just how evil this witch truly is. The ghosts told Corline that if their souls were rescued from Other Mother they would be able to pass on but in order for Coraline to do this, she would have to face Other Mother all over again.

Thank goodness Coraline is smart because she was able to come up with a plan in order to save her parents and the ghost children, souls,, she decided to play a game, if she loses she will let Other Mother sew buttons to her eyes but if she wins her parents and the ghost children will be freed. Playing a game like this is not only dangerous but could be disastrous for everyone else she is trying to save but her plan was to find her parents and the ghost children and if she succeeds then all will go to plan. Luckily it does all go to plan, I won't go into more detail about how as I want to talk about how strong-willed children can be.

Children are meant to be protected and loved that's the basic thing any parent can give a child but when a child feels like they have no choice but to deal with problems themselves usually they become very headstrong and are able to resolve the issue. I grew up with a lot of people like this, I can't say the same for myself because I was scared to speak up at times in case someone hurt me and being bullied from a young age scared me off using my voice, that was until I was a teenager but the is a whole different kettle of fish!

Coraline often gets mistaken as a Tim Burton movie and I can see why it has a very dark side to it but has a good outcome, I would say Coraline is one of my must-watch movies over Halloween just because it has the perfect balance of horror and thrills, there is also a song sung by the Other Father called Coraline in the movie and I love how catchy it is! As well as A book and movie there is also a video game on the Wii of Coraline that I have always wanted to play so I hope to get it at some point. 


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