Reviews

Coraline

4

Pushing your buttons…

Fairy tales are dangerous places. That’s why children ask adults to read them: it’s not safe to be alone.

Deep, dark and scary on such a surprising, mind-burrowing level, Coraline is a fairytale (read: horror film) that makes us feel like we’re all still frightened children.

Sixteen years after The Nightmare Before Christmas, writer/ director Henry Selick adapts Neil Gaiman’s book to prove he’s not just a stop-motion magician but a superior storyteller, too.

Newly moved into an old Victorian house and unloved by her workaholic parents, bored 11-year-old Coraline Jones (voiced by Dakota Fanning) is thrilled to discover a secret door that opens to an umbilical cord snaking down into a magical mirror-world.

Gorgeously, intricately conjured by Selick, it’s everything her real life isn’t. Insect furniture, talking cats, midnight gardens, trained mice, an 8ft Russian acrobat (Ian McShane), burlesque twins (Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French) who perform at a circus for an audience of Scottie dogs... And best of all, Coraline’s Other Parents lavish her with affection.

There’s just one catch. Everyone in this world has big black buttons where their eyes should be. If Coraline wants to stay, she must put her own eyes to the needle. If fact, her Other Mother (Teri Hatcher) might not give her a choice… And like that, Selick’s wonderland warps into a nightmare you can’t wake up from – nor will you want to. Freudian monsters burst through the floorboards and every quirky character is unmasked as a demon in disguise.

To escape, Coraline must go deeper into her fears and desires – and so must we. Selick isn’t just a macabre fantasist with a genius sixth sense for the grotesque.

Yoking digital 3D technology to his near-superhuman stop-motion skills, he’s become the master-builder of an immersive, wraparound netherworld that sucks us through the looking-glass like few other movies. Enter, but be brave.

Jonathan Crocker

Verdict:

Rich, ingenious and frighteningly close to home, Selick’s new nightmare puts him nearer to Guillermo del Toro and David Lynch than Tim Burton. See it in 3D. Then sleep with the light on.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • magicwings

      Apr 22nd 2009, 16:21

      There aren't any cons to this review... What keeps it from getting the magic 5 stars?

      Alert a moderator

    • Marcy

      Apr 30th 2009, 15:23

      5

      Great film -go see.

      Alert a moderator

    • solloredo170

      May 5th 2009, 19:27

      5

      I saw this at the advance screening of the film at the weekend. it is a great film. it is one of the best 3D films i have seen with no bluring problems. the amination is brillant. the story line was excellent. i wouldn't really say it is that scaring. overall i very good film. but overall i wouldn't say it is better then nightmare before xmas. great film for the kids. best to see it in 3D it see the effects.

      Alert a moderator

    • solloredo170

      May 5th 2009, 19:29

      5

      Why hasn't this film got 5*? I saw this at the advance screening of the film at the weekend. it is a great film. it is one of the best 3D films i have seen with no bluring problems. the amination is brillant. the story line was excellent. i wouldn't really say it is that scaring. overall i very good film. but overall i wouldn't say it is better then nightmare before xmas. great film for the kids. best to see it in 3D it see the effects.

      Alert a moderator

    • graham6

      May 11th 2009, 23:49

      4

      This is really great. Everything is really good, but I did start to fidget after the first hour, but on a second viewing in 3D, I enjoyed it immensly.

      Alert a moderator

    • CoralineJones

      May 13th 2009, 19:25

      5

      I really enjoyed it and as a 15 year old girl who watched a "kids" film it was brillant and the use of 3D drew you into the movie without you having to be scared about what's going to pop out at you, instead you'd be scared of the other mother :) Great movie!!

      Alert a moderator

    • TinyBoots

      May 15th 2009, 12:41

      Saw it last night, the animation was great, really conjured up an atmosphere. I felt that it was a bit drawn out and that the face off between Other Mother (scarily morphing into Victoria Beckham) and Coarline suddenly slipped into a computer game format; clues, weapons, various obstacles to each 'level' and once completing that 'level' it disappears until finally she reaches the 'boss'. Call me cynical but maybe that entire section will be cut and pasted into a demo for the game....which i will buy for my DS if it appears!! Enjoyable as film too!

      Alert a moderator

    • duncan1964

      May 15th 2009, 13:58

      4

      Inventive and (slightly) disturbing fantasy from the mind of Neil Gaiman, beautifully brought to life by Henry Selick, the man behind A Nightmare Before Christmas. Coraline finds an alternate family through a secret door, and it turns out they will do anything to make her stay with them. The 3D doesnt add much to the story, but at least its not solely used for "poking" things out of the screen

      Alert a moderator

    • thekillingjoke

      May 21st 2009, 17:32

      4

      Proper good like. All dark and that.

      Alert a moderator

    • MikeyRix

      Jun 2nd 2009, 21:23

      4

      Best kids' film I've seen in years.

      Alert a moderator

    • Dominc

      Jun 12th 2009, 9:49

      5

      The best kids film since Nightmare before Chirstmas. Fantastic!!!!!!!

      Alert a moderator

    • sjsmith88

      Jun 25th 2009, 13:50

      1

      Went to see this in 3D after reading a brilliant TF review. How wrong you were. There was nothing of interest in this film at all - dull main character, all supporting characters were either duller or annoying and a hardly ground-breaking story. Utter tosh. I would have like my £10 back.

      Alert a moderator

    • hulk68

      Jul 22nd 2009, 10:56

      5

      Giving this 4 stars is a crime. Its one of the best movies and owrks of art I have come across in 2009. Warm, funny, ceative. Absolutely brilliant stuff, unless you are a kid below 8 years or you dont care about art in its purist forms you will very much enjoy it.

      Alert a moderator

    • hulk68

      Jul 22nd 2009, 10:58

      Oh and I missed to say I did not see it in 3D.

      Alert a moderator

    • nelly1814

      Sep 9th 2009, 12:05

      4

      If you liked ‘The nightmare before Christamas’ and ‘The corpse bride’ then you’re in for a real treat with this 3D masterpiece! Coraline is the creation of the makers of ‘the nightmare before christmas’ and offers a dark alternative to the animations by pixar and dreamworks. The pinnacle of this creation is the 3D effects which make it a joy to watch without the trek to the IMAX. The story begins with the central character of ‘Coraline’(Dakota Fanning), who feels ignored and under appreciated by her overly busy parents (Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman). She discovers a small door which leads to a mystical world where she meets different versions of everything in her world however eveything is magical and based around her happiness. But to carry on this perfect existence she must sacrifice her eyes. This fuells the chase to escape the mystical world, her parents and those trapped within it! Coralines experience takes the audience on a journey where she discovers that her parents may sometimes be too busy to spend time with her but still love her; and she learns to appreciate what they do to give her a good life. The film managaes to display the hidden moral that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Her journey introduces the audiences to eccentric characters; both loveable and peculiar; they provide the humour in this tale through the character Bobinsky’s antics and eccentric behaviour of Miss Spink and Miss Forcible (Dawn french and Jennifer Saunders), in particular, the semi-naked burlesque shows they perform. This sets it apart from an animation geared towards the young and makes it enjoyable for the adults too! Even with its brilliance the film does have a few downfalls just like all the greats. The films drives me ask why the witch doesn’t want to or can’t enter the normal world and how she came to be in that place. Another thought it provokes is the replicas of people that the witch has in her world and raises the questions of whether everyone has a twin?? Furthermore there are also correlations between this and the cult Steven King thriller ‘IT’, in which the antagonist becomes a spider. However, it was more fitting in this film because it portrayed the web of illusions caused by the witch in the film perfectly. Nevertheless, the film makes up for any drawback with the riveting vocals by the cast, the recognisable voices manage to amuse those who didn’t know the cast beforehand and enjoy guessing them. “Coraline” continues to stay entertaining throughout and leaves you guessing. The suspense is enough to leave you at the edge of your seat! This is a must see film that displays the thrilling adventures that is synonymous with that of “Pan’s Labyrinth” and the fun of “The nightmare before Christams”; making it a reason to take a trip to the cinema and sporting those unpleasant 3D glasses.

      Alert a moderator

    • ellyka19

      Oct 25th 2010, 8:56

      5

      Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work! assurance auto pas cher

      Alert a moderator

    • ellyka19

      Oct 27th 2010, 10:05

      5

      Happy to see your blog as it is just what I’ve looking for and excited to read all the posts. I am looking forward to another great article from you. After skimming through your website devis assurance auto en ligne

      Alert a moderator

Most Popular