Coraline

  • Year:2009
  • Rating:PG
  • Director:Henry Selick
  • Cast:Dakota Fanning, Dawn French, Teri Hatcher, Ian McShane, Jennifer Saunders
  • Release Date:July 30, 2009
  • Distributor:Universal
  • Running time:100 minutes
  • Film Worth:$14.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

Coraline is a genuinely creepy film that employs 3-D trickery to its best affect. A deliciously entertaining mythological adventure.

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Don't be misled by the advertising hype - Coraline is not directed by Tim Burton. At the helm is Henry Selick, who directed the Burton-produced The Nightmare Before Christmas. Both movies, however, definitely have the Burton style and stamp of excellence. Presented in glorious 3-D, this deliciously creepy animated fantasy is a fabulous treat for the eyes.

When young Coraline moves into a decrepit old mansion, she's left to amuse herself while her writer parents focus on their work. In the course of exploring the ramshackle property and its sprawling garden, Coraline encounters a haughty cat, an odd boy who gets on her nerves, and her eccentric neighbours. But when she steps through a mysterious little door, Coraline finds her way to another house, one strangely similar to her own, only much nicer. She's welcomed by an alternate mother and father who want her to be their little girl...but there's a price to pay. When Coraline realises the true evil of the "other mother", the stakes are raised. In true mythological fashion, Coraline has to outwit the villain and restore harmony. 

Blending stop-motion with exquisite CG animation, Selick's film is breathtakingly enchanting and genuinely terrifying. The unusual addition of the 3-D trickery serves the story well and intensifies its effective scares. Selick's story actually improves on author Neil Gaiman's magical book by fleshing out the tale and adding a new character (the boy) to the mix. Unfortunately, the old fashioned and mildly sexist ending, which draws from the annals of traditional storytelling, somewhat disappoints. But this moment only slightly undermines Coraline's valour and ingenuity in an otherwise delightful and spooky film. Be advised - Coraline is actually a horror movie posing as a kiddie picture. Anyone bringing children younger than 10-years-old can expect nightmares to ensue!

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