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Review – Movie – Coraline

It’s a little hard to describe this movie without mentioning Alice in Wonderland.  So I’ll just get it out of the way.  This is more or less Alice in Wonderland meets Nightmare Before Christmas.  Not surprising on the latter part since it’s done by the same guy who did Nightmare Before Christmas.

With this comparison out of the way, the genre that best describes it would be “Children’s horror” I suppose.  It’s actually rather creepy in many parts, especially in the final third or so of the film.  It’s also the final third where things feel like they fall apart slightly in the plot.  It’s not terrible but it becomes fairly “set em up and knock em down” predictable.  Also there were several comments made by the characters encouraging Coraline to continue that made me feel like I was watching someone play a video game, the worst being something like “You’ve found the first item but there are two more to collect!”.

The climax also feels like it drags on a bit with it’s repeated series of predicable encounters.


The build up is exceptional though, which is probably part of why the climax felt like a let down.  Coraline’s trips through her perfect alternate dimension become increasingly eerie and as we eventually learn there’s certainly nothing truly perfect in this paradise.  There’s also a lot of good closure and explanation behind a lot of the wonderment of the film, which generally just adds to my enjoyment of it.  Bizarre for the sake of bizarre is one thing that annoys me in these sorts of films.  Even if it only makes sense in the context of the fictional world, it at least makes sense.

Anyway, the only plot point that does sort of bug me really is the way Coraline’s parents seem to treat her like total shit at the beginning of the movie then of course turn their tune by the end.  It’s a bit crucial to the plot though so it’s almost a necessary loophole of sorts.

Also there is a bit of question as to why sometimes there is a brick wall behind the secret tunnel door the plot revolves around and sometimes there’s not.

These are generally just nitpicks though.  This movie is genuinely good quality all around and worth viewing if you like films that are pretty solidly good, though not necessarily spectacularly amazing.

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