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ParaNorman - Film Review

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by Alexander Dermer (subscribe)
Alex is a freelance writer, retail worker, short film maker, an avid lover of The Arts and always willing to explore.
Published January 17th 2013
Got Brains ?

ParaNorman, follows the life of a not so normal young boy, named Norman. Norman doesn't fit in too well around town, mainly for his obsession about zombies, and that he openly talks to dead people. Unfortunately for Norman, only one person believes him about his special ability; his erratic new friend, Neil. One day, Norman encounters his bizarre uncle, who warns him of an essential yearly ritual. Norman soon finds out that the ritual must take place, to protect the town from an evil curse, which was cast by a convicted witch. After which comprehending his uncles' rambling, Norman decides to act, but not everything works out as planned. Soon all hell breaks loose, as a magic storm arises, and the dead who had once accused the witch, will once again walk the earth.

Overall Sam Fell's, and Chris Butler's ParaNorman is a sensationally alive, (get it?) knockout hit of a film. This is not only a great movie for the kids, but the adults will love it too, with its pack full of screams, laughs, and references that the little ones won't get.

Aside from its stunning animation, and intelligent metaphors, ParaNorman also features a pleasing step back in time for those who grew up with Hammer Horror, and midnight movies alike. With its dungy grind-house style opening, deliciously dated soundtrack, and often-hilarious ghouls, it's hard not to feel nostalgic.

Although the initial premise may not seem terribly original, its characters, humour, and themes, is what brings this dazzling film home. Seeing as this is from the same writer who brought you Coraline, and Corpse Bride, a lack of imagination certainly isn't an issue. Along with the supernatural craze revived by Twilight, the 3D animation trend is seemingly soaring higher than ever. So of course it was only a matter of time, till the two would once again merge so alluringly, and become the best of its kind, since A Nightmare Before Christmas.

Not only is ParaNorman an immensely entertaining affair, but it's also an especially crucial one. Aside from portraying the first openly gay character in an animated family film, this feature also pushes its boundaries, in a variety of other ways. Mainly with its dynamic portrayals of both horror and death, ParaNorman relentlessly shatters the too thickly coated PC shell; which had been suffocating much of mainstream family animation.

If the kids are easily scared, then don't bring them to this; otherwise, ParaNorman is by any means, a must see.


OFLC (Office of Film and Literature Classification) rating:

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Why? Because it's amazing
When: Out now, and soon to be out on DVD/BLURAY
Where: Cinemas, and soon to be on DVD/BLURAY
Cost: A movie ticket, and soon a DVD/BLURAY copy
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