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Before I begin, I would like to note that these are simply my thoughts on the movie Coraline of which I do not own. This movie came from the production company Laika and was produced by Henry Selick, Claire Jennings, Bill Mechanic, and Mary Sandell. It was released February 5, 2009 and was directed by Henry Selick. I have no authority on the subject, these are just my thoughts. With that being said, let us begin.
Coraline surely frighted most who watched this PG fantasy/thriller movie. In fact, when most mention the title, the first thing people say is something along the lines of, "That terrified me when I was little!" The whole idea of a terrible creature type person that lures sad and depressed children into a fake home only to eventually consume their souls is quite scary. Especially to small children, this may scare to the point of being scarred for life. Despite the scary appearance, the story itself is quite amazing.
The story came from the horrifying book written by Neil Gaiman, which is truly a work of art. When it was adapted into a film, people were able to see their nightmares come to life in a fun claymation style. The way the animators and director took the viewer on a journey, similar to the journey Coraline was having in the film, was very clever. Despite the creepy button eyes, the audience was able to see how much better the "other" home was compared to the original. The way the "other" world was displayed was so compelling that the audience longed for Coraline to return, much like she did. It wasn't until "the other mother" offered Coraline to stay forever, if she would only sew buttons onto her eyes, that the illusion of happiness was shattered. The audience, much like Coraline, felt trapped and finally saw the other world for what it was. The way the viewer is able to connect with the emotions and thoughts of Coraline herself is quite impressive. This allows for a more entertaining and engaging film.
Perhaps the main and most important part of the film, is the other mother herself. Her real name is the Beldam. The Beldam is lonely, which is why she wants a better life for the sad children that she spies on. She has a creepy yet satisfying process of creating a button-eyed doll that looks like the child she wishes, of which she uses to spy on the chosen child. She tricks them into a false life that is everything they could ever want in order to make them want to stay. In most cases, she is successful and gets to eat the children's souls. In Coraline's case, she sees past the fake world and is able to stop this process from continuing. The Beldam is the main terrifying focus of this whole story.
No shade towards other horror type films, but it seems there is a common pattern. The creators take something that people fear and they turn it into a scary film. For example, clowns are terrifying for most people and when creating a film about them, it can be scary but it's not entirely original. One can understand that while not entirely being original, it does still work in it's original purpose, which is to scare. Yes, those films can be very terrifying at times but it seems to be done in every thriller movie. Unlike Coraline, where the author of the story actually created something to be afraid of. He didn't take something already feared and wrote a book about it. No! He used his dark imagination to create something that makes the reader or the viewer afraid! In my opinion, that's the way to a truly brilliant horror/thriller story.
Although, one may argue that the author did take something already feared by many and in a way, yes he did. He may have taken different things such as dishonesty, loneliness, being kidnapped or taken from your loved ones, being tricked, being sad, and things like that. The thing about that is the author combined all of those things into one terrifying creature of which he created which is still considered to be original.
That is what makes the movie and the story of Coraline so brilliant and amazing.