Friday, February 25, 2011

6 Reasons Why I'm More Afraid of Coraline Than Any Other Kids' Movie

Before we get started: SPOILERS LIE AHEAD!

With "classics" like Labyrinth, The NeverEnding Story, and Dark Crystal (and basically anything with puppets or David Bowie's wiener) out there, it's hard to believe that there could be a kids' movie that I actually find more horrifying (also, what is it about the 80s and traumatizing children?). Even E.T. isn't as scary as Coraline, and here are 6 reasons why:

6. The Music

Any music that incorporates the voices of children is what will be played in Hell. I don't know why, but choirs of children set to semi-creepy piano music is the most terrifying type of music out there. Technically, the voices in Coraline may not be those of children, but they still set a goddamn skin-crawling atmosphere.

5. The "Little Door"

For some reason, tiny doors freak me out. People-sized people can't fit through them. What isn't human, but uses doors with handles? That's right, I don't know, but the thought of something less than a foot tall with enough intelligence to use doors is unsettling. I mean, doors aren't exactly advanced technology, but they do imply that whatever's coming to murder you in your sleep is bipedal and has opposable thumbs. With which to hold a big, shiny knife.

4. Coraline's "Other Father"

At first, the "Other Father" is a jolly guy. He's fun, he's happy, and he's musical. What's not to love? But like a bipolar person off their meds, once he's lost his "high" (a.k.a. "Mother's Strength" -- good name for steroids) he slowly devolves into a fat, sluggish pumpkin. However, the step between father of the year and Cinderella's limo is more frightening than his final stage.

While Coraline is walking through the "other apartment", searching for the Other Mother (OM), she hears someone plinking on the piano. Entering the study, she finds the Other Father (OF) and asks him where everyone is. She asks about the Other Wybie (her friend) and the OF responds with, "He pulled a long face, and mother didn't like it." The piano's arms promptly squashed his previously contorted face and he's left to contemplate whatever it is slave-pumpkin's think about.

3. Mouse Circus (Other or Otherwise)

Again, this one has music that will forever haunt my soul, but what earns it the number 3 spot isn't the soundtrack from the bowels of Phil Spector's twisted heart (to clarify, Phil Spector had nothing to do with the soundtrack). It's one line and the rat-infested corpse that follows.

As Coraline is attempting to locate the eyes of the dead children trapped by the OM (I know, right?) she ventures into Other Bobinsky's apartment. It seems deserted, but as the audience, you can clearly see something shuffling around in the background, stalking her. Suddenly, the disembodied clothing of Other Bobinsky appears in front of Coraline, offering up the last eye and asking if it's what she's looking for. That's where the conversation really gets weird:

Coraline: You don't get it, do you?
OB: I don't understand.
Coraline: Of course you don't understand. You're just a copy she made of the real Mr. B.
OB: Not even that... anymore.

Doesn't sound so scary in print (or on a computer screen... that isn't playing the movie), but I still hear that line in my nightmares. Ian McShane does a damn good job as the voice of Bobinsky.

2. The Beldam

At one point in the film, it's revealed that the Other Mother is actually a monster called the Beldam. Kind of a cool name, right? It even almost sounds something like Balrog (Like in Lord of the Rings). It sounds all mystic and interesting. What it turns out to be is a giant spider-type monster that looks like a bastardized version of Coraline's mom gave birth to Teri Hatcher. Or vice versa. Now that is scary. It might also be the button eyes. Or the fact that she's PURE EVIL. At least, she seems pure evil to me. What with STEALING CHILDREN'S FREAKING EYES.

1. The Fate of Every "Other"

Is it just me, or am I all on my own again? Whoops, sorry. I have The Darkness in my head. What I meant to say was, "Is it just me, or is it unbelievably depressing to consider the fate of the 'others'?" I mean, the Other Father drowns in a pond, the Other Ms. Spink/Forcible are eaten by their bat-dogs, and Other Wybie basically turns to dust while still alive. Highly unpleasant if you ask me. However, the most disturbing fate was that of Other Bobinsky. I mean, turning into rats? Or was he made of rats all along? What is this, Willard?

1 comment:

  1. What a truly brilliant horror flick. I loved it and was kinda sad it hadn't come out when I was a kid.

    I always loved the true horror stories, the ones that make you think, not just startle you with loud noises.

    This is why I watch movies with you, you like the good ones.