Thursday, 18 July 2013

Horror for Kids #1: ParaNorman

Through my own volition, and not through any criminal or lewd acts, I recently became unemployed. I have so far used this time productively to go on long walks, play with kittens, watch movies and, through the power of my mind, summon up the hottest July in seven years. Okay, that last one might not be entirely true, but surely it's more than a coincidence that this beautiful weather started at the same time as my last week at work?

Anyway, I'm getting off the point.

One of the movies that I watched was ParaNorman. I meant to go and see it in the cinema, but, along with so many other films, didn't quite get around to it. Anyway, I saw it was on, and gave it a go. It was fab. Norman sees ghosts, not in the movies or on TV, but all around him, and no-one will believe him until a Zombie Apocalypse appears to have befallen the town (is that grammar a bit weird? I just really like the word 'befallen').

Yes! This is a zombie film for kids, and I am so jealous that this wasn't made when I was about eight! From the opening scenes in Norman's bedroom, which is filled with amazing horror paraphenalia that I need to own (I don't care if it's not real), I was hooked. There's a good, solid, story with an important message at the end that manages not to be cloying. There are a few bits that will creep out the kids, but not give them nightmares, and some really funny moments. There are also enough references to adult horror films to keep the grown-ups entertained.

Frankly, even if the story was only so-so, I'd have been impressed by the animation. I love a bit of stop-frame. It looks beautiful throughout, and the way they animate the witch, especially at the end, was stunning.

So, basically I loved it. If you have a kid who's showing an interest in the wonderful world of horror films, but maybe isn't quite old enough to cope with the 70's fashion in Dawn of the Dead, then this is a great place to start them off. It then occurred to me that there are actually quite a few cool horror things for kids, so I'll add that to my list of occasional series. For now, though, go and watch ParaNorman. You won't be disappointed.

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