Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Terror of Coraline

Last week I rented Coraline.  We had a rainy afternoon in there and I figured Magoo and I could pop some popcorn and watch it on the couch.  

I'd heard it was a little scary.  But Magoo has never been afraid of TV, really.  It's more the emotional things he can't handle, like a sick dog or a lost child.  He hates Hansel and Gretel because the parents purposely leave the kids in the woods.  But battles?  He can handle it. Dinosaurs eating people?  Bring it on.  Besides, he'd be sitting right next to me in a lit living room.  Cozy, right? 

No, no, my friends.  This is a scary-a$$ movie.  And the reason, I think, it's so traumatizing is because the danger is so close to a child's world.  

You see, Coraline moves into a new house with her parents.  The danger is IN HER HOUSE.  And when she crawls through the magic door (despite Magoo shouting, "Don't do it!")  she finds her Other Mother and Other Father and Other home.  All of which are BAD.  The Other Mother turns into a spider monster.  And Magoo just couldn't handle it.

Home = DANGER
Mother = EVIL
Magoo = FREAK OUT

I spent a good three days assuring him that I, his real mother, would never turn into a monster and hurt him, that our house does not have any magic doors, and that we were not moving any time soon.  The fact that I had to convince him, repeatedly, that I was never going to turn into a monster was CRAZY!  That's how real this was to him.

And now he sleeps with a light on.

He didn't wake up screaming - so that's good.  And he hasn't asked about me turning into a monster in a few days - so that's good too.  But he'll still be sitting in the car, riding along,  and say, "We're not moving?"  So I know little trickles of fear still linger in his mind.

It actually is a very good movie - if you're 13+.  The animation is BEAUTIFUL and it's a good story.   Tough sell, though, because it looks like a movie for little kids, but IT IS NOT.

So, if you want to scary the bejezzus out of your young one, go ahead and rent Coraline and be ready to change some sheets.

5 comments:

äiti said...

Ahhh. Poor Magoo. It's hard for us parents, too, when something like this unexpectedly happens. It is a scary/creepy story. I read the book last year. I have it out from the library this week and am planning on watching it...alone ;-) Neil Gaiman is a master at getting to the core evil/creepy/frightful/fantastical of things... Hope Magoo continues to heal and get over it. He's off to a good start, sounds like.

Natalie said...

We *just* saw this yesterday in the theater (here in Italy it's not out yet on DVD), which means we saw it in 3-D...yikes! My 7-year-old daughter jumped into my lap for the last 1/3 of the movie, and my 10-year-old daughter squeezed my hand for most of the film. Woah. *I* was even scared!

Julie--no more button projects for Magoo until he's 13+...

Julie_c said...

You know - the button part didn't even seem to phase him. It was really the fact that the "Mother" turned into a spider. And MAN O MAN that spider hand that was chasing Coraline at the end - whoosh - that was a doosey!

Shelley said...

I read Coraline a long time ago and yes, very creepy... Very much not for kiddos.

Maybe a safe fun movie is in order? I recommend Kiki's Delivery Service - Miyazaki. No monsters. Lots of kind mothers and grannies. :)

Julie_c said...

We're going out to see Ice Age 3 today. I'm sure he'll be able to handle that.