Night 3 of 13 Nights of Halloween

Do you like scary movies?

It’s time to “be afraid, be very afraid” as SpoilerFreeReviews is dropping 13 spooky movies for fans to enjoy this PSL season. We will be posting our most frightful Halloween favorites over the next 13 spooky nights. So come join us around the fire as we tell our 13 creepy Halloween favorites. 

Because Freeform has ridiculously decided to exclude any Laika films from their list of 31 Nights of Halloween, I feel it is my obligation to represent love and appreciation for these fine works of art in some way shape or form. Hence this spoiler free review of their classic, CORALINE.

On first glance, it may seem like this would be an innocent kids movie. The watchful eye of Henry Selick, director of NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH; experiencing the narrative through the lens of an 11-year old girl; talking animals; and most of all, the stop-motion animation. But, in the same way a button-eyed mother offering you treats and spectacle might not be what she seems,  looks can be deceiving. Because CORALINE is, in fact, a very creepy, very mature film. 

Brilliantly, beautifully directed, written, and animated, this is the film that put Laika on the map, and set them down the path of being some of the best, unflinching, and mature storytellers and artists in the business. The film, based on Neil Gaiman’s novel, serves as a dark fable about the consequences of dissatisfaction and disobedience, but also independence and ultimately unconditional love in the face of imperfection. There’s demons and creepy dolls, child murder, and mutilation. But also whimsy and fun! If that doesn’t scream Halloween, I honestly don’t know what does. 

A young Dakota Fanning voices the titular character, alongside Teri Hatcher, in a dual role performance as Mrs. Jones and the Other Mother. And the terrifically fleshed out, human relatability of Coraline’s situation and her relationship with her parents, particularly said mothers, draws you in, in part because of their vocal performances, but also the writing. We relate to Coraline and we have had moments where we wished what she was wishing. Along with instant regret. And to share that relatable story in wonderful stop motion animation, with hauntingly creepy imagery? This is a film that most definitely deserves to be on yours or any other Halloween list. Don’t be Freeform. Make it the modern day classic it deserves to be!

CORALINE is now available to stream on The Roku Channel

Mike Manalo

Born a Slytherin. Baptized into Marvel. Bitten by a Radioactive DC fan. And raised a Jedi, Mike Manalo is a silent guardian, a watchful protector… a Dark Nerd!

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