Have you her felt like an outsider to your peers because you were “different”? I bet it didn’t feel great, did it? That’s the suffering that our hero, Norman, has to face everyday.. until his quiet existence is interrupted by a strange omen — that a witch is going to come back to terrorize Blithe Hollow! [his home town]
ParaNorman is an animated “kids-horror” film noted for being made by Laika. [who made the likes of such movies as “Coraline“, or even “James & The Giant Peach“] the film starts off with our zombie-obsessed hero Norman watching an old black and white horror film with his grandmother. When Grandma asks Norman to ask his father to turn up the heat, all sorts of hell breaks loose! as it turns out, Grandma has been dead for a while now; making the viewer realize that Norman can in fact see the dead. Which becomes more obvious as we see him talking to ghostly figures on his walk to school: such as a dog, a pilot stuck in a tree [how’s it hanging?], even a bird with the plastic from soda rings: all dead.. and Norman can see, and even have full conversations, with them all.
Unfortunately, no one believes him at home, [his sister flat out yells at him for “striving for attention” to which his father agrees!] so naturally, the same happens at school — where he’s known as ParaNorman. [get it? cause he’s Paranormal? ..forget it]
At school, he’s considered different. someone strange; therefore, as seen above, everyone ignores him. he’s simply just there. that is until he meets an unlikely friend in a kid known as Neil. Norman and Neil work together well as friends since they both get picked on [for different things, obviously] and believe it or not, Neil actually believes in Norman about his abilities to see and talk to the dead.
Things only stir up when a man called Mr. Prenderghast shows up [revealing to be Norman‘s uncle] and tells him that he has to perform a ritual at a grave to stop a witch from coming back from the dead and killing everyone! unfortunately, it’s not so simple..especially since Norman doesn’t know where to start: except for getting a book from Prenderghast‘s house [which ends up being a fairytale book]. When the ritual doesn’t work as planned, the witch – known as Agatha – comes back and immediately starts terrorizing everyone, [as she promised] leaving Norman to fix everything before it’s too late. So with a unlikely team consisting of Neil, Norman, Courtney [Norman‘s sister] and Neil‘s brother; they set out to stop the witch, before it’s too late..
With the dead coming back to life, people start freaking out, breaking out weapons and the like preparing for a full out war, but the unlikely heroes are heading to the town hall, trying to find records of Agatha and what happened to her.. When Norman catches on to the truth of “Agatha‘s past, he rushes to the source of the storm [which is what’s causing the dead to rise] and finds what can only be called the most terrifying cloud in a kids film:
When Norman tries to talk to Agatha, telling her to quit what she’s started, Norman falls into a sort of time-warp; landing back in the days of old.. where Norman learns the real truth behind the witch. As it turns out, Agatha was a young girl [around Norman‘s age actually] when she learned she had a gift; she could talk to ghosts [sound familiar?!] however, due to the time period, she was written off as a witch — which got her brought to trial instantly, and ultimately, her death. Her final words were that one day she’d make them pay for what they did, which she clearly kept to her word.
Meanwhile, back in modern-day and now knowing the truth, Norman realizes he has to find a way to convince Agatha that she can’t keep doing this. By tormenting people, she is coming off worse than the people who once killed her. She’s not playing fair, she just wants revenge. The movie’s climax ends when Agatha finally calms down, [took long enough!] and decides to rest [meaning “be at peace”?.. fuck, his movie got depressing really quick, didn’t it?] Finally, Norman is viewed as a hero, and everyone’s happy.
ParaNorman is an awesome kids film – filled with simple scares, laughs, jokes, and even sadness — the film has something for everyone. If the above didn’t convince you enough to give a watch, [it is on Netflix] watch it for Courtney. She may be animated but she’s voiced by the ever so lovely Anna Kendrick — you know, this babe:
THANKS FOR READING.