Friday, October 11, 2013

ParaNorman (2012)

You don't become a hero by being normal.

"I mean she's nice and I really like her, but she's a complete loser"
We open with this boy, Norman, and his grandma watching a zombie movie, his dad calls out from the kitchen for him to take out the trash, on his way there his grandma tells him to turn up the thermostat cause she's cold. While in the kitchen his parents, Sandra and Perry, ask him what he's watching and when he answers them, Perry asks why he can't be normal like the other kids, great parenting there.  Norman takes the trash out, and we meet Courtney, Norman's sister, who seems to be a stereotypical blonde, in a pink sweat suit and talking animatedly on the phone.  Back in the house, Norman tells his dad that grandma's cold, they all then give him an odd look, before his dad remarks that grandma's dead.  What?  Turns out Norman can see ghosts and talks to them, his parents then get into a fight over the fact he's so weird. 

"Your grandmother is dead"

The next day Norman is walking to school and we see him talk to numerous ghosts, when he arrives at school the word 'freak' is on his locker.  This bully, Alvin, comes up and starts picking on Norman, another student, Neil, is in a similar situation with the word 'fatty' on his locker.  Neil looks like he wants to talk to him but his friend, Salma, tells them they need to get to class, in theatre class, which both Neil and Norman are in together, they are working on a play.  The play is going to commemorate the town's witch execution 3 centuries prior, the theatre teacher, Mrs. Henscher, critics Norman on not being over dramatic in his performance.  While that is happening Norman starts seeing the school burn away to reveal a forest, before he is snapped back to reality. 

After school when Norman is leaving, Neil catches up to him and they start talking, they reach the town square, where the big witch statue is.  The statue suddenly talks to them, but it's a guy behind the statue, apparently Norman knows him, but has been told not to talk to him, the guy starts telling him about the witch's curse.  Neil tries to run him off, and the guy leaves, when the guy leaves Neil tells Norman what a dirty, old creep that guy was, Norman then reveal that the guy was his Uncle.  Neil then asks if Norman if he really can see the dead and Norman says yes, Neil then drags Norman to his house to see if Norman can see his dead dog, Bub.  When they arrive at Neil's house we meet Neil's brother Mitch, who appears to be a stereotypical jock, lots of stereotypes in this movie, yeah?  We then go to Uncle Prenderghast's house, and we see him die clutching a book in his hand.

Later that night at the play, Norman starts having the vision of the forest again, but actually gets transported to the forest and told the dead are coming, he snaps back to reality screaming the dead are coming, ruining the play.  On the way home that night Norman gets yelled at by his dad, his mom tries to make him feel better, but it doesn't quite work.  The next day at school Norman gets mocked because of the previous night and heads to the bathroom to hide, in the next stall over is Alvin, Norman's stall starts acting weird and Uncle Prenderghast's ghost comes out of the toilet.  Uncle starts telling him about how he can't go to rest until he passes on the responsibility of keeping the witch's curse out of Blithe Hollow. 

"It's my duty"

Norman doesn't want to because he's just a kid, Uncle tells him all he has to do is read from the book that was in his house, that he was clutching when he died, and read it at the witch's grave before sunset.  Norman promises to do it and Uncle starts to vanish, Alvin who has been quiet in the next stall ends up hearing everything.  At home, Norman's parents are going out for dinner, leaving Courtney in charge, Neil texts Norman to look out his window, which is where Neil is wearing a Jason/Hockey mask and asks Norman if he wants to play Hockey.  Norman turns down the invitation and has a talk with his grandma, which makes him decide that he has to do what Uncle told him and sneaks out.  On his ways to his uncle's house, Norman ends up running Alvin over with his bike, Norman doesn't stop and arrives at Uncle's house. 

Norman finds his uncle's dead body and has to struggle to get the book out of his hands, after he gets the book he heads to the graveyard to read it to the witch.  It's almost sunset when Norman arrives, he starts to read the book, but gets interrupted by Alvin, which causes him to miss the deadline of sunset and the witch awakens.  A green-greyish skull appears in the sky, which is the witch, and at the graveyard, the 7 people in the tombstones surrounding Norman and Alvin come back to life as zombies.  Norman tries reading the story again, but it doesn't work, the head zombie, Judge Hopkins, tells Norman to stop, Norman and Alvin then head to his uncles house.  Courtney head's to Neil's house looking for Norman and meets Mitch, who she instantly starts flirting with, Mitch calls for Neil and Neil tells them that Norman is at the graveyard. 

"Once upon a time"

Courtney, Mitch, and Neil then leave for the graveyard, at Uncle's house Norman finds a picture of 7 people in a courtroom, symbolizing the 7 people in the grave, meaning the witch wasn't buried there.  The zombies arrive at the house and they leave, they end up running into Courtney, Mitch, and Neil, Norman gets Neil to call Salma, because she's a genius and she tells them to head to the town hall and look in the archives for where the witch was buried.   They are speeding from the zombie and end up having a cop, Sheriff Hooper, trying to get them to pull over on her scooter, but she fails.  The zombies start invading town, which causes the towns people to become an angry mob and they start going after the zombie.  Still trying to get away from one of the zombies that was following them, they end up getting in a crash and Mitch's car gets totaled, they then take off on foot to town hall.

Back at the angry mob, they are starting to corner the zombies, who don't seem to want to fight, but are being attacked by the mob.  Wait a minute those 7 people were in the photo in a courtroom, making them the jury and judge in the witch's conviction, which means they shouldn't be evil, should they?  The crew finally arrives at the town hall and they start reading through all the archives, we then see that outside the zombies have managed to get away from the crazies and are heading into the town hall.  Mrs. Henscher sees the zombies go in the town hall, she then reports to everyone that she saw them head to the town hall, where the mob then heads.  Inside the hall, they all start getting pissed at Norman, because they don't understand what he's going through, and they leave him, but they can't leave the actual hall because of the mob. 

"Rip them apart"

Norman continues to look through the archives when the zombies approach him, Norman runs away up to the roof, climbing the tower on top of the hall, at the top he starts reading the story to the skull in the sky.  The skull in the sky then strikes him with lightning, when he awakens he is in the courtroom with the 7 people, this is a flashback so they are alive, the flashback is to them sentencing the witch to execution.  The witch, Aggie Prenderghast, wonder if there is any relation to Uncle Prenderghast, is actually the same age as Norman, she says she didn't mean to and that she was just playing.  Turns out the 7 killed an innocent little girl, back in reality Norman and Judge Hopkins start talking, the zombies say they know they were wrong, but they were scared of her, they then ask for Normans help. 

Norman tells them that he will go talk to Aggie, he heads out to the main hall and meets up with everyone else, and they leave the hall to the angry mob.  The mob wants to shoot the zombies, Norman tells them not to because they aren't really bad, the mob doesn't believe, and starts in on Norman, saying that he is in cahoots with the zombies.  Courtney and the rest of the crew tells the mob that they are acting crazy and Norman is telling the truth and that they need to listen to him, it ends up getting the mob to stop.  Norman, Courtney, and Judge Hopkins hitch a ride with Sandra and Perry to drive them to the graveyard, which is a really cute scene.  When they arrive at the graveyard Norman ends up getting separated from his family, he finds Aggie and tries talking to her, but she doesn't want to listen.  He continues trying to get her to listen, she starts striking him with lightning, trying to stab him with trees, and making the ground fall apart. 

"I want my mommy"

Since the story from the book was a fairy tale, to keep her asleep, he starts telling Aggie her own story, but this extremely pisses her off, because it scares her.  She keeps trying to get him to stay away, but he finally gets to her and he takes her hand, they are then transported back to the graveyard, before it was a graveyard.  Aggie is also now human again instead of smoke and lights, the place they are is where her mom used to take her when she was younger and tell her stories that always had a happy ending.  Aggie tells him all she wants is her mommy, she asks Norman how the story he was telling her ends, he tells her it's her choice, she chooses to go to sleep and be with her mom again.  They sit down by a tree and Aggie falls asleep, ending the curse for good, back in town the zombies fade away finally free as does Aggie. 

Norman heads back to his family, his dad tells him he did a good job, they arrive back in town and we see how everyone else it doing.  Mrs. Hanscher is telling everyone she was just acting, Alvin is trying to pick up some girls, and Courtney asks Mitch if he wants to go see a movie some time, he responds that him and his boyfriend would love to, because his boyfriend loves chick-flick movies.  At home, Norman's dad comes to sit down with him, and asks if grandma is here and asks if she's sitting next to him, Norman says yes, and Perry turns to his mom ands says hi.  Not gonna lie, I might have teared up here.  The rest of the family then joins them to watch the zombie movie.

The End.
I really loved this movie, it was really good, you know a movies good when you can feel for a character, and I felt for Aggie and Norman.  The fact that Mitch was gay was a big surprise, as they had made the older siblings very stereotypical, the reveal was great as they just breezed over it like it was no big deal, because it isn't a big deal anymore.  Also, the animation was amazing, they used stop motion, and it was beautiful!  Tell me what you thought of the movie in the comments, on Twitter (@SilentToHughes) or on Facebook (
Hope you all have a great night!

No comments:

Post a Comment