Saturday, December 1, 2012

"Paranorman" (2012)

“Paranorman” is a mixed bag of a film. It is fun, creative, and original in its production. However, as far as the story goes, it tends to lag a bit. And even though it admittedly is an exercise in paying tribute to a whole genre, it does not really take the genre further or add much creativity into the mix.

It is fun to see animation go places where it has seldom gone due to preconceptions about the medium. This may be the first major animated film that plays with zombies and “grind house” horror in general. It is mostly OK for older children, but it has a lot to offer adult audiences. This is not a kid’s film. Claymation has come a long way since the Gumby days. It is pretty stunning what they are able to achieve these days. And it is entertaining to see the themes and messages of horror play out on what amounts to an incredibly complex diorama.

That being said the themes are getting tired. The tolerance and acceptance message of this film is not bad, it is just old. Come to think of it, when you go as far as this film does with the tolerance message; you rob your story of any dramatic conflict. And it is pretty hard to tell a decent story without that. The third act of this film challenges the viewer to stay awake and almost failed in this instance.

Fun in parts, but short of truly entertaining.

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