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"ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

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"ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

Old 09-23-13, 01:15 AM
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"ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14





ParaNorman (2012)



Selected by tarfrimmer



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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags are unnecessary in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF SPOILERS.
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Last edited by Chad; 09-27-13 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 10-13-13, 08:39 PM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

I really wasn't looking forward to watching this but used it as an excuse to watch a film with the family unit and could still scratch something off the subset list (even though my kid had already seen the movie at the theater last year).

I have to saw I was extremely pleased. Lots of adult jokes with kiddie pleasing gags as well. The animation, while kinda ugly and odd, is also very cool and unique looking. The movie had some extremely spooky parts mixed with fun and this would be a great intro into horror movies for kids.

My kid does not like anything scary but he really enjoyed this movie.

My rating: ****1/2 out of *****

My favorite part was the guy trying to decide whether to wait for his "Greasy Pieces" from the vending machine or run from the zombies.
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Old 10-14-13, 08:29 AM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

At home alone and just started watching this before remembering that I have a wife and daughter that may prefer I wait.
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Old 10-14-13, 08:32 PM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

Some of the character design is kinda quirky, but the story more than makes up for that. There is just the right amount of sugar coating on the deep moral satire to please the viewers of all ages.

I really want to see this on Blu-ray because the Netflix stream just flattens the heck out of a picture that I know should have a great depth of field even in 2D.
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Old 10-14-13, 09:39 PM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

I really enjoyed Paranorman. The art style has a claymation softness that's appealing and unique. It's insane to me that they made an actual kid appropriate zombie film. The town "riot" segment is fun and pushes the film into a kinetic chase segment. It took a while to get to the greenish hued night chaos scenes that made Paranorman fun but once it did, it was a blast. I really liked the bittersweet end focusing on childhood innocence.

I tried to watch this with my 5 year old but she got too scared about 30 minutes into it (especially the "boss zombie") and so I ended up watching it myself but still enjoying it... and it turns out she watched most of ParaNorman peaking out a door down the hallway anyway because apparently it's good "when the zombies aren't out."

Last edited by Undeadcow; 10-14-13 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 10-14-13, 11:03 PM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

Yeah, I've got to join the chorus of admirers. Like Spiderbite, I wasn't really looking forward to watching it, but I LOVED it. Here are some things that I liked about it:

1. The score--Absolutely lovely in parts, appropriately bombastic in others. I'm listening to a stream of it right now.
2. The design--I don't think that there are any straight lines in this movie. Everything is a little askew, but it works. As an example, I noticed that the irises of the eyes of every character are slightly different sizes.
3. The mood--I adore the beginning of the film, which is oddly melancholic. That's something that you rarely see in an animated film.
4. The voice work--No weak links here, with particular kudos going to the two boys and Norman's sister.
5. The humor--my favorite line: "Don't make me throw this hummus--it's spicy!"

Yeah, I'll be adding this one to the collection real soon. I watched it on Netflix, and it looked great, but I'll bet that it really pops in Blu-ray 3D. I can't wait.
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Old 10-15-13, 09:06 AM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

Originally Posted by Spiderbite View Post
... The animation, while kinda ugly and odd, is also very cool and unique looking...
Last year (or sometime) I was able to get the DVD with enough time to watch some of the extras, and I was awfully impressed with the detail and effort they put into the claymation. They had glassblowers make tiny streetlights and then wired them up to work properly! Really, really complex and intricate work that is quite possibly going to be lost on CGI-jaded audiences unless they actively watch the special features.
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Old 10-15-13, 09:13 AM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

Originally Posted by rbrown498 View Post
2. The design--I don't think that there are any straight lines in this movie. Everything is a little askew, but it works. As an example, I noticed that the irises of the eyes of every character are slightly different sizes.
I may be misremembering from another film, but I think they actually mention this in the special features. And I completely forgot to look out for it this time...

Originally Posted by rbrown498 View Post
5. The humor--my favorite line: "Don't make me throw this hummus--it's spicy!"
The characters definitely seem to really capture several of the "types" that I remember from school - my particular favourite is Neil's cheerful listing of all the reasons he gets bullied. "And my eyes leak." Second to that Python-esque list is probably Norman in the courthouse exasperatedly replying to older-brother's disdain for reading: 'if I'd known there'd be reading,' "I'd have brought a whole different group of people who hate me." (Plus the pontificating "let slip the dogs of war" moment, and trying to explain that the zombies weren't bad...)

There's also the completely unnecessary throwaways - Neil again, wanting to play hockey, and lurking outside in a "Jason mask" - which add something indefinable.

Originally Posted by rbrown498 View Post
Yeah, I'll be adding this one to the collection real soon. I watched it on Netflix, and it looked great, but I'll bet that it really pops in Blu-ray 3D. I can't wait.
Be sure to watch the extras!
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Old 10-15-13, 10:38 AM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

I thought this was great. For those who don't realize, this was stop motion animation, not CGI. I thought it had the flicker commonly seen with stop motion animation, but it looked too clean and had to be CGI. I was impressed to find out after the movie that it was in fact stop motion animation, they did a great job. After the credits they show time-elapsed footage of how they made Norman. That means they built all of the puppets/models, sets, lit everything and shot them with cameras. I thought it looked gorgeous, I loved the neon green and purple lighting.

The movie itself was very entertaining. The voice actors all did a good job, I thought each of the characters had some great moments and I found myself laughing quite a bit. The story felt a bit like a less depressing version of Silent Hill, and had some touching moments. The finale was surprisingly intense and dramatic. I loved the music, it reminded me of the pulsing soundtracks from Zombie movies of the 70s and 80s. I liked the role reversal of the humans chasing the zombies down and concur with a poster who brought up the guy waiting for his bag of chips to drop as the zombies shambled closer to him, the movie was full of amusing moments like that.

I went over to IMDB to read some of the comments and of course most of the posts were complaining about the final line of the movie where a character reveals he's gay. I personally thought it was hilarious. Any of the people who had an issue with it seem to miss the entire point of the movie which warns against judging people who are different.

Halfway through the month and I'm surprised to say that one of my favorite movies so far is a PG animated movie. Great pick!
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Old 10-15-13, 06:50 PM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

Originally Posted by DaveyJoe View Post
I went over to IMDB to read some of the comments and of course most of the posts were complaining about the final line of the movie where a character reveals he's gay. I personally thought it was hilarious. Any of the people who had an issue with it seem to miss the entire point of the movie which warns against judging people who are different.
I loved the final line because as someone who was bullied I love the fact that it tries to show that we should embrace who we are and not let others get the best of us. I think this is becoming more and more important in today's culture but that's a whole other discussion.

I laughed a lot in this movie, such funny lines. I thought the film looked good with the claymation. It also has a great story with symbolism that is realistic and I could relate to in a sense which made in enjoyable.
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Old 10-15-13, 08:03 PM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

Second time watch for this and I liked it, but not quite as much as Frankenweenie which I watched for the first time last night. This one does have some great characters and feels like the kind of '80s films of my youth like The Monster Squad and The Goonies and I think that's what I appreciated the most.
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Old 10-17-13, 02:09 PM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

BTW it was pretty funny hearing a Dizzee Rascal song in this movie, when Alvin was "break dancing."
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Old 10-17-13, 02:29 PM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

I need to re-watch this one. I remember enjoying it but I had seen Frankenweenie first, which was a better film in the same genre.
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Old 10-17-13, 03:14 PM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

Originally Posted by Noonan View Post
I need to re-watch this one. I remember enjoying it but I had seen Frankenweenie first, which was a better film in the same genre.
I feel exactly the opposite. I watched ParaNorman on Monday night and loved it. Afterwards, I popped in Frankenweenie, but I gave up on it after about thirty minutes because, after ParaNorman, I found it to be deadly dull.

I'll give Frankenweenie another spin in a few weeks to see if I like it any better.
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Old 10-17-13, 03:20 PM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

This was more of a fun animation movie but Frankenweenie really hit home for me with the story being about a kid and his pet. I also really liked the vintage styling.
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Old 10-18-13, 09:11 AM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

I really liked this movie. Great voice acting, the story was engaging, and there were some truly scary moments mixed in with humor. I enjoyed the animation and can see myself watching this movie at least once a year. I'll have to buy a copy. Thumbs up from me.
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Old 10-18-13, 09:23 AM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

If i ever decide to buy a 3D projector, this is one of the first movies I would buy for it.
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Old 10-18-13, 09:47 AM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

Originally Posted by rbrown498 View Post
I feel exactly the opposite. I watched ParaNorman on Monday night and loved it. Afterwards, I popped in Frankenweenie, but I gave up on it after about thirty minutes because, after ParaNorman, I found it to be deadly dull.

I'll give Frankenweenie another spin in a few weeks to see if I like it any better.
Frankenweenie is slow at the start... you have to give it more than 30 minutes but it's got a nice climax. Ultimately I think ParaNorman is more consistent and entertaining overall but FrankenWeenie shouldn't be overlooked if you're in the mood for family friendly entertainment.
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Old 10-18-13, 02:07 PM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

I'm definitely on team Frankenweenie, but both are among the best animated films I've seen in years.
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Old 10-19-13, 03:51 PM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

I think I like this one a bit more than Frankenweenie, but both will need repeat viewings to really decide. I may make 2014 horror in every Challenge, so I'll see them again in August.

In an example of poor planning on Amazon's part, they had this as a lightning deal yesterday.
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Old 10-29-13, 08:05 PM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

Only reason I am posting again is because so many brought up Frankenweenie in this review. I watched it tonight and found it to be deadly dull and emotionally forced. It came nowhere close to being as entertaining as ParaNorman.
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Old 11-04-13, 08:53 AM
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Re: "ParaNorman" Reviews/Discussion - 2013 Horror Challenge: Day 14

I'm pleased - particularly since recent comments seem fairly anti-family friendly 'horror' - that the response here seems to be overwhelming positive.

I enjoyed it a lot more this year than last year, (and I was underwhelmed with Frankenweenie, too. And terribly unhappy that the original short wasn't on the disc I got).
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