Coraline is a spooky and mysterious movie, and from this, many critics have discussed weather Coraline is a children’s movie or not. They have discussed this due to the fact that there is a major need for a certain type of intellect one needs to be able to watch the movie to be able to totally understand what’s going on, and in my personal opinion, I also agree on this statement. The storyline goes as follows, a young girl named Coraline moves into a new house with her Mum and Dad. In this new home of hers, she finds herself incredibly bored, so she decides to explore the new surroundings. She comes across a small secret door, cut away into the wall of the living room. This door leads to an alternate world, where it very closely imitates her real world. In this alternate world, all characters contain ‘buttons’ for eyes, and she has an “other mother” and an “other father”. However, she figures out that her “other mother” tries to keep her forever by taking away Coraline’s ‘real’ parents. Thus from this, Coraline goes on and tries to get her family back and return to her real world again.
Within this movie, there are a number of gothic elements used. One of which is the setting. Coraline’s new house is a shared building where there a strange man who lives upstairs and two old ladies who live downstairs. Personally, the building it self-has a strange haunting display about it, especially in relation to the suspicious neighbours. In the alternate world, her neighbours are younger, or what Coraline see’s as ‘better versions of themselves’. For example, the old ladies, were old, weak and very plump looking, whereas, in the alternative world, they were slender, young woman doing acrobatics. The same story goes for the man who lives upstairs, in the real world he was a grumpy old man, but in the alternate world, he wasn’t actually present, and instead, his rats performed a show. All of this, for me personally at least, I found very overwhelming. I was overwhelmed because of the trace of confusion mixed with a slight disturbance created a large gothic aroma or vibe. And this is in relation to the setting.
Another gothic element is the tone and the emotions coming from Coraline. Coraline is very emotional, and her emotions throughout the movie influence the tone, her emotions also state that she is a strong gothic protagonist, where her actions are driven off her emotions. An example of this is Coraline, being as young as she is, is highly curious, hence why she discovered this alternate world in the first place. Further on when Coraline is upset we sense her upset in the tone as well. Coraline is also a great heroine, she’s brave, smart and single handily takes down a monstrous creature (the “other mother”).
Speaking of ‘eyes’, in the alternate world, all characters have buttons for eyes, and within the movie it states that “the eyes are the windows to your soul”, thus the “other mother” wanted Coraline to sew buttons on, in order for this “other mother” to completely trap her forever. Eyes in this movie had great symbolic utilization.
In Conclusion, I personally really enjoyed watching Coraline, and will definitely watch again. I do believe it is definitely a movie you need to watch more than once to fully understand it, and I must confess I was pretty confused in many parts during this movie, hence why I agree to the fact that “is this actually a children’s movie?”, but either way, it was a great movie. I can’t personally relate to any of the characters in this movie, nor the storyline, but I did, however, find it of interest. It does remind me of the movie “Alice in Wonderland” a lot due to the ‘other world’ concept, which I find really cool and interesting. I often ask myself things like what would my ‘other world’ be like, especially after watching Coraline. Which this concept also makes me nervous.