ParaNorman (2012)


One advantage of having a blog (or a diary if you still thinking in pre-digital terms) is the ability to see how much your opinions change over time. I still remember how I liked Terminator Salvation when it came out, but since then I have become less enamored by it. These changes can also go the other direction.

When I saw ParaNorman for the first time in 2013, I didn’t like it much. I was expecting another Caroline and instead got a whiny main character and narrative intricately bound together by an explicit moral. Recently I re-watched the movie, and my opinion completely flip-flopped. I realized how much of the movie was a love letter to old horror movies, yet managed to find its own identity under all those visual references.

Norman isn’t exactly super-proactive about things in general, accepting his special condition (he can see ghosts) and most of the time how the people around him react to it. But later on, when he needs to be, he becomes the driver of the story instead of being driven by it. And the final climax is beautifully orchestrated on all three fronts: visuals, sound and the writing. Still, the segment I liked the most was when Norman walked through the city and saw all the ghosts of the violently killed people and animals, it’s hilarious, despite the content, as most of the ghost are rather accepting of their post-mortal existence.