Released in February 2009, “Coraline” is a stop-motion dark fantasy horror film that has become a must-watch Halloween classic. Directed by Henry Selik, the film, based on the novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman, has many depths and layers that carry a big impact. It is designed as a children’s and family horror film, so anyone can watch it and feel its eerie effects. Despite its release years ago, many still debate aspects of the movie continuously adding to the lore and discussion of its meaning. What might seem like a typical animated horror stop-motion film weaves an intricate web of hidden messages.
After moving into a new old house, Coraline (Dakota Fanning), decides to explore around after being brushed off by her busy parents. She soon discovers a secret strange little door in her apartment that leads to an idealized alternate “Other World.” In this universe, everyone has buttons for eyes and everything is almost the same, except it’s more bright and magical. Thanks to the Other Mother (Teri Hatcher), Coraline is able to get whatever she wishes for. That is until things turn out to be too good to be true.
Despite the film being marketed as a children and family movie, there are a lot of scary and horror aspects that elevate the watching experience for audiences of all ages. When asked what one’s favorite horror film is, some might say “Insidious,” “The Conjuring” or other well-known horror films. However, some might even answer “Coraline.” While this is not the most scary film, it does have moments that are enough to leave a lingering effect of fear on viewers.
There are many stop-motion Halloween movies with beautifully written storylines such as “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Corpse Bride” and more. “Coraline” is among these, with a storyline that perfectly encapsulates the frightening elements of Halloween or even a small bit of scare any day of the year. Since its release, it has become a Halloween staple to get into the spooky mood.
When the ending arrives, it leaves fans wanting more. This is due to the eerie feeling of unfinished business. There is a warning given to Coraline that she is still in terrible danger despite being done with the Other Mother. With many hidden details in the film coming to light, a lot of audiences speculate if the ending is really as simple as it seems. Although fans have been wishing for a sequel, there have been no announcements or talks of one.
Although the film came out almost 15 years ago, there are still easter eggs that fans catch to this day. From start to end, there are plenty of hidden details that can connect to each other and the plot of the film. This demonstrates how much thinking and creativity went into the film. Some easter eggs are explicitly noticeable and others are found after careful examinations. Throughout the film, there is a cat that helps Coraline in the Other World. However, fans notice the similarity between the cat’s eyes and a pair of buttons the Other Mother has. As a result, fans question the cat’s motives and what his backstory is.
“Coraline” leads audiences to wonder if there is more to the movie than what meets the eye. While the film seems simple on its own, there are many layers to it that have fans questioning the true meaning of certain scenes. To this day, there are still TikToks being made about “Coraline” and the different theories that could change so many aspects of the film. Although some theories may be far-fetched, some others are convincing enough that would make you want to rewatch the film with a new perspective.
“Coraline” is a film that has changed its generation. It spins up a story that has audiences wanting to delve into the world and figure out all the secrets and lore behind the film. The dark film has plenty of symbolism and sinister undertones that can leave an impact on audiences even after a couple of watches.