Gary Thompson: Think 'The Watchmen' is creepy? 'Coraline' has got it beat

The stop-motion animated movie pushes the fright envelope for a children's film.
The stop-motion animated movie pushes the fright envelope for a children's film.
Posted: July 24, 2009

'THE WATCHMEN" (director's cut) and "Coraline" both hit DVD this week, and "Coraline," for all of its competitor's trumpeted darkness, is the creepier movie.

"Coraline," based on a Neil Gaimen book, is a stop-motion animated movie (from the guy who animated "The Nightmare Before Christmas") about a dissatisfied little girl who moves to a creepy old house with a link to an alternate reality that gives her the parents she thinks she wants.

"Coraline" comes by its uneasy vibe with inventiveness rather than the over-the-top shocks and gore of "The Watchmen" - Coraline's "perfect" parents have an eerie, hollow quality, amplified by the blank buttons they have for eyes.

When her new mother pulls out a box of buttons and needles and suggests that Coraline get some new eyes of her own, it's about as scary as a children's movie needs to get.

And that's Keith David as the voice of one of the slinkiest, coolest movie cats ever. *

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