If there was one thing you didn’t know was missing at the multiplex, its horror for the whole family. Quite possibly even more so I bet you never would have thought it was zombie movies either. But have no fear, stop-motion animation studio Laika is here to save you. Harkening to the spirit of Monster House, directors Sam Fell (The Tale of Despereaux and the underrated Flushed Away) and Chris Butler (who wrote the film) also know all too well what it is like to be a kid obsessed with all things horror. Something I too know all too well having watched HBO’s Tales From the Crypt when it debuted in 1989 when I was merely nine years old. With only two previous feature films under their belts (production work on Corpse Bride and their first solo release Coraline), they’re out to prove that horror can be fun for everyone with their latest venture, ParaNorman.
Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) lives in the town of Blithe Hollow which is about to celebrate its 300th anniversary. Norman spends his free time watching horror movies with his grandmother’s (voiced by Elaine Stritch) ghost. Yep, that’s right, much to his parents’ (Sandra and Perry, voiced by Ben Garlin and Leslie Mann) dismay, Norman sees dead people. Including, but not limited to, human and animals alike. Norman’s Uncle Prenderghast (voiced by John Goodman) is the only one who understands Norman’s lot in life and sets out to let him know that a witch’s curse is about to unleash the undead upon Blithe Hollow and Norman is the only one who can stop it. Not without a little help from his new friend Neil (voiced by Tucker Albrizzi), his sister Courtney (voiced by Anna Kendrick), who spends her time pining over jock Mitch (Casey Affleck), and even school bully Alvin (voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse).