Coraline Returning to Theatres bThe future of theatrical exhibition is slowly but surely returning to normal, albeit shakily. Black Widow pulled in close to pre-pandemic numbers and we have a few promising blockbusters on the horizon. As theatergoers are dipping their toes into returning to cinemas, we have one of the greats offering up a pair of modern classics.

Laika Studios has announced a partnership with Fathom Events that will see both Coraline and ParaNorman returning to screens with special event screenings that will also include a peek behind the curtain of their animation process.

Coraline is slated to hit screens on August 24th and ParaNorman is gonna land in cinemas nationwide smack dab between Halloween and Thanksgiving on November 16th.

Horror … For Kids!

Both of these films are perfect fall releases. Laika has a solid history of making what I call gateway horror movies and Coraline and ParaNorman are two top-tier examples; they’re horror movies disguised as family entertainment.

I mean, creepy button-eyed replacement parents and spooky witch-hunting pilgrim ghosts? This isn’t Toy Story, which has one kind of fun horror-ish sequence when all of Sid’s Frankenstein-ed toys emerge from the darkness. No, these are straight-up Halloween movies to their very core.ParaNorman Returning to Theatres

ParaNorman in particular is essentially grooming a new generation of kids to love Halloween. It’s set against the holiday, trick-r-treating, costumes, etc. And the plot is basically an animated The Sixth Sense. A kid sees dead people and tries to help them as best he can. And it’s fun to boot! As well it should be because we all know Halloween is the best holiday and we need more kids to learn that at an impressionable age.

Even with all that being said, Coraline is a legitimately disturbing movie. There’s imagery in that thing that is almost Lynchian in how off-putting it is.

Thank God for Laika doing this, by the way. I know I’m an old man, but I really do miss the old days of kid-friendly horror. Yeah, I had goofy stuff like Mr. Boogedy and The Worst Witch, which are all well and good. But I also had Ghostbusters and Something Wicked This Way Comes and traumatic fantasy like The Neverending Story and Legend. They weren’t afraid to scare the shit out of kids in the ’80s and it was a huge relief to see Laika take up that mantle early in their run. I kinda hope they return to scary kids movies sooner rather than later.

So, of course, I’m excited they’re keeping that passion alive by re-releasing these movies on the big screen, the very best place to see something a little spooky.

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