Kids are hilarious.
They often have no idea that they’re hilarious, but they are.
They’re also really, really scary.
Like….“Thanks, son. I now have to change my pants” scary.
They see things that we can’t. Is it their imagination?
Or is it actually something lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce on us and take our lives away?
Here are a couple of kids whose parents could have taken a second to actually listen to their kids.
Samuel (Noah Wiseman) is a 6-year-old terror. He has a hugely vivid imagination and has no problem punishing people who don’t believe him. He hurts other kids, not realizing how badly he could hurt them and screams whenever he doesn’t get his way. His mother, Amelia (Essie Davis), is at her wit’s end, but she has no idea what to do. She can’t afford anything, really, so she just kind of lets Samuel act out and slowly goes insane.
One day, she lets him pick out a story to read at bedtime. He picks a book called The Babadook. Amelia has never seen the book, but she starts to read it, not knowing that it ends horrifyingly. Of course, Samuel is scared and screams and screams and screams. But the book won’t go away.
Neither will the image of the Babadook: a big, shadowy creature with a top hat and cloak. Samuel says that he keeps seeing it around, but Amelia won’t believe him.
Until she starts to see it. Could Samuel be telling the truth? Or is he just driving her crazy?
If you can get past the first half hour or so of Samuel being pretty much the worst kid in movie history (without actually being evil…he’s just an overactive kid with lots of issues), The Babadook is one of the better horror films of the last 10 years.
The monster is actually super-creepy in a Slender Man sort of way and you can see Amelia and Samuel pass each other on the crazy spectrum.
I can’t wait to see what Jennifer Kent comes up with next.
On the other end of the rainbow is ParaNorman.
Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a weird kid that hardly anyone really likes. He talks to himself…but he might actually be talking to dead people.
Actually, we know he is. Right up front, we see him be wrapped up in a shell around his family. Then, when he leaves for school, he says hello to every single ghost he sees…which is a lot of ghosts. Far more than you would think would be out there. Norman is friendly, respectful and completely outgoing with the ghosts. He’s himself! Then he gets to school, and it’s back to his shell.
When his eccentric uncle (John Goodman) shows up, things get even weirder for Norman. He finds out that he has to keep a ritual going so that an evil witch doesn’t destroy the town. Why him, though? Can’t someone else do it? Norman ends up making a lot of friends who help him figure out how to fix the mistakes he makes while trying to comply with his newfound obligation.
Paranorman is an incredibly charming kids flick with great stop-motion animation.
I identified with Norman almost immediately and loved all of his friends. (And there’s a gay character done right!) All of that made it one of my favorite movies of 2012. To be honest, I don’t think I found anything wrong with this movie. Maybe it starts off a little slow?
Nah. Loved it. So far, this is my favorite of the Laika features, and that’s saying a lot since that also includes Coraline.
Whether the kids are scary or just in need of a hug and some friends, I think it’s time that parents take them a little more seriously when they say, “AAAUUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!”