ParaNorman is “John Carpenter Meets John Hughes” & Other ’80s Coolness

ParaNorman

If ParaNorman, the upcoming stop-motion animated zombie film from the same production company that did Coraline, didn’t already seem like something you want to watch immediately, the creators have given us some new bits of cool to chew on:

In a recent press interview, writer/director Chris Butler and co-director Sam Fell said the original idea for ParaNorman was “John Carpenter meets John Hughes, and it spiraled out from there.”

The small New England town of Blithe Hollow comes under siege by the undead. Only a misunderstood local boy, Norman Babcock, who has the ability to speak with the dead, is able to prevent the destruction of his town from a centuries-old witch’s curse. He’ll also have to take on ghosts, witches, zombies and worst of all, the moronic grown-ups. But this young ghoul whisperer may find his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits.

The idea for ParaNorman came to Butler over ten years ago, as he was inspired by films and television shows from his childhood like The Goonies, Scooby-Doo, Ghostbusters and Poltergeist.

The film, which pays homage to the many wonderful, kid-friendly ’80s films that blended horror with coming of age, is set in “a small, working-class East Coast town that’s not quite right and it’s kind of rotten at the edges, so it’s not a perfect animated town. We’ve got peeling paint and graffiti and trash on the ground,” Butler said.

“I wanted to tell the story of this kid who didn’t fit in, and I wanted it to feel real. Certainly to have a film that is told from the point of view of kids, there has to be honesty to it.”

So, if you’re keeping score, ParaNorman has going for it:

  • John Hughes-style angst
  • A classic John Carpenter ’80s horror vibe
  • Dreary, drizzly East Coast small town aesthetic
  • Gorgeous, painstakingly handcrafted stop motion
  • Zombies!

My advice is to run, don’t walk, to see ParaNorman when it opens in theaters August 17. You can watch the official teaser trailer here:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4cC3Q4dhNM

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