The theater wasn’t packed for the 6:20 showing of “Paranorman,” and we weren’t the only couple there without children. The previews had looked cute and we thought the grandkids might want to go with us, but they weren’t available. There were quite a few young children and I wondered if that was wise, as this might be too spooky for little ones. However, until the last fifteen minutes, there was laughter all around us, which made me wonder about the minds of the young getting off on bullying…
Norman can see ghosts, including his grandma’s. His dad and sister think he’s a freak, while his sad-looking mother tries to defend their attitudes. On his long walk to school, Norman greets all the ghosts – young, old, and nonhuman – he sees and who talk to him. They are surrounded by a green aura.
At school Norman is bullied for his freakiness, and so is a fat boy, Neil, who wants to be Norman’s friend. When a newly dead old man visits Norman in the school bathroom, he tells the boy that great trouble is coming and he is the only one who can save the town from zombies and a centuries-old witch’s curse. The dead man has been reading a book to the evil witch every year to keep her from destroying the town. He passes the book on to Norman, who is now the only one who can deal with the witch’s spirit, which is actually a young girl wrongly accused of witchcraft by the town’s ignorant, fearful founders.
This is no Pixar! And, I have no idea why they didn’t wait until October to release it.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.