ParaNorman: Horror for Middle Schoolers

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Today I got to see the animated movie ParaNorman (2012 PG) with a group of middle schoolers.  I had never seen this stop-motion movie before , but remember it had gotten good reviews:  A misunderstood boy takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.

ParaNorman Uncle

We laughed and laughed at many of the parts!  Especially the scene where Norman must pry a book out of his dead uncle’s hands.

But this is also a frightening film.  A creeped-out boy prying a book out of his dead uncle’s hands?  A terrified kid standing up to a 200-year-old witch’s curse?  A bullied child who can see and talk to people and animals after they’ve died?

This clip is a good overview of all the freaky stuff in the movie:

What will give kids nightmares?  The part where Norman is hiding under the bed from the zombie, who’s ear falls off in front of Norman’s face?  Funny, but also a bit scary.

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Kids like scary stories.  Goosebumps books and Scooby-Doo cartoons are popular.  But do we allow too much horror into kids’ lives?

When I was little I watched a movie while sleeping at a friend’s house. I think it had something to do with a time machine, but the thing that kept me awake and afraid was a scene where the scientist and the girl run from a burning building.  Probably not scary to an adult, but it made me want to be home.

What movies kept you up at night when you were younger?

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