GUYS. We *finally* made it to my favorite month of the entire year. I savor all 31 days and they always go by so fast (especially now that my Bean is here…he was born in October. And he is going to be four in 3 short weeks. FOUR. Where did the time go??)
Last year, I reviewed five spooky reads, one each week. This year, my brilliant sister came up with the movie/book comparison idea and I think it’s great! With the exception of this week, each week we will choose a movie and pair it with a book that we think is reminiscent of that movie. For instance, next week I am reviewing Frost by Marianna Baer and think it’s a good one to pick up if you enjoyed The Shining. I realize The Shining is also a book, but as Stephen King tells it, Kubrick didn’t do a great job adapting his book for screen. And I will agree, The Shining isn’t my favorite movie. It took my husband four tries to get me to sit and stay awake for the entire thing and I came out on the other side going “meh.” However, Frost was pretty good and there are similarities between the movie and the book that I will address next week. This week, I am going very tongue in cheek and saying…
If you liked the movie Coraline, you should check out the book….
Let’s talk about that.
It’s no big secret that Neil Gaiman is in my top ten authors list. I’m working my way through his works (about to start Neverwhere, actually) but Coraline was the book that started it all. I was in 8th grade and was a guinea pig for new novels for my middle school librarians. And I loved it. Also, that trend never died. I became well-known in all my school libraries, was often used to test run new books they’d had come in, and I even served as a library aide for two years in high school. Is it really any wonder I am now pursuing that career myself?
Anyway, Coraline introduced me to the amazing world of Neil Gaiman. I devoured Coraline, huddled under my sheets with a flashlight because I was *that* kid-the one who needed full body “protection” when reading something creepy. I quickly followed Coraline with his book Stardust and the rest, they say, is history.
Coraline’s new flat has twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen doors open freely. The fourteenth is locked and, when unlocked, has only a brick wall on the other side. That is until the day it doesn’t.
Coraline follows the new passage into another flat in another house almost identical to hers. But it’s not.
The food is better, the toy box has amazing wind up angels that soar around the bedroom, books whose pictures move, little chattering dinosaur skulls. But there’s also other children there, trapped in the mirrors, and another mother and another father as well. Other mother wants Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl forever and she won’t take no for an answer.
While there are several key differences between the book and movie (hello, who are you Wybie? And why the heck is Coraline an American?), the movie is still a great a representation of the book, though I personally found the book way more creepy. But that may have just been my 8th grade imagination running away with itself. I definitely need to blow the dust off of this one and read it again very soon. The movie itself is a family favorite for Bean and I and we watch it throughout the year, usually when it’s cold or rainy, but definitely in the week before Halloween. It’s just creepy enough for him to get a little spooked, but not so much that we’ve had to deal with any nightmares. The same can’t be said of the time he walked in while my husband and I were watching Jeepers Creepers. That’s the only time he crawled into bed with us in the middle of the night because he was scared. I’d forgotten how terrible that movie was. I need someone to just constantly remind me how little I actually like that movie anytime I suggest watching it.
Other spooky fun movies to watch this month:
Hocus Pocus (C’mon, I had to!)
Halloweentown (I grew up watching these, I love them!)
Edward Scissorhands (a classic)
Corpse Bride (another favorite of my little Bean)
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (you may be sensing a Johnny Depp/Tim Burton theme and you wouldn’t be wrong)
Harry Potter series (let’s just be honest, though. Harry Potter is good basically Sept 21st through March 21st. It’s good cold weather watching)
The Hallow (evil baby stealing fae set in Ireland…it was actually pretty good!)
Sleepy Hollow (Christopher Walken plays the headless horseman…you just have to watch it!)
Beetlejuice (I also grew up watching the cartoon, which I adored)
and my personal favorite and also a Halloween Night tradition…
The Nightmare Before Christmas (even more fun now that I can watch it while sorting my kids’ candy!)
Happy reading and watching!