Genre: Fantasy, YA, Fiction, Horror, Children’s
Coraline’s often wondered what’s behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her “other” parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes. When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures.
Gaiman has delivered a wonderfully chilling novel, subtle yet intense on many levels. The line between pleasant and horrible is often blurred until what’s what becomes suddenly clear, and like Coraline, we resist leaving this strange world until we’re hooked. Unnerving drawings also cast a dark shadow over the book’s eerie atmosphere, which is only heightened by simple, hair-raising text. Coraline is otherworldly storytelling at its best.
This is a really short book at just over 100 pages however the level of creepiness that Gaiman manages to include is extraordinary.
Our story centers around a young girl named Coraline, her parents are always busy, the neighbours don’t even know her name and there is nothing in her house to do. One day out of boredom she counts the doors…and finds there is an extra one. Her mother opens this door and reveals a brick wall claiming it used to join into the next flat however now they have been separated they bricked the wall between them up. However later that night something comes through the door, the wall has gone and so have Coraline’s parents. Instead Coraline goes into this other flat, it looks exactly like her own except everyone is so much nicer, the food is better, the toys are better, her parents are friendlier. Everything is so much better except these other parents have no eyes, instead they have buttons, and they want Coraline to stay with them, in order for her to do so however she must sew the buttons into her eyes.
This book is so creepy! It is definitely classed as a horror book yet at the same time you can see it was written for children, however that doesn’t make it any less creepy. What could be worse than having everything you want except you have to leave your real family/real world behind and have to sew buttons into your eyes?
I remember seeing this film years ago when it first came out in cinema and although I didn’t remember the plot I did remember that it was very creepy even if it was written for children. Reading the book for the first time I’m realising how creepy it actually is! Although it may not be terrifying you get this unsettling feeling over you throughout the entire book.
Definitely creepy, definitely recommending it!
Summing up: Creepy and unsettling