ParaNorman 3D (PG)


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From Laika, the studio that produced the ingenious Coraline, comes another exuberant stop-motion horror-comedy with all the Gothic trimmings.

Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) is an 11-year-old who's bullied and isolated on account of his "gift" – he sees dead people, including his old gran (Elaine Stritch), and chats with them. Then a 300-year-old witch's curse returns to haunt his small town, raising from the grave her Puritan oppressors in the form of moaning zombies.

The first half-hour is terrific, with Chris Butler's screenplay mining the same queasy vein of humour as Coraline – jokes about severed body parts and rigor mortis fly past. Once the daft plot takes over, the film slackens under a welter of special effects and noise, but this is tiptop family entertainment – especially if your family's name is Addams.