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Review: 'Coraline'

Based on the popular novel by the same name, the children's horror story is chillingly rendered in 3-D.

By Peter Rainer / February 7, 2009

A scene is shown from the animated film Coraline.

Focus Features/AP

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Neil Gaiman's hugely popular 2002 children's horror novel "Coraline" has been given the animated 3-D treatment but you may want to keep the toddlers away from this one. Director Henry Selick, previously known for his collaborations with Tim Burton ("The Nightmare Before Christmas," "James and the Giant Peach"), is all too effective at conjuring grody ghastliness. He's less effective at giving that ghastliness a human dimension, a resonance, a reason for being beyond cheap thrills. Coraline (voiced by Dakota Fanning) feels neglected by her mother and father and enters into an alternate world where she is cared for by look-alike parents who prove to be a lot more malevolent than her real ones. At least it's all in 3-D instead of 2-D. Grade: B- (Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images, some language, and suggestive humor.)

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