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- Adults actually find this book (and film) scarier than kids do, with the unsettling feeling of the Other World just not being quite right giving way to its later decaying transformation into the Beldam's lair.
- "...so I fixed him!" With a literally Sewn On Grin!
- Coraline's interaction with Other Bobinsky near the end of the film.
Coraline: "You're just a copy she made of the real Mr. B."
Other Bobinsky: "Not even that...anymore."
(Coraline takes off his hat, revealing that he's only a swarm of rats).
- The build-up to that reveal, when his all you saw was his uniform still doing acrobatic movements while his head appeared to be missing was also pretty damn frightening.
- Coraline escaping the Other Mother...
Other Mother: DON'T LEAVE ME, DON'T LEAVE! I'LL DIE...I'LL DIE WITHOUT YOOOUUUU!"
- Following that we have the shot of the door to the Other World getting closer and closer to the real world before Coraline slams the door on the other world finally.
- During the climax of the film, Coraline struggles to fight off the Other Mother's disembodied hand. The camera zooms back to the house, which shows the door to the otherworld banging loudly and glowing ominously...
- I could never shake off the feeling that the Other Mother was directly on the other side. Like right there, ready to eat Coraline the instant she got her hand on her.
- It doesn't help that after they throw the hand and the key inside the well. If you listen closely, you can hear the Other Mother whispering 'No'.
- What happened to the three ghost children.
She spied on our lives, through the little doll's eyes. And saw that we weren't happy. So she lured us away, with treasures and treats, and games to play. Gave all that we asked, yet we still wanted more. So we let her sew the buttons. She said she loved us...but she locked us up here. And ate up our lives.
- The little ghost children in GENERAL (except for at the end, where they are kind of cute). Seriously, think about it - DEAD CHILDREN, talking about the horrors of the Other World in a distinguishably childlike way, looking like they just crawled right out of the Uncanny Valley, all with buttons in their eyes.
- The Passage Between Worlds is not only mysterious and unexplained, but IT'S ALIVE! When Coraline makes her climactic escape from the Other Mother, she almost encounters whatever this thing is, and knows instinctively that if she doesn't stop running, it will catch up with her. It is apparently so much older than the Other Mother that the latter has no comprehension of it (or maybe she does, it's never really brought up).
- The Other Mother, in the book, swears on her mother's grave. Coraline was surprised that her mother was dead. The Other Mother's reply? "I put her in there myself. And when I found her trying to climb out, I put her back."
- Fridge Logic makes this even worse. It's clear that the Other Mother went without eating for about sixty years, give or take, so surely her mother would take at least that long to die. In a coffin. Alone. Unable to do anything.
- Fridge Brilliance, with a little bit of YMMV thrown in, but what the Other Mother describes about her own mother is almost exactly what happens to her by the end of the story: The Other Mother sought to be Coraline's true mother. When Coraline finally escapes the Other World, she traps the Beldam in it. When she discovers that the Other Mother is trying to get out, she thwarts her by trapping the key to the door (and the Other Mother's hand!) at the bottom of a well.
- In the audiobook, the rats' 'song' is heard as a breathy, hissing chant with little semblance of a tune. It comes right the hell out of nowhere and is arguably the creepiest part of the whole story. And the book is narrated by the author so you know this is the way the song was meant. And then in a later chapter it happens again.
- The lyrics of that song are terrifying, but this troper was really freaked out by the last two lines.
"You'll all get what you deserveses,"
when we rise from underneath."
- The (admittedly rather obscure) musical adaptation has a short little ditty called "The Greeting Song," which makes excellent and frightening use of Last-Second Word Swap.
Coraline, you're tangible,
Coraline, you're grand.
How we'd like to take you by the hand.
Coraline, you're nice and plump,
Coraline, you're sweet.
How we'd like to have you to... Greet.
- When the Other Wybie expresses his disapproval through a frown instead of smiling like he's supposed to, the Other Mother sews his lips into a perma-grin. The stitches are cut, but not before we see what the Joker might have looked like as a child.
- When Coraline discovers the remains of the other Wybie.
- "He pulled a loooong face... and mother didn't like that. Not one bit."
- The Other Father's deterioration and death.
Sssorry...ssssooo sssorry...M-mother making meeeee....
- The Other Mother's real form and real real form.
- That whole thing of sewing buttons onto eyes.
- Neil Gaiman holding the buttons over his eyes and smiling in this video.
- The Other Father's song about Coraline, which eerily foreshadows the whole thing about sewing buttons onto eyes.
Makin' up a song about Coraline
She's a peach, she's a doll, she's a pal of mine
She's as cute as a button in the eyes of everyone who's ever laid their eyes on Coraline
When she comes around exploring
Mom and I will never ever make it boring
Our eyes will be on Coraline!
- Oh, there is a crap load of foreshadowing in that song without the button thing; for instance "our eyes will be on Coraline" references that the doll sees all and by all, they mean all. Your adventures in the woods, your yearning for a more interesting life, your parents who can easily be replaced... After I saw the movie I could never hear that cutesy tune without a shiver running down my spine.
- "I'll give you to the count of three. One... two... THREEEEE!".
- Coraline suddenly getting grabbed by the Other Spink and Forcible monster.
Thief!! GIVE IT BACK!
- Some of the pictures in the novel - especially the picture of the Other Mother with a bug in her mouth. It just doesn't look right.
- The making of the puppet-things themselves here. *shudder*
- The scene after Coraline throws the cat at the Other Mother and her eyes get clawed off and she turns the room into a web. That part was actually so disturbing that this troper's brother and his girlfriend (ages 22) both curled up into little balls on the couch watching with utter terror as the scene got scarier and scarier by the second. And rightfully so.
- If anything, the music during that scene can certainly scare the crap out of you, especially if you listen to it in the dark.
- The cover of the book almost gave this troper a heart attack when she saw it in fifth grade. The girl is evidently Coraline (or a mirror reflection of her) -- her body looks mostly normal, but her neck is huge and very awkward and her face looks like it had buttons sewn onto them once, then removed, leaving big hollows where they once were.
- If you look at it from a Freudian sense Coraline has a lot of No Yay subtext with the Other Mother. And then there's the fact that the Other Mother is a creepy Yandere towards Coraline.
"Mothers don't eat daughters..."