If Netflix has taught me anything, it's that nothing lasts forever. There have been countless times when I've come across a movie I wanted to watch on the site, only to see that it's been removed by the time I actually attempt to view it. Netflix is constantly shedding films to make way for new content, so you need to act quickly when you see something on there you want to see; especially if it's something a little off the beaten path. That's why I'm recommending one weird movie you should watch on Netflix before it goes away, because you don't want to be kicking yourself for missing this oddball gem.
The film is Coraline, a 2009 stop-motion animated film from Laika, the same studio that produced Kubo and the Two Strings and ParaNorman. In a few short years, the company has made a name for itself by making beautifully animated and surprisingly dark family films, but their biggest success to date — and their darkest offering — remains their first feature, Coraline. The movie is based on the book of the same name by fantasy author Neil Gaiman, whom you may recognize as one of the top voices in the genre today, having authored books like American Gods, Stardust, and Neverwhere.
The movie is about as weird as a so-called kids movie can get. The protagonist is Coraline, an 11-year-old girl who has just moved to a new neighborhood with her busy, inattentive parents. Naturally, Coraline hates her new home and wishes she hadn't moved there, while her parents have no time to hear her concerns — pretty standard kids movie plot so far. However, things quickly take a strange and dark turn.
Coraline's new weird neighbor, a boy named Wybie, gives Coraline a doll that looks exactly like her with buttons for eyes. This is obviously a bizarre gesture, but it gets a whole lot weirder when the doll leads Coraline to a secret passageway in her home that brings her to another dimension called Other World. This world looks just like the one she knows, except everyone has buttons for eyes (creepy). In this world, everyone — especially her parents — is much nicer and more attentive, and Coraline becomes attached to the Other World, so much so that she longs to stay there forever. However, there is a catch. To stay, she'll have to replace her eyes with buttons.
Coraline soon discovers, thanks in part to a talking cat, that not everything is as pleasant as it seems in the Other World, and that her "Other Mother" is actually a powerful witch who recruits people from the real world to serve her in her own dark dimension. Again, this is "kids movie," but it's very disturbing and highly inventive, and brought to life beautifully by director Henry Selick, who also helmed The Nightmare Before Christmas.
In addition to its beauty and unique story, Coraline is also a winner because of its title character. Coraline herself is a strong, independent, and inquisitive female protagonist; the kind you don't often see in a kids movie. She's not a princess, doesn't have a love interest, and doesn't act the way society wants her to. She's her own person who solves her own problems, and she's someone you'll find yourself growing attached to and rooting for.
Coraline won't be on Netflix forever, so if you've never seen this underrated and spooky gem, make sure and do it ASAP, before the movie disappears to the Other World for good.