Saw this at the $3.00 theater on a whim and was blown away. Great film for kids 9 and up, but with lots of wise nods at and cheeky nudges for their parents. Far more comedy than horror, but with surprisingly poignant messages about outcasts and bullying (both in school and in society). And the stop-motion animation and art direction is brilliant. I expected Sixth Sense Jr. and got genuine laughs and heartstrings instead. The acting, direction, and writing of these kids as kids feels more authentic than a lot of live action.
This isn't "The Best Film of 2012" by any stretch, but I haven't enjoyed a film more in ages. And although I figured out the central plot conceit quite early (it's meant to be understood by its young audience, not just to entertain them), I'd rather not spoil it for anybody who's somehow interested on my recommendation alone. It was really satisfying to discover:
So the Pendergast family has been awkwardly holding back the town curse for 300 years with their occasional ability to talk to ghosts. The last guardian, a crazy uncle, can't do it anymore... so it's up to Norman, his brave but ineffective new friend Neal, their respective ditzy older siblings, and the school bully Alvin to set things right. There's some gross and tasteless stuff (mostly related to corpses), but nothing designed to horrifying rather than amuse. So PG is the perfect rating: It's aimed at 4th through 7th graders... especially the sort who still go see movies with their parents. I don't imagine even a skittish 6-year-old having nightmares, mind you, but really young ones aren't going to follow the plot or get much out of the dialogue.
See it. Seriously.
farther refers to physical distance, further refers to metaphorical distance, father refers to emotional distance