Thursday, April 23, 2015
The Boxtrolls (2014)
This movie has a darkness to it—in both the images and the themes—a darkness that is practically existential in nature, but not very far removed from the dark themes of other children's stories. The movie creates a hierarchical world, with strict rules governing that structure, and it introduces us to a cast of eccentric and often grotesque characters who live and breathe in the highly classist world that is not so far removed from many places that exist today. It's gloriously inventive, wonderfully funny, and gorgeous to look at, the screen filled with sometimes overwhelming detail. The universe "The Boxtrolls" gives us is one both strange and familiar: a town that exists in some kind of collective unconscious with its narrow streets, massive main square, teetering mansions and slimy alleyways. It's out of a fairy tale; it's medieval Europe; it's Dickens. Very nicely done, with a lot to appeal to adults and children alike.