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Stopmotion

A disturbing and visually stunning stop at the crossroads of creation and obsession, “Stopmotion” delivers for fans of animation and horror.

Stopmotion

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It is surprising how little animated horror is available. There are definitely some out there, like Perfect Blue and Akira. Those classics aside, there just aren’t many options to choose from if you’re a fan of darker, more disturbing animated films.

What makes this relatively small number of films so strange is that animation and horror are a perfect match.

Both rely on imagination and take audiences to worlds that other genres are not capable of. This is especially true of stop motion animation, which has an inherent oddness that is perfect for genre cinema.

Stopmotion is a British horror movie that combines live-action with stop motion, though the first two-thirds more accurately just have elements of the animation technique.

The plot follows Ella (Aisling Franciosi, The Nightingale), who becomes obsessed with finishing her film after her mother enters the hospital. It is not long before her work begins to take over her life.

The opening is a colorful shot that looks straight at Ella, who seems to be going through multiple emotions in a second. It is a precursor to things to come on a number of levels. Stopmotion is not bathed in colors but instead uses reds and purples in the more erratic scenes. These moments stand out, with the lighting adding to the emotions.

(The exception is the final scene of Stopmotion, which takes place in an almost completely red room. Much like the rest of the film, the color accentuates what is happening.)

While some scenes run a little long, the script is excellently paced.

This is as much character study as it is a scary flick.

Stopmotion does an excellent job of making sure things flow smoothly. The opening establishes what type of person Ella is, making it easier for anyone watching to become invested in her life as she tries to piece everything together.

The marriage of live-action and animation is done to perfection. Stopmotion is telling two parallel stories that also intersect. There is a good amount going on, and it can be confusing if not done right.

Director Robert Morgan makes sure to tell the story in a way that keeps the audience engaged — anything vague or confusing is intentional.

Along with the collapse of Ella’s life, the direction of her own film is a mystery. It is very cliche and seemingly predictable, but it is an important part of Stopmotion. As things progress, there is also the possibility that things are not as obvious as they seem.

The ending will definitely not be for everyone since it does not provide a concrete conclusion.

However, those who have been enjoying Stopmotion up until this point will think it is a perfect finale.

Animation becomes more involved, and there is some amazing imagery.

Between the breathtaking visuals is the story of a person filled with doubt and insecurity who may also be losing their mind.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 5
Stopmotion will be released in theaters on February 23, 2024. Check out what else we have to say about Stopmotion on this week’s Adventures in Movies podcast right here on the Morbidly Beautiful Podcasting Network.

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