Saturday, June 1, 2013


Norman: Because you want
everyone to hurt just as
much as you are. So whenever
you wake up, you play this
game, but you don't play fair! Aggie: They hurt me!
Norman: So you hurt them
back? Aggie: I wanted
everyone to see how rotten
they were!
Norman: You're just like them, Agatha!


In the small town of Blithe
Hollow, Massachusetts, a boy
named Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is able to speak with the
dead, including his
late grandmother (Elaine Stritch) and various ghosts in town. Almost
no one believes
him and he is isolated
emotionally from his family
while being ridiculed by his
peers. Norman becomes friends with
Neil Downe (Tucker Albrizzi), an overweight boy who is
bullied himself and finds
Norman a kindred spirit. During
rehearsal of a school play
commemorating the town's witch
execution of three centuries ago, Norman has a vision of the
town's past and being pursued
as a witch by the town's
citizenry. Afterward, the boys
are confronted by Norman's
estranged and seemingly deranged uncle Mr.
Prenderghast (John Goodman) who tells his nephew that he
soon must take up his regular
ritual to protect the town.
Soon after this encounter,
Prenderghast dies. Norman soon has another
vision, creating a public
spectacle of himself, which
leads to his father (Jeff Garlin) grounding him. His mother (Leslie
Mann) tells him that his father's stern manner
is because he is afraid for him.
The next day, Norman is
confronted by the
Prenderghast's ghost who
tells him that the ritual must be performed with a certain
book before sundown that day.
Norman sets off to retrieve
the book. He then goes to the
graves of the five men and two
women who were cursed by the witch they condemned, but
finds the book is merely a
series of fairy tales. Alvin (Christopher Mintz- Plasse), a school
bully, interferes with the reading
until after sundown. A ghostly
storm resembling the witch
appears in the air while the
cursed dead arise and pursue
the boys until they meet Norman's sister, Courtney
(Anna Kendrick), Neil and his older brother, Mitch (Casey Affleck),
who have come to retrieve Norman. The kids are
pursued by the zombies into
town, but Norman contacts
classmate Salma (Hannah
Noyes) for help, who tells
them to access the Town Hall's archives for the location of
the witch's unmarked grave. As the kids make their way to
the Town Hall, the zombies are
attacked by the citizenry.
During the riot, the kids break
into the archives but cannot
find the information they need. As the mob moves to attack
Town Hall, the witch storm
appears and Norman climbs the
Hall's tower to read the book,
but the witch strikes it with
lightning and causes him to fall back down into the
archives. Unconscious, Norman has a
dream where he learns that the
witch was Agatha Prenderghast
(Jodelle Micah Ferland), a little girl of his age who was
also a medium. After awakening,
Norman encounters the zombies
and realizes that all they
wanted was to speak with him to
ensure he would take up the ritual to minimize the harm of
the mistake they made with
Agatha. Norman attempts to help the
zombies slip away to have them
guide him to Agatha's grave,
but are cornered by the mob.
Courtney confronts the crowd
and convinces them to back off. Judge Hopkins (Bernard Hill) guides
Norman's family to the
grave in a forest. Before the
grave is reached, Agatha's
magic separates Norman from
the others. Norman finds the grave and
interacts with Agatha in the
spirit dimension, determined to
stop the cataclysmic tantrum
she had been having over the
years. She asks him to leave her be, but Norman holds his
ground, telling her he
understands how she feels as
an outcast. Norman endures her
assault and eventually
convinces her that her vengeance is accomplishing
nothing and persuades her to
stop. Norman tells her that
there must have been someone
who was kind to her. Agatha recalls happy memories
with her mother. She is able to
find a measure of peace and
move on to the afterlife. The
storm dissipates, and she and
the zombies all fade away. The town cleans up and regards
Norman as a hero. At the end,
Norman watches a horror film
with the ghost of his
grandmother, and his family
joins him.


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