This is Tim Burton at his finest doing what he does best: clever works of gothic animation replete with quirky characters and a dark fairy tale aesthetic. The B&W photography and pasty white puppets perfectly capture the look and feel of all those Saturday afternoon monster movies. Look closely and you will see brilliant nods to the likes of Frankenstein and company, the Wolfman, Count Dracula, and the Mummy while a few townsfolk bear uncanny resemblances to Boris Karloff and Vincent Price. Plus, as a hilarious update, there is a clever take on one of Toho Studios more loveable creations complete with screaming Japanese victim. It’s all good gruesome fun, definitely not for the littlest family members, which will leave older kids amused while the rest of us howl at the literary allusions and Hollywood in-jokes.

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