Today: July 9, 2024


What’s the first thing you think of when you think of stop-motion? You probably think of Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, Ray Harryhausen, or Laika’s output. But as proven in 1985’s The Adventures of Mark Twain, stop-motion can be bloody terrifying. Robert Morgan’s new horror Stopmotion takes this to the extreme, and shows us the enormous horror potential for this method of animation. 
After the loss of her overbearing mother (Stella Gonet), a stop-motion animator (Aisling Franciosi) becomes consumed by her demons as the grotesque world of her horrifying creations comes to life with deadly results.

Stopmotion is a grisly, putrid little film – in the best possible way. Like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’s portrayal of the ‘mad and the macabre’, Stopmotion is a film that feels dirty and depraved. The main attraction of the film is, of course, its’ nightmarish stop-motion sequences complete with sickeningly gooey sound design. These segments are exceptionally harrowing and unlike anything you’ve seen in horror before – they are skincrawlingly disturbing, and feel like a fever dream. It’s a shame, then, that the rest of the film struggles to match this level of discomfort.

The film is otherwise a rather predictable, by-the-numbers character-driven indie horror flick. And the film’s ambiguous arthouse feel does occasionally veer a little too closely to self-indulgent pretentiousness. But those stop-motion sequences… They’re exceptional. The closest to a nightmare that cinema can get. 

At its best, Stopmotion is unforgettably disturbing nightmare fuel. At its worst, it’s predictable and pretentious. But at a tight 90 minutes, Stopmotion deserves your time just for that animation and sound design. It’s about as distressing as horror can get.

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