ParaNorman

Synopsis: Young Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee) has the ability to speak with the dead -- and he often prefers their company to that of the living. Norman receives word from his strange Uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman) that a centuries-old witch's curse on their town is real and about to come true -- and that only Norman can stop it. When zombies rise from their graves, Norman must summon all his courage and compassion and push his paranormal abilities to the limit to save his fellow townspeople.
Production: Focus Features
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 19 wins & 45 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.0
Metacritic:
72
Rotten Tomatoes:
87%
PG
Year:
2012
92 min
$55,994,557
Website
1,988 Views


1 INT. RESEARCH LABORATORY - NIGHT 1

An attractive FEMALE SCIENTIST in a gore-spattered labcoat moves fearfully along a wall, passing benches strewnwith broken lab equipment. Her ample bosom heaves as shePANTS nervously, mascara-rimmed eyes darting to and fro.

Glass SMASHES on the floor nearby and MELODRAMATIC MUSICswells. The woman backs into a shadow, not noticing apair of dead eyes catching the moonlight behind her.

The music climbs to a frenzy as something GROANS horriblyinto the woman’s ear. She spins around on her stiletto

heels as a rotted face looms out of the darkness,

drooling through broken teeth, and lunges at her neck.

Brains!

ZOMBIE:

CLOSE ON the woman as she raises her hands and SCREAMS.

CUT TO:

2 INT. BABCOCK’S HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 2

Eleven year-old NORMAN BABCOCK sits on the floorwatching TV. He has large piercing eyes and a messy shockof hair. The movie scene we just witnessed continues off-

screen with the sound of bloodcurdling SCREAMS.

Behind him sitting upon a sofa is GRANDMA BABCOCK, aplump old lady squinting through thick glasses.

GRANDMA BABCOCK:

What’s happening now?

NORMAN:

The zombie is eating her head,

Grandma.

GRANDMA BABCOCK:

That’s not very nice. What’s he

doing that for?

NORMAN:

Because he’s a zombie. That’s what

they do.

GRANDMA BABCOCK:

Well he’s going to ruin his

dinner. I’m sure if they justbothered to sit down and talk it

through it’d be a different story.

Norman CHUCKLES, as if the idea is absurd, then winces ashe hears his father shout from the kitchen.

ParaNorman 2.

2 CONTINUED:
2

PERRY BABCOCK (O.S.)

Norman! Didn’t I tell you to take

out the garbage?

Coming, Dad!

NORMAN:

GRANDMA BABCOCK:

Tell him to turn up the thermostattoo, will ya? My feet are likeice.

Norman nods to her and shuffles over to the kitchen door.

3 INT. BABCOCK’S HOUSE, KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS 3

Norman’s mother, SANDRA BABCOCK, is emptying the

dishwasher. She is in her late thirties, and wears ‘mom’clothes that do no favors for her figure. His father,

PERRY BABCOCK, is older, with a neatly-trimmed beardtrying hard to delineate chin from neck. He stands on achair, decked out in tool belt and safety goggles, eventhough he’s only changing a light bulb in a ceiling

fixture.

Sandra smiles at her son as he makes his way silently toan overstuffed trash can as tall as he is.

SANDRA BABCOCK:

Hi. Whatcha watching in there?

NORMAN:

Sex and violence.

SANDRA BABCOCK:

Oh. That’s nice.

Perry glares over as Norman wrestles with the garbage.

PERRY BABCOCK:

Can’t you be like other kids your

age and pitch a tent in the yard,

or have a healthy interest incarpentry?

Perry...

SANDRA BABCOCK:

NORMAN:

I thought you said kids my agewere too busy shoplifting andjoyriding?

Norman!

SANDRA BABCOCK:

He hefts the bag onto the floor and ties it in a knot.

ParaNorman 3.

3 CONTINUED:
3

Breezing into the kitchen through the back door while

CHATTING inanely on her cell phone, Norman’s older sister

COURTNEY is fifteen years-old and is the bleached-blonde

cheerleader archetype of every schoolboy’s sordid dreams.

COURTNEY:

Oh yeah, he’s r-i-double p-e-d.

Like, a seven pack at least.

(to Norman)

Ew! Watch it!

She pushes her brother out of the way as he drags the

garbage outside.

SANDRA BABCOCK:

Courtney, be nice.

COURTNEY:

Yeah, she totally doesn’t deserve

him. I mean, she’s nice and I

really like her, but she’s a

complete loser. Yeah, I know.

Courtney slumps into a chair at the table, twisting a

strand of gum out of her mouth with a finger.

Norman returns inside and shuts the door, pausing a

moment as if thinking something over.

NORMAN:

Dad? Grandma says, “Can you turn

up the heating?” Her feet are

cold.

The bubble Courtney is blowing POPS against her face,

Perry rolls his eyes and GROANS, and Sandra pales.

SANDRA BABCOCK:

Now, Perry...

PERRY BABCOCK:

How many times do we have to go

through this, Son? Your

grandmother is dead!

NORMAN:

I know!

PERRY BABCOCK:

Then why do you keep on talking to

her?

NORMAN:

Because she talks back!

COURTNEY:

O-M-G, you are such a liar!

ParaNorman 4.

3 CONTINUED:
(2) 3

NORMAN:

I’m not making this up! I swear!

She talks to me all the time!

COURTNEY:

Oh yeah? Prove it!

Norman levels her a look that says “you asked for this”.

NORMAN:

She said it’s not very ladylike to

hide photos of the High School

quarterback with his shirt off in

your underwear drawer.

Sandra and Perry raise their eyebrows.

COURTNEY:

I knew it! You’ve been sneaking

around in my personal stuff!

NORMAN:

No I haven’t! Grandma told me!

COURTNEY:

You are the worst!

Courtney, brimming with outrage, storms out of the

kitchen, her ponytail wagging furiously behind her.

Sandra kneels down beside Norman with a wearily

sympathetic smile.

SANDRA BABCOCK:

Norman, I know you and Grandma

were very close, but we all have

to move on. Grandma’s in a better

place now.

NORMAN:

No she’s not, she’s in the living

room.

Perry throws his arms in the air, swaying on the chair.

PERRY BABCOCK:

Your grandmother was old and sick,

and she died. That’s all there is

to it!

SANDRA BABCOCK:

Perry, this is just part of the

mourning process.

ParaNorman 5.

3 CONTINUED:
(3) 3

PERRY BABCOCK:

Stop indulging him! I’m nothing if

I’m not liberal, but that limpwristed,

hippie garbage needs tobe nipped in the bud!

Norman SIGHS and steps between his parents as they argue.

He mutely heads out of the room.

4 EXT. BABCOCK’S HOUSE, FRONT YARD - CONTINUOUS 4

The argument in the kitchen continues, slightly muted.

PERRY BABCOCK (O.S.)

This behavior might be okay with

your side of the family, but I’m

not putting up with it anymore!

Not me!

SANDRA BABCOCK (O.S.)

Oh, not this again!

PAN UP to find a light go on in Norman’s bedroom window.

5 INT. BABCOCK’S HOUSE, NORMAN’S BEDROOM - NIGHT 5

Norman sits on his bed, using a couple of zombie actionfigures to act out his parents’ ongoing “discussion”

which carries upstairs.

Norman gets up off the bed and approaches the door.

PERRY BABCOCK:

This isn’t the West Coast, Sandra;

people talk! They do!

SANDRA BABCOCK (O.S.)

He’s just sensitive, Perry.

PERRY BABCOCK (O.S.)

Oh please, “sensitive” is writing

poetry and being lousy at teamsports... not this! I won’t have

him turn out like that uncle of

yours! If that crazy old tramp hasbeen around here putting ideas inNorman’s head...

SANDRA BABCOCK (O.S.)

Perry, no one’s had anything to do

with Uncle Prenderghast in years!

I bet he doesn’t even know what

Norman looks like!

Norman quietly closes the door, and the room goes black.

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Chris Butler

CHRIS BUTLER lives in Brighton & Hove, on the south coast of England. He is the author of ANY TIME NOW and THE FLIGHT OF THE RAVENS. His short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s and Interzone, as well as The Best British Fantasy 2014. more…

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