Horror Recommendation: The Corpse Bride (2005)

Posted: by The Editor

the corpse bride original

The Corpse Bride (2005): Directed by Tim Burton

In One Sentence: A shy person is forced to marry someone he has never met, actually marries a dead person and the dead eventually walk the earth.

Why You Should Watch: Okay, I am in LOVE with hopeless romanticism, to the point that I have started calling them Doom Rom’s. The Corpse Bride is close, but has such a beautiful element of horror stitched into it that I thought I would give my nerves a break and get to the real cause of my nightmares — love and the horrifying nature of ‘dying’ alone.

In this beautifully animated Burton flick, we find the real world colorless, gray and full of apathetic monotony yet the underworld vibrant and full of interesting characters. It’s almost like the thought of death is a happy place, and we even see it envisioned as such. Sure, it is an extended metaphor for finding happiness but the horror is there. A butler chokes and immediately is served beer upon entering the afterlife. It’s a party, one in which we can spend our lives wasting away our life or making the most of it, finding love and beauty in the ruination around us. Shit, it’s getting dark in here.

Anyways, so La Tee Da guy played by Johnny Depp delivers a surprisingly emotive performance that allows us to be familiar with the situation. An accidental mishap takes us into a relationship that isn’t really the right one, but there’s some kind of unique beauty in it. From horrified to confused to accepting, we see Victor (Depp) go through it all and find it in himself to be able to love, only for Emily (dead wife) to see the beauty in that and accept it, freeing herself in the process (after the zombies murder someone, because nothing says love without destroying the people that leave us for dead).

And how can we NOT feel like Emily a few times in our lives? Heart is already broken, our breath meaningless and yet we still cannot find the one thing that makes us entirely happy. The blueness of our situations only gets crippled because we feel forever unwanted and a disgrace, part of the picture but never in the center. We have so much talent to give but in the end we have to take what we love, set it aside and drift away to be a lesson to all those surrounding us.

I could go on and on about how particularly perfect this entire film is, so I guess I will in one more paragraph below.

Did I mention how quotable this movie is? My gosh, it terribly parallels life in such a way that we should always remember how beautiful our smiles are. Not to mention the one liner jokes about death and other cliche horror niches in this film are cleverly written, with the candid sense of humanism portrayed elegantly. It’s a bit of an odd tale however because Victor seems to love someone within like 15 minutes of knowing them, but that’s besides the point. The point here is that sometimes the simple nature of ourselves is the most horrifying thing we know, and there are ways to see past that and find the appreciative form of ourselves that deserves to be filled with happiness. This is easily one of Burton and Depp’s best films together, scored by Danny Elfman, you just know it’s a bigger than thought film with plenty of enchanted admiration to be passed around.

Favorite Line: Isn’t the view beautiful? It takes my breath away. Well, it would if I had any.