This movie has been haunting me since I saw it a few weeks ago. It is at once lovely and alarming, tender and violent, sweet and severe.
Watching it took me back immediately and completely to being a little girl told a story too scary for her ears. And, in spite of nearly fainting from fear, not wanting it to stop being told. I can easily imagine this feeling but it's been a very long time since I actually felt it. Sitting in that dark movie theatre, I was Alice shrinking in size.
The violence of this film is unmistakable. It is brutal, unpredictable, and unannounced. But there was something about even the violence that was innocent. It was as if it were imagined by a child. If you've ever talked to a child about gore you'll know that it's a mistake to assume they can't imagine it. But they often get it wrong, overdoing it in one area, underimagining in others. It is precisely with this sort of inconsistency that this violence is translated in this film. For instance, a gunshot to the face appears as just the tiniest hole in the cheek.
The movie is as much wonderful as it is disturbing. It is full of magic and surprises, fairies and secrets. It is a dream that has been brought to life, bringing with it the monsters from beneath the bed and the corners of the closet.
Go to the website to hear the amazing soundtrack.