SPOILERS AHEAD! If you haven’t watched the movie, turn back now!
Based on the book of the same name, Coraline is a captivating stop-motion movie released in 2009 which has a dark and terrifying story. It follows the young Coraline Jones who recently moved into a flat in an old Pink house with her workaholic and somewhat neglectful parents. There, she meets a pair of old and forgotten actresses, an odd man who claims to have a mice circus, and another kid named Whyborn who’s often followed by a black stray cat.
Despite the colorful neighbors though, what really interested Coraline was a small door that’s supposed to lead to the other part of the house. Unfortunately, it was bricked up. That is until she woke up in the middle of the night and found the door leading to a small bright-colored tunnel. Unable to resist, Coraline enters through the door and exits to a new world resembling her own complete with her entire Pink House neighborhood and parents. The difference though was that these “other” people had buttons for eyes.
Turns out, the door leads to another dimension ruled by a dark entity known as the beldam (she was referred to as the beldam in the books but in the movie, she was just called the other mother) who traps children with her by offering them everything they want then eventually eating them and trapping their souls forever.
By the end of the movie, as well as in the book, Coraline manages to free the three souls of the children the beldam trapped and escape with her parents. However, one of the beldam’s hands was able to escape the locked door and tried to take the only existing key which could open the portal again. Coraline was only able to stop it by throwing the key into an extremely deep and dangerous well. Then the story concludes with her, her parents, and every neighbor working on the back garden.
Now, if that was the last image, then you may have accepted it as a happy ending. The problem is that before the screen blacks out, it fades into the shot of the pink house and the cat who disappears behind the post which, as shown in the movies, he was only able to do while at the other dimension. So, with that being said, do you still believe it’s a happy ending? If you do, here are some things that may change your mind:
THE CAT STILL HAS POWERS
The main evidence that makes the ending hazy in the movie is that the cat disappeared behind the post. This implies that A) Coraline may not have been able to escape the first time and was only made to believe she did, in which case, she is doomed, B) The cat is also a magical entity who may or may not be playing against the beldam, or C) The people behind the movie just thought it was a cool shot.
NOBODY CARED ABOUT THE TIME JUMP
Neither in the books nor in the movie did any of the adults noticed the time jump. Coraline’s parents were gone for two days yet they acted as if they hadn’t been gone for more than a few hours. In the books, Coraline called the police and even spoke to two of her neighbors to report her missing parents. But in both endings, nobody paid attention to them being gone nor asked them about it. This begs the question, were they really gone or had Coraline just been stuck in the other world and made to think they were?
THE GHOST CHILDREN WARNED HER
After she won the dangerous game against the beldam, Coraline dreamed about the children again and was told that while their ordeal was over, hers was not. The reason being that the beldam will always find Coraline as long as the key still exists which leads to the other major proof that the story isn’t finished.
THE KEY STILL EXISTS
Coraline never destroyed the key. It still exists and was just thrown down the well along with the beldam’s hand (which could very well put itself together). Yes, the well is deep, dark, and dangerous. But what if it’s not just a well?
In the book, the cat told Coraline that there are other passages that can lead to the other dimension of the beldam. So, what if the well is another portal? It certainly resembled the tunnel that connects the door from the real world to the other. If it’s indeed the case then Coraline has just handed the key right into the beldam’s clutches which means, she could open the door and terrorize the inhabitants of the Pink house again.