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Overall Rating
4.03

Awesome: 37.5%
Worth A Look40.38%
Average: 13.46%
Pretty Bad: 4.81%
Total Crap: 3.85%

10 reviews, 44 user ratings



Monster House
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by EricDSnider

"The house that hates people. Not Dr. House, the other one."
3 stars

The first thing you'll have to get past in "Monster House" is the fact that it's an animated film aimed at kids but it's not a comedy. You'll think it's going to be one from the trailers and commercials, and it does have some jokes in it. But "Jaws" has some jokes in it, too, and no one's calling that a comedy.

No, "Monster House" is more or less a straight-up scary movie, the junior version of those glib horror flicks where the heroes make wisecracks even in the face of terror. The problem here is that the lightness of the wisecracks keeps the terror from being very frightening, and the lameness of the wisecracks keeps them from being very funny.

Set in sunny suburbia, the film's hero is DJ (voice of Mitchel Musso), about 12 and obsessed with the "haunted house" across the street. Every neighborhood has one of these: the creaky old two-story occupied by a reclusive old man rumored to be some sort of devil. If your ball lands on his lawn, you leave it.

This house's crotchety old occupant is Mr. Nebbercracker (Steve Buscemi). After he is rushed to the hospital for an apparent heart attack, DJ and his buttery friend Chowder (Sam Lerner) -- blessed with the departure of DJ's parents and an inattentive teenage babysitter (Maggie Gyllanhaal) -- set out to fully investigate and record the strange doings of the house.

For it seems this house is a living entity. It rolls out its entryway carpet like a tongue, moves its porch like a mouth, and scrunches up its second-story windows like eyes. DJ and Chowder, joined by a pretty neighbor girl named Jenny (Spencer Locke), whom they both flirt with, even witness the house devouring someone. And today is Halloween! Dozens of kids will be walking up the front steps and ringing the doorbell, the last thing you want to do to a hungry, angry house.

Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis are the executive producers, and the film aims for the kind of giggly thrills that some of their films have provided. But first-time director Gil Kenan and the trio of credited writers have mustered a film that merely passes the time. Apart from an adventurous, exciting finale and a few small chuckles and mild thrills throughout, the movie is nothing special. Had it been released at Halloween (where it surely belongs), you might count it as marginal seasonal fun. In the middle of summer, though, it barely registers.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=14660&reviewer=247
originally posted: 07/21/06 16:53:33
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Seattle Film Festival For more in the 2006 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

8/13/10 karamashi One of the best CGI films on the decade. 5 stars
10/25/09 Barbara25 Catch them before they fall: Identification and assessment to prevent reading failure in yo 2 stars
10/25/09 His_wife72 Upon clicking the web address, the recipient is connected to a website containing active co 3 stars
10/24/09 Mr.Carrot80 Someone makes a widget, someone buys that widget at a lower price than they in turn sell i 4 stars
10/24/09 Arnold95 There is accumulating evidence that smaller depositories treat their customers in a less 5 stars
10/24/09 Bob49 Principals paint a vibrant picture of community engagement: local community-based organizat 2 stars
10/24/09 Loy39 If they cannot withstand the scrutiny by having the light of day shine on their dubious act 2 stars
10/24/09 JXL18 What's Going On has been reissued on casette tape and compact disc as well. , 3 stars
10/23/09 Kelvin53 As today's compromised sites are injected with malicious scripts, it will be a challenge to 5 stars
10/23/09 BadGirl81 So how do you do this when your writing job keeps you tied to your desk? , 5 stars
7/28/09 Dr.Lao Could have been great if they didn't strain so hard to be funny 3 stars
8/15/08 Shaun Wallner Great Kids Film! 5 stars
5/21/08 PAUL SHORTT NEWFANGLED TECHNOLOGY PROVIDING OLD-FASHIONED FRIGHTS 2 stars
2/09/08 Samantha P i thought this movie was too scary to be a kids movie, i'm 19 and i jumped a few times! 4 stars
10/14/07 Private Terrific production design. CGI horror for teens up though borderline offensive sidekick. 5 stars
6/28/07 Carol Baker good animation but I've seen better 3 stars
6/10/07 Danielle Ophelia Not a total loss...vaguely disappointing, but not devastating. 3 stars
5/28/07 fools♫gold Whenonesees trustedshelter turningonthe public. Alongversion ofa smart episode of "Courage" 5 stars
5/24/07 Tracey Chambers not a kids movie, and too boring for adults. 1 stars
3/21/07 David Pollastrini great animation 4 stars
1/29/07 Jim Funny, dark, but doesn't anyone else live on this street? See also Thief of Always ... 4 stars
1/11/07 Tracey Chambers not fun at all. boring and well, just plain stupid. 1 stars
11/10/06 Charles Tatum Creepy, fun stuff 4 stars
11/09/06 Seanboy Pure fun. Great use of Jason Lee, Heder. 4 stars
10/31/06 May Q. Horney FATAL HAL meets SHALLOW ATTRACTION. 1 stars
10/15/06 William Goss Effortless entertainment, more so for big kids than young ones. 4 stars
10/10/06 Zack Morris Great movie, Brings back memories of the Goonies, Monter Squad, Lost boys 5 stars
9/22/06 Lisa Craven Great kids movie, my 6 year old loved it and was not at all scared. 4 stars
9/19/06 Joyster kind of boring 3 stars
8/24/06 Jordan Green it was crazy and wicked,it ruled. 5 stars
8/24/06 Chad Thomas Good movie! The kids are nearly as dead looking as in Polar Express! 4 stars
8/18/06 Tiffany not for little kids 4 stars
8/16/06 Littlepurch Great. Well-cast actors, a lot of humour, and it was nice that it tried to be scary. 4 stars
8/16/06 EMMA RUTHERFORD NOT AT ALL FOR CHILDREN AGED 6 OR UNDER!! WOULD NOT RECOMMEND IF YOUR CHILD IS JUMPY!!!!!!! 1 stars
8/06/06 Erik Van Sant Forget 'Cars'. This is the animated pic of the year. Reminded me of childhood movie-going. 5 stars
8/02/06 chris dawson Typical Spielberg/Zemekis fluff--quickly forgotten. 3 stars
8/02/06 Mase Easily the best flick of the summer, for smart kids and adults. Will pass the test of time. 5 stars
8/01/06 Dena A great idea that fell flat. I was bored within the first 2 minutes. 2 stars
7/29/06 Troy M. Grzych Pure fun and excitement. Outstanding use of Film! 5 stars
7/29/06 Ole Man Bourbon Cute and fun, seems too scary for kids, drags a little, black character is a stereotype. 4 stars
7/29/06 KingNeutron Decent FX, just-average plot; some scary moments. 3 stars
7/26/06 Quigley I thought it was really cool. Chowder was a riot. Thank you, Spielberg and Zemeckis 5 stars
7/22/06 spoiledmeat this decades goonies perhaps? 5 stars
7/22/06 David Hollingsworth This is the best family film of 2006. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-Jul-2006 (PG)
  DVD: 24-Oct-2006

UK
  11-Aug-2006

Australia
  14-Sep-2006




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