Monsters generate their city's power by scaring children, but they are terribly afraid themselves of being contaminated by children, so when one enters Monstropolis, top scarer Sulley finds his world disrupted.
By tying thousands of balloons to his home, 78-year-old Carl sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. Russell, a wilderness explorer 70 years younger, inadvertently becomes a stowaway.
The teenage DJ is observing his neighbor Nebbercracker on the other side of their street in the suburb that destroys tricycles of children that trespass his lawn. When DJ's parents travel on the eve of Halloween and the abusive nanny Zee stays with him, he calls his clumsy best friend Chowder to play basketball. But when the ball falls in Nebbercracker's lawn, the old man has a siege, and soon they find that the house is a monster. Later the boys rescue the smart Jenny from the house and the trio unsuccessfully tries to convince the babysitter, her boyfriend Bones and two police officers that the haunted house is a monster, but nobody believes them. The teenagers ask their video-game addicted acquaintance Skull how to destroy the house, and they disclose its secret on the Halloween night. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In almost any neighbourhood, there is always that one house, or that unit of apartment, which has spiritual connotations attached to it. It could be because of tragedy, or rumours, or just for the simple reason that it's unoccupied, or has some elderly, probably unkindly, strange looking old folk living in it, that gives the creeps to anyone under the age of 10.
In Monster House, it uses a familiar urban legend, and plays up the nastiness associated with such a location. DJ (Mitchel Musso) stays opposite a creepy looking house, and bears witness, through his telescope, of the things that go bump in the night, and the horrible things that it does. Natually, because he's a kid, nobody believes him, save for good friend cum resident fat-kid loser Chowder (Sam Lerner).
The story's kept tight by having set a day before Halloween, and despite the children being stereotyped, Chowder actually stole the show from DJ with his at time innocent, at time crafty and sly antics, and there's a nice tango for attention between the two boys and their crush of the moment - Jenny (Spenser Locke). So while the three of them get set to unravel the mystery of the Monster House, it doesn't disappoint, with the bickering, laughs and budding romance, chemistry like that between Potter, Ron and Hermione. Hmm.. now that I mentioned, it looked more like a Harry Potter clone.
The graphics require some getting used to, given that it's deliberately not done in a cutesy manner, thereby coming across at times as quite stiff. Come to think of it, there isn't an artificially created "cute" character in the movie, as it adapts "real life" as best as it could, in an animated form. And for a horror movie, it put its real life counterparts to shame, especially in its anticipatory build up in mood and atmosphere.
Anyway, the trailer doesn't give much away except to whet your appetites, so I'll keep it at that rather than to inadvertently reveal any surprises. And if you're undecided between the two animated flicks on offering this week at the local cinemas, then my advice would be to pick Monster House over Barnyard. Here, the story is clearer superior. And that's what matters, really.
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