13-year-old DJ is observing his neighbor Nebbercracker on the other side of the 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 heart attack, 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
Monster House has now become a traditional watch among casual viewers.
Interestingly this received a mixed reception upon release, but as time has gone on it slowly garnered a following. I can see why, especially for younger audiences. Halloween films designed for the whole family are rare these days and I do think this was released way ahead of its time. A couple of kids believe their neighbour's house is actually alive after the owner is rushed to hospital. Conducting their own little investigation, the kids are involved in a story that is slightly more personal and evokes sympathy. This is an unusual film, considering it's produced by Zemeckis and Spielberg. It's got the 80's adventure vibe that Spielberg is famous for and a similar style animation that Zemeckis used for "The Polar Express". This is one of those rare films where my score flips constantly, this time between a six and seven. There are many great elements. The inclusion of subtle horror and terror blends well with the witty script. Not enough to scare everyone but an adequate amount to frighten children. The characters were memorable and full of life, each hosting a differing personality so that the dialogue bounces back and forth consistently between them. The narrative moves along at a rapid pace, in fact rather impeccably well. The most important thing, and the major thing I'm sure you all took away from this, is that it teaches you what a uvula is. Literally. Whenever I think about this film, instantly the uvula pops into my mind. The biggest problem however is the third act. It's completely preposterous to a point where I'm thinking "...surely someone is going to see the giant house walking down the street attacking children?". The animation is slightly polygonal occasionally which does take you out of the film. However, it's a good Halloween film that captures the magic of older similar films. It only gets better with age, just prepare yourself for a stupid ending.
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