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Monster House (2006)

August 16th, 2007 by Maxim · No Comments · 3,419 Views


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Monster House (Widescreen Edition)

Starts with music typical for horror movies and the image of the fall. Liefs all turn brown and red. Probably middle of October, which implies that Halloween is soon. Oh, yeah – that’s what kids say: Halloween in one day. One of the kids, DJ (Mitchel Musso) notices that the owner of the house (Kathleen Turner) across the street gets very mad when someone walks on his lawn; even breaks a little gap-tooth girl’s tricycle. Then the owner of the house dies. But it’s not the owner of the house the kids have to be afraid of. Strange things begin to happen in and with the house. After the old man died, the smoke began to come out of the chimney; someone calls the boy across the street, and the phone call seems to originate from the house; things dropped on the house’s lawn disappear like in Bermuda Triangle. There’s no end to the kid’s curiosity; he seems to notice that someone is still in the house. To add to the mystery, the boy overhears the conversation of his babysitter with her boyfriend, who says that when he was little the owner of the house used to take his toys too. And, as Halloween approaches, things get weirder.

The girl who was selling Halloween candy was funny.

The scary parts with dramatic music were too predictable: you can always tell when there is a false scare. I guess it may still work for kids under 10-11.

Overall, lame, but kids are easier to please… and to scare, especially when the old man yells and rips the wheel of the 6-year old’s tricycle – I can see why little children may be intimidated. I was watching it practically emotionless. Not once did it make me laugh or afraid. The story was not particularly gripping, so I wasn’t sitting on the edge of the seat. Even the sequences that were supposed to be the most dramatic, like the one when the kids were inside the house and the house was trying to eat them, or when the house was chasing them closer to the end - it seemed like these sequences were lacking energy. That being said, the characters were well thought through and voices match them well. The good thing about the movie is that the characters are very believable – except for cops. I liked the babysitter Elizabeth (Maggie Gyllenhaal) character - so believable I kept trying to remember who she reminded me of. The voice and the body language of the old man were very much like Smeagole’s (from the ”Lord of the Rings”).

This film uses motion capture animation, just like the Polar Express. I heard that the story was laying on the shelf waiting for the right technology to come around, so this film seems a logical follow-through by Robert Zemekis after the motion capture technique was tested on Polar Express, which is a short story turned full-length feature. The cast of Kathleen Turner is not particularly surprising: she gave her voice to my ideal of a woman, Jessica Rabbit (”Who Framed Roger Rabbit”). Obviously, directing an animated feature is not the same as directing Indiana Jones. I really admired how camera angles were selected – this really improves the visual experience. I wish I’ve seen it in theatres in Digital 3D!

The film is not one of those Cartoon Network ones that make kids feel good – it’s more of film for introducing children to the horror movies. Not a bad movie, but some how it wasn’t particularly captivating. Children 7 and older may like it better.

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Rated 4/5 on Aug 16 2007
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Tags: Animation · DVD · Movies

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