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Monster House
     

Monster House

3.5 16
Director: Gil Kenan

Cast: Steve Buscemi, Nick Cannon, Maggie Gyllenhaal

 

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A suburban home has become physically animated by a vengeful human soul looking to stir up trouble from beyond the grave, and it's up to three adventurous kids from the neighborhood to do battle with the structural golem in this comically frightful tale, directed by Gil Kenan and featuring the voices of Steve

Overview

A suburban home has become physically animated by a vengeful human soul looking to stir up trouble from beyond the grave, and it's up to three adventurous kids from the neighborhood to do battle with the structural golem in this comically frightful tale, directed by Gil Kenan and featuring the voices of Steve Buscemi, Nick Cannon, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Kevin James. DJ Harvard (voice of Mitchel Musso) lives directly across the street from a most unusual house. A malevolent entity that longs to feed on the energy of the living, the once peaceful house that looms ominously outside of DJ's bedroom window would like nothing more than the chance to feast on the children of the neighborhood. As Halloween begins to draw near and the children of the neighborhood prepare for another long night of trick-or-treating, it appears as if it may be the house that is in for the biggest treat of all. Now, with the adults turning a deaf ear to DJ's strange findings, it's up to the brave young boy and his faithful friends Chowder (voice of Sam Lerner) and Jenny (Spencer Locke) to break through the barrier of the supernatural and defeat the powers of darkness before the house grows too powerful to fight.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
The spooky Radley place in To Kill a Mockingbird has nothing on the dread Nebbercracker abode in Monster House. Creepy. Mean. Scary. And that's just old man Nebbercracker (voiced by Steve Buscemi). The house is far, far worse -- or so 12-year-old DJ has come to fear. DJ becomes convinced that the house across the street is haunted and somehow alive. The audience already knows as much, as toys and other unfortunate objects disappear into the quicksand-like lawn. To investigate, DJ recruits his best friend, Chopper, the stereotypical chatty, fat sidekick and fellow misfit. They are joined by Jenny, an enterprising, quick-witted door-to-door school fundraiser for whom both boys feel the stirrings of a first adolescent crush. The trio can expect no help from adults who are by turns distracted (DJ's parents, who leave him for the weekend), disdainful (DJ's goth babysitter, voiced by Maggie Gyllenhaal), or disbelieving (two ill-fated cops, voiced by Kevin James and Nick Cannon). On the eve of October 31st, they will have to venture inside the house and destroy its vengeful heart before Halloween revelers get the ultimate trick. The film employs the "performance capture" animation pioneered in The Polar Express, digitally translating the movements of human actors into hyper-realistic animation. The effect is much improved this time out, if only in that the characters don't look like soulless children of the damned. Monster House is rated PG, but younger children may be upset by Nebbercracker's apparently fatal heart attack, which leaves the house unattended, and frightened by the house's attacks on those unfortunate enough to get within range of the carpet that emerges from the front door like a ravenous tongue. The climactic kid-versus-house showdown is particularly intense. Monster House is a thrilling relief from the recent spate of computer-animated talking-animal films. Its irresistible premise, as appealing as the prospect of toys coming to life in Toy Story, will evoke shivers of pleasure in anyone who ever imagined the worst about the eerie house down the street.
All Movie Guide
Monster House is a glorious return to form for exec producers (and masters of escapism) Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis -- and within the realm of computer animation, it's a welcome respite from the assembly line of movies in which zoo animals team up together. Gil Kenan's wellspring of imagination hearkens back to such Spielberg-produced classics as Gremlins and The Goonies, and it shares a motion-capture technology with Zemeckis' most recent directorial effort, The Polar Express. But Zemeckis has learned from the criticisms directed at Express. These animators have designed the characters as stylized versions of the vocal talent, rather than attempting the photo-realistic recreations of Express, which gave Tom Hanks a kind of zombie look. Monster House is indeed a technical marvel, its colors vibrant, its camera swooping through the frame (especially the opening, which follows a blowing leaf and a singing girl on a tricycle). But to focus just on that would short-change this terrific story, which is both funnier and scarier than children's movies usually get to be. In fact, so edgy is the script (by Dan Harmon, Pamela Pettler, and Rob Schrab), that it's almost more adult-oriented than child-oriented. There's real darkness and danger in this world of absentee parents, but there are also real children, real babysitters, and real video-game geeks -- this last a memorable cameo voiced by Napoleon Dynamite's Jon Heder. Bringing the marvelous dialogue to life are Maggie Gyllenhaal as the punked-out sitter, Jason Lee as her sketchy boyfriend, Steve Buscemi as a crotchety neighbor, and child actor Sam Lerner, whose spasmodic best friend falls somewhere between Eric Cartman and Chunk from The Goonies. The film's one failing is Nick Cannon's mouthy black police officer, whose character design and persona are uncharitable almost to the point of racist. Fortunately, the rest of Monster House is so good that it overpowers any such hiccups. Its star, the anthropomorphic mansion with the living lawn and the wooden jaws, is as creative a monster as Hollywood has produced in years.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/24/2006
UPC:
0043396155961
Original Release:
2006
Rating:
PG
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen, Color]
Time:
1:31:00
Format:
Sony PSP

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Steve Buscemi Nebbercracker
Nick Cannon Officer Lister
Maggie Gyllenhaal Zoe
Jon Heder Reginald 'Skull' Skulinski
Kevin James Officer Landers
Jason Lee Bones
Catherine O'Hara Mom
Kathleen Turner Constance
Fred Willard Dad
Mitchel Musso DJ Walter
Sam Lerner Chowder
Spencer Locke Jenny
Ryan Newman Little Girl
Woody Schultz Paramedic
Ian McConnel Paramedic
Erik Walker Bullies
Matthew Fahey Voice Only
Kevin the Dog Kevin the Dog
Blanchard Marissa Background Voices
Ranjani Brow Background Voices
Kimberly Beck Clark Background Voices
Miles Clark Background Voices
David Cowgill Background Voices
McKenna Cowgill Background Voices
Harrison Fahn Background Voices
Frannie Felder Background Voices
Spencer Lacey Ganus Background Voices
Bridget Hoffman Background Voices
Wendy Hoffman Background Voices
Mary Matilyn Mouser Background Voices
Emanuel Orlando Background Voices
Zoey Poll Background Voices
Zack Shada Background Voices
Justin Moran Shenkarow Background Voices
W.K. Stratton Background Voices
Hans Tester Background Voices
Corbett Tuck Background Voices
Ariel Winter Background Voices
Lora Witty Background Voices
Tyler Zaentz Background Voices
Kayleen Ancheta Motion Capture Models

Technical Credits
Gil Kenan Director
Scott Boland Casting
Michele Burke Consultant/advisor
Victoria Burrows Casting
Todd Cherniawsky Set Decoration/Design
Jason Clark Executive Producer
Xavier Pérez Grobet Cinematographer
Dan Harmon Original Story,Screenwriter
Aaron Haye Set Decoration/Design
Scott Herbertson Set Decoration/Design
Sony Pictures Imageworks Animator
Heather Smith Kelton Associate Producer
Rick Kline Sound Mixer
Mark Landon Makeup
Gary A. Lee Set Decoration/Design
Jason Lynch Set Decoration/Design
Ruth Myers Costumes/Costume Designer
Norman Newberry Art Director
Robert E. Ostermann Makeup
Greg Papalia Art Director
Pamela Pettler Screenwriter
Douglas Pipes Score Composer
Aldric La'Auli Porter Asst. Director
Jack Rapke Producer
Fabienne Rawley Editor
Andrew Reeder Set Decoration/Design
Gary Rizzo Sound Mixer
Bennett Schneir Associate Producer
Rob Schrab Original Story,Screenwriter
Adam P. Scott Editor
Steven Spielberg Executive Producer
Steve Starkey Producer
Kate Sullivan Set Decoration/Design
Tegan Taylor Makeup
Randy Thom Sound/Sound Designer
Ed Verreaux Production Designer
Robert Zemeckis Executive Producer

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Monster House 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
undoubledcolt More than 1 year ago
The main idea of the book is that the kids are really, scared of the man and his house that lives across the street. They are scared of the man because he is a mean, old man that lost his wife a long time ago and he blamed himself for it. The story is that the man and his wife were building there new house together and when he had to poor the pavement into the hole where they were putting there house. All of the sudden, the wife lost her balance and fell down into the wet cement and sunk down in never to be found again. Everyone now thinks that the obese woman is still here and haunting the old man's house and bringing it back to life. There are three children that live on the same street. There is two boys and one girl that is selling cookie dough. One of the boys were spending the night with the boy that lived right across from the old man. They met the girl when she came up to their front porch trying to sell some cookie dough. When the boys answered the door and a little kid was playing with a tricycle on the sidewalk right in front of the man's house. The child had wrecked and lost the child lost his bike and it went into the yard. It automatically sank into the ground and the old man came outside and yelled at the child for losing his bike in his yard and coming near his house. He was only upset because when anyone comes near the house it wakes up his dead wife ad makes her very angry. I think that this is a very good book and I cannot wait to read it again. However, it is probably rated PG so it is a little spooky for some children. Therefore, I would not recommend it for little kids that get scared easily. After all, this book is a pretty good book. I enjoyed it because it had a lot of suspense and I love suspenseful books. I also enjoyed the ending because it was a happy ending and I don't like stories that end badly and are depressing. That is why I like this book so much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wasn’t able to catch this in theater but was able to purchased this DVD yesterday and watch it with my entire family on Halloween night. After viewing this I thought it was good and frightening for the event. My kids was mesmerize but it with awe while my husband was frighten by it (Just kidding dear) “Monster House” is defiantly cool for kids (7 years and up), yet certain to be a hit with grown-ups but defiantly not for the younger tot’s. It manages to strike a chord with children by inhabiting the world they live in, full of creepy old men living in haunted houses, while at the same time, offering up enough scares and laughs to keep any 30 year old kid at heart thoroughly entertained. The animation is nothing short of inspired, as the motion capture technology truly breathes life into the CGI animation. Facial expressions, "camera angles" and "tracking shots" are planned with painstaking detail it's truly a sight to behold. You'll forget you're watching a 'cartoon' right from the fluttering leaf of the opening credits. Not content to stop there, the filmmakers have added to the superb animation with equally superb writing and a cast to deliver those lines. Familiar voices (see the above credits) fill the adult characters with a lot of humor, even though each adult is given only about 5 minutes of screen time. Each actor does a lot with their 5 minutes, completely deserving of their pay check. The clever casting of Jon Heder makes this the first film to get full dynamite for his cameo, as he fits in perfectly as an arcade legend. Still, with all this going for it, “Monster House” would have failed if its child roles didn't measure up. Fortunately, the three leads steal the show, aptly performing voice work that stretches from childhood tomfoolery to ghastly terror to puppy love, all within the same scene. Their honest approach to the scripts' clever and accurate depiction of children almost too old for trick or treating, yet not quite old enough to forget the bogeyman makes this a film that will certainly become a perennial Halloween favorite under the kids listing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Here we have a great family movie that breaks the mold, not that Madagascar& Over the Hedge, Finding Nemo & A Shark's Tale were bad movies, its just that one really eclipsed the other. This animated film offers something new. Anyone over five years of age probably won't find it scary and they shouldn't because its a kids movie. The movie is humorous and fast paced, and ORIGINAL. The concept is neat, and the characters are memorable. So do yourself and your kids a favor and purchase this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The animation was great--they used the same motion capture techniques used to animate The Polar Express, so you get very subtle realistic movements. The characters were adorable and lovable. And its got a great cast. But the premise was a little too "icky" for me at spots, and felt a little cold--I never really warmed up to the characters, or the whole idea of WHY the house is possessed. Plus, it has a ton of no-no behavior for children: peeing in empty bottles, messing around with bulldozers on construction sites, using dynamite...I mean, come on. Not only is this over the top, but who wants their kids mimicking this or thinking this is normal. It was a little bit of a let-down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this is going to be amazing as I expected. But its just another movie that had the same old factors. Plus, it DOESN'T EVEN DESERVE TO BE A NOMINEE AS A BEST ANIMATED FILM! Scariness is just plain corny. Don't even think of buying or renting this!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was really, really good. I saw it in school on Halloween. I though it would be stupid and child-ish but it wasn't it was actually really good. I reccomend it to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A friend and I rented this, and were shocked at the scary things that were happening in a childrens movie. It wasnt a good movie for adults and way too scary for young children.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the perks of this year's Halloween has to be this remarkable animation film. I haven't seen one in a while, but this one was pure pleasure. Old man Nebbercracker truly was creepy as was his wife or shall I say his house. Great, surprising end. Wholesome jokes abound that will make the whole family laugh or squirm.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an interesting movie and seemed more for the 12 or older than some kids movie. Its basically about 3 kids who think their house is alive and go about in proving it and maybe stopping it for good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I will have to admit this was a pretty good movie, but not for young kids. There were some scary things in the movie that young children would be afraid of, but i think kids that are over the age of 6 could handle it. The ending wasnt obvious like some other children movies, I didnt figure it out until the end. Overall I recommend this movie.
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