Monster House is a real pain to review because there really is nothing to talk about. It’s a completely straightforward tale with a few requisite laughs thrown in for the adults with a couple more for the kids. It all comes off as a rather joyless pursuit, another below average kid’s animation with the sole business purpose of making money. I think it’s safe to say Monster House is a completely one dimensional film with that dimension being time passing.
The story is of a monster house. Shocking huh? If you’ve seen a trailer you should pretty much grasp the concept. A kid, let’s call him DJ (because that’s what they call him) lives across the street from a very grumpy old man. This old fellow, let’s call him Nebbercracker (yeah, that’s what they call him, also he’s voiced by Steve Buscemi) seeks delight in the scaring/stealing property of young children. Anything that comes on to his lawn is fair game. The animators do make him suitably scary so hats off on that. Our story truly begins when DJ’s pal Chowder accidentally has his basketball roll onto Nebbercracker’s lawn. Let’s just leave it at the house becomes possessed by Satan or Century 21 following this occurrence so that I don’t spoil what little surprise is left.
Okay, so we’ve got our possessed house and the two friends. A girl will be thrown into the mix too and all of these intrepid explorers will attempt to take down/explore the house. Great fun there. I have two real compliments for Monster House and I’m going to use them up right about now. The first is that there are some cool animation shots that come off looking like live action wobbly camera effects. I liked that part. The second compliment is that Monster House is cute at times in a “awww, look at them youngsters,” kind of way. It’s during these moments that you can almost see separating your kids from the cookie jar and dragging them down to the cinemaplex. Almost.
DJ is just a kid so he can’t move out immediately once he realizes the house is loony and capable of supernatural things. Unfortunately this makes for a rather linear plotline; I’m guessing you can put it together without even seeing the movie. Just watch a few trailers and you’ll get the idea. I’m sure the marketing folks are only too happy to show you the entire movie in exchange forÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ well I guess nothing because marketing guys throughout Hollywood aren’t very good at what I like to call “marketing.” Sorry for that shot fellas but the movie leaves me no other entertaining options besides awkward segues and brutal random attacks.
Anyway, to wrap this up and give you some semblance of a grand finale I can’t recommend this to anyone but the heartiest of parents who see a movie a week to get a respite from having to parent. Oh, I guess I should throw animation geeks into the mix because I’m guessing they see everything. Other than that stay far far away. It’s not a date night, it’s not a film that adds anything to the record of film, it’s just a money churner that you shouldn’t contribute to.