Monster House

Last night I saw Monster House. A kiddie movie you might say, but I say it was equally enjoyable for the adults, and may be a little to scary for the kiddies, for Monster House is not your typical animated film. Brought from Amblin Entertainment, Steven Spielberd and Robert Zemeckis co-produced this movie, and I absolutely loved it for I cannot remember enjoying a cartoon this much since Toy Story came out.

DJ, a 10 year old boy living in a quiet surburban house, is right across from Mr. Nebbercracker’s house, which is a ghastly shaped monstrous looking house. DJ’s parents are away for the weekend, while Chowder, DJ’s goofy friend, comes over to DJ’s place. Mr. Nebbercracker hates children and warns them to stay away from his lawn, for the lawn will devour anything and the house will eat the kids up. DJ and Chowder maintain a strict watch over the house after the babysitter’s boyfriend is eaten alive. Jenny, a stiff upper lipped girl has her goodies eaten by the house, but is saved by DJ and Chowder. The policemen don’t believe the kids, till they are eaten up by the house too. So, it’s up to DJ, Chowder and Jenny to finally venture into the house and find out what’s really happening.

There is something so 80s about this movie. It’s a mix of The Goonies and The Explorers. The trio also reminded me of the Harry, Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter series. What I loved about this movie was how current everything was: DJ and Chowder fight over whether they are too big for trick or treating, the babysitter’s a rebel with her boyfriend being a bigger rebel, DJ’s dad is unable to say I love you to his own son, and DJ himself is finding himself going through puberty. In comes Jenny, and both boys hae these pre-teen emotions to go through. The animation, while not photo-realistic was real enough for me to forget I was watching an animated cartoon. So much attention has been paid to the details that everything seemed like a reality, and the characters have been so well fleshed out, they out performed some of the real live child actors. The biggest plus of this movie is the story which is a decent, engrossing one, which is rare for animated cartoons.

However, Monster House is an exception, and even towards the end we get an emotional, touching backstory that explains the events. I still cannot get over the final 1/3 of the movie, when the kids finally enter the house. It was a roller coaster ride of one event after another, and I truly wanted to scream out in delight as were the other “adults” in the cinema for such a hair raising entertainment.

Clearly, this one will be in my DVD collection

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