Three kids discover their cantankerous neighbor's
house is actually a living, breathing monster.
Monster House (2006)
Directed by Gil Kenan
Written by Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab, Pamela Pettler
Starring Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, Spencer Locke, Steve Buscemi, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Lee, Jon Heder, Nick Cannon,
Kevin James, Catherine O'Hara, Fred Willard, Kathleen Turner
Oscar Nominations - Best Animated Film
Monster House is a beautifully animated Halloween favorite that I don't think ever got the credit it was due. It lost Best Animated Film to Happy Feet of all movies, but it was easily the best of the year. It's such a neat, original idea that you can't help but be intrigued by it. It straddles the line between fantasy and horror, making it a great gateway movie for young kids eager to watch scarier movies. The animation is a unique blend of stop-motion and CGI that really helps the movie stand out, and the voice acting is stellar throughout.
In a suburban neighborhood in the 80's, there's a house that every kids knows not to go near. Old man Nebbercracker (Buscemi) lives there, and he hates children. He chases off anyone who steps onto his property. On Halloween, young DJ (Musso) and his idiot friend Chowder (Lerner) try to get their ball back, drive Nebbercracker to the brink, and he has a heart attack. Now, the house comes alive, seemingly possessed by the old man's ghost, and it devours anyone who steps onto the property. The kids know they're the only ones who can destroy the house, but the true story of the house's possession is what keeps me going back to this one. It's such an adult concept for a kids movie, and it's great writing.
Monster House is a solid fall favorite and one of the most rewatchable animated flicks of the 2000's. Animated films tend to be aimed towards children, but the ones that nearly cross the line are the best ones. It's always good to have a little something for the parents, and Monster House is something the whole family can enjoy.