Sunday, May 27, 2007

Movie Review: Monster House

Monster House was released last year and is now available on DVD and on pay-per-view. The story is pretty simple: in the town of Mayville a young boy named DJ lives across the street from an old, decrepit house occupied by Mr. Nebbercracker. DJ spends his day gazing through a telescope in his bedroom, cataloging the odd things that happen.

DJ's best friend is Chowder who brings over his new basketball which ends up on Nebbercracker's lawn. When DJ tries to retrieve it, Nebbercracker collapses. The boys call an ambulance and DJ is convinced that he killed Nebbercracker.

DJ's mom and dad are going away for the weekend, leaving DJ to the tender mercies of the babysitter, Zee. A young girl, Jenny, is canvassing the neighborhood selling candy. When she approaches Nebbercracker's house, the house attacks her. DJ and Chowder rescue her.

Ever practical, Jenny persuades the boys to contact the police. The police are grown-ups and don't believe them. Until, of course, they are eaten by The House. The kids are left on their own to solve the mystery.

The kids decide to enter the house to discover its mystery. What happens next are the nightmares and haunted houses fantasies of every kid. The answer was different and the ending upbeat.

The computer generated animation is good, although it doesn't work as well for real people as it does for cartoon characters and toys. The voices match the characters quite well--and it's a fun challenge to figure out who voiced whom.

Monster House is rated PG and does have some very scary images. It would be a great Hallowe'en movie for a party, especially for those 'tweens who think they are "too old" to go trick-or-treating.

On the March Hare scale: 4 out of 5 Golden Tickets. Not as good as The Incredibles, but close.