Monster House (2006) – movie review

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Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger

Starring (voices of): Steve Buscemi, Nick Cannon, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jon Heder

Director: Gil Kenan

Make no mistake you’re children will be scared and jump out of their seats on more than one occasion. As executive producer Robert Zemeckis (THE POLAR EXPRESS) says, “Going to see MONSTER HOUSE in the theatre is going to be like entering a fun house in an amusement park.”

It all starts when curiosity gets the better of 12 year-old DJ Walters (Mitchel Musso) who’s been spying on his elderly eccentric neighbour Mr Nebbercracker (Steve Buscemi), the elderly man who lives opposite in a foreboding house. DJ has conscientiously been documenting weird incidents he witnesses there through the lens of his bedroom telescope, namely that things are ominously disappearing…

These incidences gather pace as the day before the 31 October dawns – yep it’s Halloween the following night when loads of trick or treaters will be knocking there…

With lines from DJ like: That was “a phone call from beyond the grave” and “His blood is on my hands. He’s coming back for revenge”, need I say more. I’m not going to give any clues away as to what befalls DJ, his cocky friend Chowder (Sam Lerner) and precocious, enterprising, prep school girl Jenny (Spencer Locke) who teams up with them. You’ll have to find that out for yourself and experience the rush of that frightening thrill when the pace hots up and the house goes on the warpath.

There will be a lot of small hands covering eyes and peering through fingers taking place. MONSTER HOUSE may even be too scary for the very young but is otherwise a thoroughly entertaining movie for all ages. At 90 minutes duration it will be a much longer and more intense thrill than an amusement park one as the techno-wizardry of the special effects are used to maximum effect to create the most impact. Also the use of animated characters, brought to life by an all-star cast, initially lulls the audience into a false sense of security but all that soon changes!

Happy Halloween! Strange as it’s the middle of summer and we’re gripped by a heatwave…

5 out of 6 stars