Thursday, September 21, 2006

Movie Review: Monster House 3D

I have to admit being a sucker for 3D. So I couldn't resist taking the family off to the movies to see Monster House 3D (which is also showing in normal mode). It's one of the better animated films we've had lately -- which is something to be grateful for. DJ (Mitchel Musso) has been left home in the care of a young, rather neglectful babysitter when strange things start happening at the house across the street. Mr Nebbercracker (Steve Buscemi) has been living there for years and has a reputation that ensures no child ever ventures onto the front lawn. Mr Nebbercracker confiscates anything that happens to land there -- toys, balls, bicycles, anything and everything. But things get really strange when DJ believes he has caused Mr Nebbercracker to collapse and die. As the grass in the lawn tries to hang on to Nebbercracker's ambulance barouche to keep him there, we know that there is something very ominous about this house. Even when his body has been taken away, things and people seem to be disappearing inside the house. DJ and his two friends, the dim-witted Chowder (Sam Lerner) and the sophisticated Jenny (Spencer Locke) decide to investigate when the babysitter's boyfriend, Bones (Jason Lee), disappears and the police won't believe their tall story - it is Halloween, after all. After some nasty experiences and close calls, they uncover a dark secret that places them in great peril. Will they be able to survive the house? Monster House is wonderfully animated (enhanced by the 3D experience!) with some genuinely funny moments. The characterisations of the kids are great -- and I know because I have a teenager! The story is entirely unbelievable (as all good fantasty should be) and there are some very tense moments -- probably too tense for really young kids. Some of the supernatural themes may also make some children (and perhaps some adults) a little uncomfortable. All in all, it is an enjoyable, entertaining, nicely paced, ultimately feel-good horror yarn that both kids and adults will enjoy. My Rating: ***1/2 (out of 5) My 12-year-old's rating: **** (out of 5) Positive Review 'The most imaginative and delightful computer-animated movie of recent years outside of the Pixar brand, Monster House is a Halloween ghost story by way of monster-movie adventure.' - Sean Axmaker/Seattle Post-Intelligencer Negative Review 'A grisly, often cynical piece of work whose joyless, aggressive spirit is made even less appealing by its soulless visual style.' - Ann Hornaday/Washington Post Content Warning scary images and sequences, thematic elements, some crude humor and brief language Australia: PG USA: PG

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