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"Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

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"Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Old 09-22-19, 10:51 PM
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"Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge





Monster House (2006)



Selected by mrcellophane


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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.
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2019 DISCUSSION | 2019 LISTS


Last edited by Chad; 10-20-19 at 03:39 PM.
Old 10-06-19, 10:39 AM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

This was ok. It was a first-time watch for me. It served its purpose, which was to entertain.
Old 10-06-19, 09:33 PM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

When the film was in pre-production, I frequented one of the concept artists' blogs, and he shared some interesting behind-the-scenes stories as well as sketches and character designs. I went with my brother and his girlfriend to see it in the theater, and we all loved it. It's become one of those movies that I watch every year, and I was shocked that it wasn't on the list of previous subset movies. Obviously, the movie has some of the DNA of Spielberg and Zemeckis films (they're executive producers), and I think it lives up to some of that magic despite a rather mundane chase-and-defeat the monster ending and one of the most annoying best friends committed to film.
Old 10-06-19, 10:57 PM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I noticed that Dan Harmon had a hand in the script. Oh, and would you peg the era of the movie as late Seventies or early Eighties (I'm leaning more toward late Seventies)?
Old 10-07-19, 12:08 AM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by coyoteblue
I noticed that Dan Harmon had a hand in the script. Oh, and would you peg the era of the movie as late Seventies or early Eighties (I'm leaning more toward late Seventies)?
I'm not sure about the timing. It looks like Nebbercracker was in World War II, and he states that Constance died 45 years ago, so I would guess sometime in the 80s.
Old 10-07-19, 12:24 AM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I cannot decide if the computer generated graphics are starting to look dated but there's a nice level of shading/detail that give it an almost clay apperance. I especially like the Halloween tone at first. I think it's interesting that instead of taking a phantasma approach the haunted house is literally and physically after then, which is a genre twist we don't see a lot. Like mrcellophane we watch Monster House frequently with the family each year and by now my eleven year old says she is tired of it, but then tuned into the last half. At first I though the monster concept was too bizzare - it being literally the grouchy wife but the more my marriage takes a turn this direction the more I can understand; I am becoming Mr Nebbercracker. Monster House doesn't get enough attention in my opinion and the world needs more Halloween themed kids movies (that aren't Goosebumps cash ins).
Old 10-07-19, 03:04 AM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Okay I'm sitting down to Monster House. I'm not a big fan of family-friendly horror, but I always do the subset challenge, so I'll have to just get over it.

I've had a few beers and hell, at least it's not a Rob Zombie movie, I can do this.

The opening credits have some nice music, maybe this won't be so bad... OH FUCK the title is in 3-D...is this a 3D movie??
Old 10-07-19, 03:16 AM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

(Tiny Tim): Trike Ride, through the Dead leaves. 🎶

​​​And now we have Christopher Guest actors doing voice work for PlayStation 2 cutscenes. The scene with the angry neighbor looked so much better. I have a feeling the budget went to the 3D scenes.

This dude is being called chowder. Like if you're a little fat kid, take charge of your nickname and choose something cooler. "Oh no, Chowder's here." just sounds bad but if you hear "Oh shit, Sugar Daddy just rolled up" you have peoples' attention in a good way.
Old 10-07-19, 03:31 AM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Why does the little boy character have the same hairline as me, a salary employee in his 30s?

I don't know when this movie is set but I don't think you're allowed to kill kids just because they're on your lawn.

The babysitter's boyfriend looks like a centuries-old witch. I need to know if this was a stylistic choice from the director or just poor animation, because it's freaking me out.
Old 10-07-19, 03:45 AM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

"We want to make a children's movie for the Halloween crowd."

"Great, like a spooky Pixar film?"

"But with a fraction of the budget, the animation will be fast-tracked through a third party studio."

"Who is the hero?"

"An uncharismatic kid that looks like Edgar Allen Poe during his deepest throes of depravity. The character won't actually be drunk and suicidal, but he'll sure look it."

"Fantastic, is there a gimmick we can push for the holiday season?"

"We'll hastily render a few scenes in 3-D so you can charge families 40% more at the theater. Also, we got Maggie Gyllenhaal."
Old 10-07-19, 09:25 AM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I heard good reviews for this movie but I have not watched it until this challenge. It is hard to believe a house is chasing children and the neighborhood either does not notice or does not seem to care but a fun movie nonetheless. I lol'd at this exchange between Jenny and Chowder...

"Well, if those are the teeth, and that's the tongue, then that must be the uvula."
"Oh, so it's a girl house..." (he was right though!)
Old 10-07-19, 10:11 AM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by wishbone
I heard good reviews for this movie but I have not watched it until this challenge. It is hard to believe a house is chasing children and the neighborhood either does not notice or does not seem to care but a fun movie nonetheless.
I've wondered about this too, but put it down to the supernatural influence of the house or willful blindness.
Old 10-07-19, 03:52 PM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I really like this movie, and it pays off on multiple viewings. When you know the ending, you see that Steve Buscemi's rants at the little girl in the opening scenes (along with the signs in his yard) are a warning, not a threat. He's actually looking out for the kids.
Old 10-07-19, 05:04 PM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I want to like this movie. But it feels like those low budget CG animated movies that go straight to streaming. The animation looks cheap and rushed. And the story is lacking the charm of good animated movies.

Compare the old man's backstory to the backstory from Pixar's Up. His morbidly obese freakshow wife is a mentally unstable psychopath. Why should I care about this couple?

The pudgy sidekick should be comic relief. Instead he acts like a retarded 5-year-old.

None of the characters acted like real people.
Old 10-07-19, 07:23 PM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I was not looking forward to a 90 minute animated film, but I really enjoyed this film. Great subset pick. Films like this I typically would never watch, which is why the challenge is so much fun. It forces me to watch films I typically would bypass (to my own detriment in this case!)
Old 10-07-19, 07:56 PM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by TheBigDave
Compare the old man's backstory to the backstory from Pixar's Up. His morbidly obese freakshow wife is a mentally unstable psychopath. Why should I care about this couple?
I don't think you were supposed to care about them, seeing as she (as the spirit of the house) got "blowed up real good" at the end of the movie.
Old 10-08-19, 01:45 AM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by TheBigDave
I want to like this movie. But it feels like those low budget CG animated movies that go straight to streaming. The animation looks cheap and rushed. And the story is lacking the charm of good animated movies.

Compare the old man's backstory to the backstory from Pixar's Up. His morbidly obese freakshow wife is a mentally unstable psychopath. Why should I care about this couple?

The pudgy sidekick should be comic relief. Instead he acts like a retarded 5-year-old.

None of the characters acted like real people.
You pretty much nailed my feelings on this one, Dave--the film wasn't visually appealing to me, which filtered down to lessened enjoyment. It was an okay way to fill 90 minutes in October, but I don't see me rewatching this one any time soon, if ever again.

Paranorman, on the other hand (a subset choice from several years back), is everything that Monster House should have been. Paranorman gets my vote for best October family-friendly feature film, bar none, with bonus points for not having Tim Burton's name connected to it in any way.
Old 10-08-19, 12:36 PM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I agree with all the complaints, yet still like it and can’t fully explain why.
Old 10-08-19, 03:01 PM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

If the film featured a chaotic neighborhood reacting to the violent sounds of a house trying to kill children it would destroy the Normal Rockwell feeling of nostalgia for childhood antics, like stepping near that creepy house at the end of the street. For all it's flaws Monster House strikes a nice tone that few childhood films do because they end up getting too low brown, pandering excessively, or under developing environment. It needs a remake without the awkward backstory.
Old 10-08-19, 11:36 PM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I like this movie well enough. I acknowledge issues with it, but it's still a fairly likable film in spite of itself. I'm surprised it's one that most of my friends seem to like as well. I had a friend come over partway through this film. He mentioned watching it just a few days before. During last year's challenge or the year before, I watched it with a couple of friends for the first time. They had both seen it and liked it and were excited to see it in 3D.

Yes, much of the animation is poor, but I do like some of the ideas and visuals of the house. It's a film that can definitely be redone and improved upon. Perhaps part of my enjoyment is also that I have it in 3D. And despite the poor animation, the 3D itself is actually pretty good. So, that adds an extra element when I watch.
Old 10-08-19, 11:51 PM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I think they should have spent the budget on the animation instead of getting names for the voice acting. I agree that Paranorman is the best kid friendly flick we've had in the challenge and the beautiful stop-motion animation makes this film look like a video game cutscene. Otherwise it was an enjoyable film, but I think they dropped the ball on the visuals.
Old 10-09-19, 12:19 AM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Monster House was made 13 years ago; it was in a class with Happy Feet, Ice Age 2, Flushered Away, Open Season, and Cars. Computer generated imagery has come a long way in 10 year but all of those films are starting to look a little simple and un-natural. Had it of been hand drawn or epic stop motion it might have held up better and it is a shame that more painstakingly artistic forms of animation are not more well regarded. I watched Scooby Doo and the Goblin King the other day and that was a lot of fun (from 2008). Aside from an occassional Paranorman I think Scooby Doo is the last bastion of quality family friendly 'horror.'
Old 10-22-19, 06:49 PM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

I saw this in theaters when it was released and still visit it every few years. I just think it's a lot of fun. Is the animation on par with Pixar? No, but I think that's the charm of this movie.
Old 10-27-19, 09:00 PM
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Re: "Monster House" Reviews/Discussion - 2019 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by DaveyJoe
I think they should have spent the budget on the animation instead of getting names for the voice acting. I agree that Paranorman is the best kid friendly flick we've had in the challenge and the beautiful stop-motion animation makes this film look like a video game cutscene. Otherwise it was an enjoyable film, but I think they dropped the ball on the visuals.
Have we not had Nightmare Before Christmas as a kid friendly flick?

It was an average C/C+ movie. Animation didn't bug me too much as I know this movie is pretty old. Story could have been done much better, though. Kids are pretty annoying. You do feel for the old man at the end, though. Just not something I would watch again and I'm curious how many children watch this during the Halloween season and enjoy it.

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