“Monster House”: Darkly Funny

3.5 out of 5 stars (above average)

Note:  The animation in this film has aged terribly, so be prepared for that if you watch it.  Also, I would likely give it 3 stars today.  Please enjoy!


DJ (voiced by Mitchell Musso) is a kid who knows that the house across the street is haunted. When his parents leave to go to a dentist convention, he is left with the evil babysitter who breaks a plant pot and threatens to blame DJ for it.

DJ is not alone in this story. He has a best friend named Chowder who is goofy but helpful. When they try to rescue Chowder’s basketball from the lawn across the street, Mr. Nebercracker (the mean old man who lives there) falls down dead on DJ and is taken away by an ambulance. What is really mysterious is that the house seems to be alive as if the old man’s spirit is haunting DJ.

When DJ and Chowder save a girl named Jenny from almost being eaten by the house, she joins the duo in finding out the mystery of the monster house.

What I really liked about this movie is that it had some funny lines like, “This is why nobody will sit next to us at lunch.” In a really funny part, Chowder gets his cape caught, proving Edna’s theory from “The Incredibles”- “NO CAPES” for Superheroes, or in this case, Superdweebs.

Now let’s address the scare factor. The scary scenes might frighten younger kids but my sister is nine years old and she wasn’t scared. However, she watches “Fear Factor.” If your kids can handle “Fear Factor” or the monkey scene from “The Wizard of Oz” they’ll be OK. My mom says parents will enjoy some scenes like when you first see the goth babysitter pull up, expecting the parents to be home. She’s dressed in a pink “Let’s have fun” outfit and is pretending to sing along to Olivia Newton John. (Who’s that anyway?) Then she turns out to be goth.

As for me, who cares? I just liked the scary parts.

Rated PG for some scary images and sequences, thematic elements, crude humor, and brief language.

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