...Zemeckis and CGI.
I can’t shake memories of POLAR EXPRESS; those dead-eyed mannequin-zombies bouncing around a train – exalting hot chocolate like tragically hopped-up crack addicts…the fascistic North Pole where Santa snaps his poor reindeer with a laser whip (like the one Skeletor used to subjugate He-Man in the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE movie)…the overall feeling that the film was self-generated by computers rather than created by people.
I know Harry’s looking forward to this one…but my hunch is it’ll be a little bit goosey…maybe a lot goosey.
Here’s what Mr. Toons had to say…
Me, my two daughters, 12 & 14, and my son, age 8, attended the very first showing of Monster House.
After seeing the trailers for the last few months we were very excited about seeing the movie. We were very disappointed. Here's a few reasons why. There aren't any characters you really care about. You know that none of the kids are going to get hurt. It wasn't very funny. The middle third of the movie really drags. The characters in the movie are just the basic caricatures. Continuity problems (a dog which changes from female to male for no apparent reason.). My 14 year old was bored and my 8 year old was scared, not a good combination. My 12 year old commented on the language in the movie and how it wasn't appropriate for children (such as Dickhead).
Here's a quick synopsis of the movie.
The day before Halloween the parents who live across the street leave town and their son DJ, (Mitchell Musso) at home. A babysitter shows up, Zee, (Maggie Gyllenhaal), semi goth teenage girl, and her boyfriend comes over, Skull,(Jason Lee).
DJ goes outside to play with his friend Chowder, (Sam Lerner). Chowder's basketball goes onto the lawn of the Monster House, out comes the owner Nebbercracker (Steve Buscemi). He takes the ball in after yelling at them. The house makes sounds and moves around a bit. This may sound rather thin and that's probably because so far the movie hadn't made much of an impression on me.
Let me simplify this even more. After thinking he killed Nebbercracker DJ along with Chowder and a girl named Jenny (Spencer Locke) go into the Monster House to put out it's heart so it doesn't take all the kids who are coming that Halloween. Police show up twice, donut jokes and Nick Cannon plays an almost racist version of a cop. He rolls his eyes and runs around scared. One thing many of the scenes from the trailer aren't in the movie, the scene where the police car is taken by the house never happens.
Nebbercracker comes home because he isn't dead and explains why the house is haunted. House gets really upset, chases kids and Nebbercracker but they prevail and destroy the house in one of the least interesting endings to a movie like this I've seen.
Other weird parts of the movie, Jenny calls her Mom and then says she has an hour before she has to go, which turns into numerous hours without her mom showing up. Even though the 2 policemen disappear, houses are destroyed, numerous explosions and general mayhem no one shows up. In fact this movie is very short of any characters other than the ones actively involved with the house.
Finally I would compare the movie to something like Chicken Little, a very thin story that only really works on one level. It just wasn't very funny and some parents will be offended by some of the language.
As my 14 year old put it, "It was just OK".