Movie Review: Monster House

Monster House Trailer

Monster House Summary

The parents of 12-year-old D.J. Walters go on an errand for the weekend, leaving him in the care of his babysitter Zee. D.J. has been spying on his elderly neighbor, Horace Nebbercracker, who scares away children from his front yard and confiscates their belongings. After D.J.’s best friend, Chowder, misplaces his basketball on Nebbercracker’s lawn, D.J. is caught attempting to retrieve it and the enraged Nebbercracker appears to suffer a heart attack from overexerting himself and is taken away by an ambulance. That night, D.J. gets phone calls from the house with no one on the other end.

Zee’s boyfriend, Bones, comes over for the night and reveals that as a child, Nebbercracker stole his kite and was allegedly rumored to have eaten his wife. After Zee throws him out, he sees his lost kite in the house’s front door, but is abducted by the house while attempting to retrieve it. D.J. and Chowder investigate but retreat when the house comes alive and attacks them. The next morning, schoolgirl Jenny Bennett sells Halloween candy and goes to the house; D.J. and Chowder save her before she gets eaten. Jenny calls police officers Landers and Lister, who do not believe the children because the house is inactive when adults are present.

The trio consults supernatural expert Reginald “Skull” Skulinski, learning that the house is a rare monster created when a human soul merges with a man-made structure and that it can only be killed by destroying its heart. Concluding that Nebbercracker’s spirit is possessing the house and the heart must be its furnace, they create and bring a dummy containing cold medicine from a pharmacy owned by Chowder’s father. Before the dummy reaches the house however, Landers and Lister thwart their plan and arrest them after Landers discovers the stolen medicine. Before they can leave, the house eats the duo and their police car and traps the children inside it.

After the house falls asleep, the three begin exploring it. In the basement, they find a shrine containing the encased-in-cement body of Nebbercracker’s late wife, Constance the Giantess. The house attacks them, though they force it to vomit them outside by grabbing its uvula. Nebbercracker returns alive and well, revealing that the house is possessed by Constance’s spirit. As a young man, he met Constance, then an unwilling member of a circus freak show, and fell in love with her despite her obesity and rescued her from the circus. They then got married and Nebbercracker bought a piece of land and started building the house for them. One Halloween, two children tormented Constance for her size. She tried to chase them off, but when Nebbercracker tried to calm her down and stop her, she died by falling into the unfinished basement with a concrete mixer she inadvertently activated burying her body. Nebbercracker finished the house like she would’ve wanted, but after realizing that Constance began possessing it, he drove everyone away in order to protect them.

D.J. convinces Nebbercracker to let Constance go, causing the house to become enraged. It breaks free from its foundation and chases after the group. Nebbercracker realizes the trouble Constance has caused and attempts to destroy the house with some dynamite, but it then attempts to kill him. Chowder intervenes using an excavator from the adjacent construction site and Nebbercracker gives D.J. the dynamite. After luring the house into the site, D.J. ascends the nearby crane and, with Jenny’s help, manages to throw the dynamite into the house’s chimney, causing it to explode and release Constance’s spirit, who shares a final moment with Nebbercracker before finally ascending to the afterlife as Nebbercracker thanks the kids for freeing him from being trapped without Constance for 45 years. That night, the children Nebbercracker drove away line up at the former site of the house, where the group returns everything Nebbercracker stole from them. D.J. and Chowder go trick-or-treating, which they initially felt they were too old for.

During the credits, those who were eaten by the house emerge from the basement. Bones finds that Zee is now dating Skull, Officer Landers and Officer Lister leave to “investigate” some of the trick-or-treating candy, and a dog urinates on a nearby jack-o’-lantern enough to extinguish its flame.

Monster House Review

Rating: 2 out of 5.

This animated film was eh. It was on the scarier for kids but it didn’t hold our interest well. What are your thoughts?

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