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Monster House (2006)

Artwork by Jaden Farnsworth


Gil Kenan did something special here with his directorial debut being Monster House. He went on to direct films such as 2008’s City of Ember, which I’ve never heard of, and 2015’s Poltergeist, another film I am unfamiliar with. According to Rotten Tomatoes, both films were rated less than Monster House. We get a great lineup of voice actors. My two favorites are Steve Buscemi as Nebbercracker and Jon Heder as Reginald ‘Skull’ Skulinski. Between Nebbercracker’s emotional shifts and Skull’s nerdy attitude, there’s so much to be said about these performances. The animation helps both of these actors succeed and paint the personalities into the film. I can’t imagine what this movie would be without the all-star cast of voice actors. Among some of the writers for this flick is none other than Dan Harmon, that’s right, the man behind Rick and Morty.


A film that captures the essence of Halloween through a coming of age tale, that also takes a good long look at how losing someone can haunt those that loved them. The Monster House is the embodiment of Nebbercracker’s wife and her unhappiness with the continuation of time without her. She takes it out on the neighborhood of children that begin to surround her and her husband's property. Another huge undertone of this movie is abusive relationships, this idea can be seen with Nebbercracker but also the babysitter and her boyfriend. The shining light in this film is the relationship between Chowder,

DJ and Jenny. After being tormented by the house Chowder swoons over Jenny, and Dj gives into his friend and goes trick r’ treating, just like old times.


I was 12 when this movie came out on DVD and I remember gathering around at my neighbor’s house and watching this flick just before Halloween. I was getting to an awkward age, where I didn’t know if I should still be trick r’ treating or if it was for the younger kids. I truly believe that this movie inspired me to trick r’ treat well into my teens. Another cool fact is that this movie loosely takes place in the ’80s, which takes away a lot of technology that would lead to plot holes.


If you haven't noticed by now, I have kinda mixed and matched the prompts and days set up by The prompt for this entry was supposed to be the second day, but instead, it is my fourth. A horror movie that starts with the letter M. I usually have this movie on the brain around this time of year, I think a lot of kids that remember this film’s release can relate.


Another aspect of this film that makes it relatable is the fact that the film takes place in suburbia. Children all across America are growing up with this type of community around them. Every neighborhood has a creepy house, the cranky neighbor, the edgy babysitter, and oh, of course, you can’t forget the cute girl from down the street.


The animation for this one is memorable enough. Monster House was filmed similar to The Polar Express but didn’t use the technology the same way, by attempting to recreate reality. Instead, Monster House leaned harder into the stylization of the film that can be compared to some of the Tim Burton animated films, like Corpse Bride.



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