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Monster House
A family film with scares
Monster House
A Scene from "Monster House".
OPENING WEEKEND: $60,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $245,000,000
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

February 16th, 2006: Three suburban kids, D.J. Harvard, Chowder, and Jenny, accidentally discover that a neighborhood house is actually a real life monster. Frightened by their finding, they try to warn their parents as well as other adults in the area. Obviously, since everyone assumes their story to be a childish prank, the three friends are forced to rely solely on each other as they attempt to thwart the house’s evil plans for trick-or-treaters.

What to Expect: Along with Ice Age 2 and Cars, Monster House is one of the three most anticipated digital animation releases of the year. With directors Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, Cast Away) in charge as producers, the project has been garnering attention ever since it was announced. Unlike most digital animation features, which start with computer programming, Monster House will utilize the same motion capture animation that Zemeckis applied in his 2004 hit, The Polar Express. That is, it will base its graphics on real life movements of actors. The final product is quite impressive and visibly closer to reality than other digital animation, but ultimately the story and the characters are the most important features of any family movie and will also be the deciding factor in Monster House.

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For director Gil Kenan this is going to be a tremendous undertaking as this is his first motion picture. The recent UCLA film school graduate impressed the legendary Spielberg and Zemeckis with a short he made as a school project called The Lark. It must have really been something since the two have entrusted him with a high concept, big budget summer film as a follow up. With three fairly inexperienced writers also on board, Monster House would look like it’s a troubled production under any other circumstances, but Zemeckis has intimately monitored all progress. He’s been a mentor to Kenan and his ImageMovers Company has been directly involved behind the scenes. Having been propped up so high by such influential Hollywood filmmakers, it would be difficult to imagine Kenan failing.

Continuing the theme of unknowns running the project, three relatively unheard of kid actors will provide voices for the main characters. That should make for a rather convincing centerpiece in a film that will feature vocal contributions from dozens of familiar Hollywood stars. Steve Buscemi (Fargo, Ghost World), Nick Cannon (Drumline, Underclassman), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Secretary, Mona Lisa Smile), Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite, The Benchwarmers), Kevin James (Hitch, “The King of Queens”), Jason Lee (Chasing Amy, Vanilla Sky), Catherine O’Hara (Home Alone, Best in Show), Kathleen Turner (The War of the Roses, Serial Mom), and Fred Willard (A Mighty Wind, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) are all set to appear. Most importantly, the premise sounds like a lot of fun so it should be a very productive environment for everyone.

In Conclusion: The story and the animation should blend perfectly in Monster House. Filled with so many familiar voices, it should have a reassuring atmosphere, even if you will not be able to recognize all of the stars. Most importantly, it might be the first family CGI feature that will actually offer some scares in addition to the usual laughs. With a wunderkind director in charge and Hollywood veterans orchestrating the project behind the scenes, Monster House is in capable hands. Gil Kenan is being prepped to become the next Hollywood genius, but it doesn’t seem like any of the pressure is getting to him. Monster House should give Cars some major competition this summer.

Similar Titles: The Polar Express, Monsters Inc., Toy Story
July 21st, 2006 (wide)
October 24th, 2006 (DVD)

Sony Pictures

Gil Kenan

Steve Buscemi, Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, Spencer Locke, Nick Cannon, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jon Heder, Kevin James, Jason Lee, Kathleen Turner, Catherine OHara, Fred Willard

Total: 34 vote(s).

Animation, Drama, Kids & Family

Click here to view site

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

91 min






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