New from The Movie Snob
Monster House (B-). Remember when you were growing up and there was that creepy house on your street? With a grumpy old man living there who scared the wits out of all the kids on the block? That’s the set-up of this new animated feature. Moreover, this particular haunted house is not just content to sit there and be haunted–if you get too close, it will actually eat you! Three little kids become aware of this disturbing quality on Halloween and race against time to find some way to stop the conniving cottage from devouring the neighborhood’s children. The striking visuals are the main attraction here, especially the house itself. The vocal characterizations are good too, featuring stalwarts such as Steve Buscemi (The Big Lebowski) and Fred Willard (For Your Consideration). But the plot, or at least the back story for how the house became haunted, doesn’t make a lot of sense, and the animated characters themselves are needlessly ugly. They’re like a bunch of rejects from Pixar or something. Decent effort overall, a little too scary for the littlest kids though.