Well October is finally here which means I can stop feeling bad about choosing horror films as Vault Picks. With that being said, I really should have selected a bonafide horror pick instead of one that is more or less a kiddie film. But maybe I'm just weening you all into the good scary flicks gradually. Or maybe I was scanning my archives and realized this classic one was buried and needed to be brought to the forefront again.
G once gave me a very basic explanation about why mean people do the things they do: Mean people come from scary houses. It was "Monster House" that brought it about. We're sitting there watching it and it begins with us seeing the crabby old man who resides in the "haunted" house. I pointed out that he shouldn't be so mean to the kids in the neighborhood and G provided that as an excuse. In his opinion, all mean people come from scary houses.
The visuals in this film were done using the ground-breaking technology of motion capture animation. I guess it was the same type they used for "The Polar Express" although I have yet to see that. It makes the movie much more appealing and extremely entertaining to watch.
Casting is always key when it comes to animated films. They want to make sure they capture just the right talents to bring life to the characters. They did a more than capable job with not only Steve Buscemi onboard but also Jon Heder, Nick Cannon, Kevin James and Jason Lee just to mention a few. Each one gave their character just the right amount of juice.
The story itself was pretty hilarious. "Monster House" is one of those rare movies where it may have a child-feel to it but it's meant to attract different ages. I found myself laughing out loud at several moments that the shorties just thought were slightly amusing. There may have even been more than a few instances where the jokes were aimed at the older folks as they would go over the head of your average kid.
As far as it being a horror movie? Probably not so much. There were a few scenes that would probably jolt a toddler or two, but nothing too over the top. More than anything it reminded you of the typical thoughts you probably had as a kid about the spooky houses in your own neighborhood growing up. That was just the type of emotions "Monster House" conveyed in its efforts to assure it was reached a broad audience. Easily one of the better animated flicks I have seen in some time.