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Really scary kids movies: Monster House


A living, breathing, nightmare of a house!

Monster House (2)

Monster House is a 2006 American computer-animated children’s horror film directed by Gil Kenan, produced by ImageMovers and Amblin Entertainment, and distributed by Columbia Pictures. The film stars Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, Spencer Locke, Steve Buscemi, Nick Cannon,Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jon Heder, Kevin James, Jason Lee, Catherine O’Hara, Kathleen Turner, and Fred Willard.


DJ, a teenage boy, observes his neighbor, Nebbercracker, on the other side of their street. In this suburb tricycles of children that trespass on his lawn gets destroyed. When DJ’s parents travel on the eve of Halloween and the abusive nanny Zee stays with him, he calls his clumsy best friend Chowder to come and play basketball with him, but when the ball falls in Nebbercracker’s lawn, the old man has a siege, and soon they find that the house is a monster. Later the boys rescue a girl, Jenny, from the house and the trio unsuccessfully tries to convince the babysitter, her boyfriend Bones and two police officers that the haunted house is a monster, but nobody believes them. The teenagers ask their video-game addicted acquaintance Skull how to destroy the house, and they disclose its secret on the Halloween night. (source: IMDb)


5 Fun facts about Monster House:

As of 2012, this is the only motion capture film to feature an entirely original story and not be based on existing source material.


The actors had to go through motion capture acting in order to animate the characters. The actors had to wear motion capture suits with little dots glued on their faces and a headpiece glued to their head with motion capture dots. After they took off their suits, the glue would cause irritation to their hair and scalp, but luckily they’d get a head massage with shampoo.


Homages to various Stephen King stories abound. The idea of a house that comes alive and eats people can be found in the third installment of King’s “Dark Tower” series, “The Wastelands.” And while in the house’s basement, Chowder shines his flashlight on a mechanical monkey much like the one found in King’s short story “The Monkey,” collected in “Skeleton Crew.”


There is a back story involving Skull (played by Jon Heder) and Bones (played by Jason Lee) being in an amateur heavy metal band. When we first meet Zee (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal), she is wearing a top with “Skull ‘n’ Bones” written on, and later puts one of their cassette tapes on called “Live! at the Smell”. She is also dating Bones in the movie.


To keep the movie a PG rating, the victims that were eaten (Bones, the cops and the dog) had to come back to life during the end credits.


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