Director: Gil Kenan
Voice Talents: Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner,
Spencer Locke, Steve Buscemi, Nick Cannon, Maggie Gyllenhaal,
Kevin James, Jason Lee, Catherine O'Hara, Kathleen Turner,
Fred Willard, Matthew Fahey, Jon Heder, Ryan Newman
RunTime: 1 hr 31 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Day: 9 November
Three kids, D.J., Chowder and Jenny, discover that
their neighbor's house is a monster, but no one believes them.
came up with the title for this latest animated feature released
by Sony Pictures sure isn’t the most imaginative folk
around. The title tells you everything about the 91-minute
movie. Heck, even the poster gives the plot away: three meddling
kids get into trouble with a haunted house in the neighbourhood.
Yes, that’s about it.
- this family picture featuring motion capture animation is
a whole bag of fun, with a bit of everything in it, from intelligent
humour, a considerably touching plot, to dare we say it: some
really scary moments.
is so straightforwardly simple, it sounds like it’s
lifted from one of those storybooks you had when you were
young. Three kids realize that a house in the area they live
in is actually alive, and is eating up anything that venture
into its lawn. Poor kids, not only do they have to handle
this terrifying house, they have to manage their own adolescence
– all before bedtime!
Musso, Sam Lerner and Spencer Locke (who had their own share
of television starring roles) bring these three characters
to life with their brilliant voice acting. Musso gives earnestness
to D.J., the kid everyone wants to like in the neighbourhood.
Lerner, who plays Chowder, has that tone of a typical sidekick
who sadly suffers from a high Body Mass Index (BMI) and eventually
messes everything up. Meanwhile, Locke gives her character
Jenny, the right amount of spunk without making her the resident
bitch every girl wants to hate.
voices are complemented by the eye-pleasing visuals created
by the geniuses behind the animation team. Although one look
at the characters and you’d know they are not modeled
realistically, their movements and gestures are all animated
so naturally, you’d find yourself in awe with the technology
for the baby sitter and her rocker boyfriend voiced by the
wonderful Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jason Lee – despite
their brief roles and limited screen time, they are a hoot
have the storyline. Never did we expect that the plot actually
involves some really affecting parts, where viewers feel for
the story when the truth behind the monster house is unraveled.
It may actually make you feel for the monstrosity behind that
only does that aspect of the movie deserves commendation,
the issues dealt within its runtime get thumbs up from us
too. Issues of puberty, everlasting faithful love and staying
idealistic and true to your childhood is dealt with in a fun
and effective manner, without being too preachy. And everyone
could do with some smart and sharp dialogue, which isn’t
lacking in this movie.
want to think again if you have the preconceived notion of
animated flicks being mere kiddy and cute “cartoons”.
Our friends at the censorship board did not rate this movie
Parental Guidance (PG) for nothing.
may just make you jump or squirm in your seat. And the last
third of the movie will bring you on a no-brainer roller-coaster
ride, if that satisfies the thrill-seeker in you.
the really young, this movie is perfect for their first horror
experience. For the teenagers, this movie is ideal for that
weekend outing with their friends. As for the adults, this
movie is great, simply because it is one monstrously fun experience
without being dumb.
(Guaranteed enjoyable, this movie is an impressive animated
houseful of intelligent fun for everyone)
by John Li