Kids battle a haunted house that eats toys, pets, and people.
Rated PG for scary images and sequences, thematic elements, some crude humor and brief language. Every adult in the film is creepy, witless, or self-absorbed. Many of them die (or appear to, at any rate). The babysitter’s boyfriend gets grabby (offscreen, but you hear them talking). Minor crude humor, a surreptitious swig of cold medicine. Too intense for small children, with moments that were designed to startle and thrill tweens in 3D. It gets pretty big and loud at the end.
They stayed up all night, peeing into bottles
The marketing highlighted executive producers Zemeckis and Spielberg, but in retrospect Monster House is notable more as the first real Hollywood break for writers Dan Harmon (Community) and Rob Schrab, creators of Channel 101 and Heat Vision and Jack. When old man Nebbercracker keels over and dies, awkward kid DJ and his (even more awkward) pal Chowder try to uncover the mystery of the seemingly animate house he left behind. They’re joined by Jenny, a girl they somehow save from being devoured. (The town sheriff and deputy are not so lucky.) The film feels not unlike like The Goonies, in its world filled with peril and yelling and absent any responsible adults. —