Film Review: Monster House

by Pat Johnson

Normally when I decide to go to a movie that I know is made for kids, I lower my expectations. I go in expecting the jokes to be less daring and more physical (burps, farts and bumping heads). I expect the plot to be simple with clear moral lines of good and evil. However, I always wish that I would feel like a kid while watching it. I want kids movies to not just appeal to kids but makes adults feel like kids. Trouble is, this is not a low expectation. And for all these reasons, Monster House is only a decently watchable kid's movie.

As an adult, you will be a little bored and unimpressed. The graphics are fantastic and the voice work has a great list of actors (Steve Buschemi, Jason Lee, Kathleen Turner, John Heder, Kevin James) but none of them have much to work with. You get the dumb cops who (gasp) like donuts. The brainy girl, the dimwitted sidekick, and the heroic boy follow the Harry Potter dynamic in all the wrong ways. Even the house lacks personality, even after we learn its 'secrets'. When the movie finally gets around to be being fun at the end, too much of the momentum has been lost. Ultimately, Monster House is not bad, but it falls embarrassingly short of its potential.

5 'ho-hum' thrills and chills (out of 11)