Reviews: Monster House

Scary Excellence

While not produced by any of the same people, Monster House feels akin to Coraline and ParaNorman due to its "refreshingly real and scary movie, but still for general audiences vibe." It's an animated horror movie, and a pretty darn good one.

The animation is pretty nice. The style is realistic but appealing, and the mo-cap is fine for the characters. A bonus was the ability to recognize some of the actors because such a medium requires at least some resemblance.

The characters are pretty good, and there's an air of realism, which, like the other two films mentioned above, is entirely to its benefit. People talk realistically without having to raise the rating too much, and there's really no sugarcoating in how people like these would actually behave; it's just all kept at an acceptable level.

The main draw of the film, however, is the horror. Now, I love a good creative, fully-realized horror concept and boy does this film have one with its titular entity. Possessed architecture has been dealt with before, but not on quite as high a level of personifaction and creativity. This house really does feel alive, sentient, and organic despite being made of nonliving materials, and it's really unique and threatening. There's lots of moments of tension and suspense that definitely push the rating, and, like its fellows, it really utilizes it.

Okay, there are some plot points and tropes that are annoying, overexaggerated and cliche, particularly revolving around the relationships the guys have with the Main Girl character. But the rest of the film balances it out well enough, and the true heart of the story shines through in the third act.

Overall, it's a very creative, atmospheric, and gripping movie, and a great horror film for young and older audiences.
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