Monster House 2006

Critics score:
74 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: The difference between Monster House and most other animated movies is a little thing called story. It actually has one, and doesn't just trot out cheeky characters spewing gratuitous pop-culture references. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: An enjoyable ride on a dark but not-quite-scary-enough-to-make-you-scream roller coaster, told in elegant motion-capture animation. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Viewers of all ages who survived the 2003 film version of the Disney ride known as The Haunted Mansion will appreciate the improvement Monster House represents in the realm of old dark houses with great big secrets. Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: The overall conception suggests Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle, the frenetic pacing seems as American as an apple pie in your face. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Monster House benefits from strong graphic design and lovely lighting, but the script is nothing to write home about. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: ... it's very weird and twisted in some of the areas it goes. But it's also just a ton of fun. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The picture is yet another entry in the if-you-animate-it-they-will come (they being parents and kids) summer sweepstakes. Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club: Monster House uses some of the same motion-capture computer-animation techniques employed in Polar Express, but in spite of its horror-movie trappings, it's much less terrifying ... Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: Most viewers will see this computer-animated movie on a conventional 2D screen. That's too bad, because, given the range of motion-capture effects and camera moves, the film was made for 3D. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Even at 87 minutes, Monster House overstays its welcome. The finale is an overbearingly loud chaos of splintered boards and sentiment. Read more

Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times: Kids may grow up too fast today to embrace the film's familiar message of the virtues of an unhurried adolescence, but it's nice to be reminded of the possibility. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: Monster House, a frankly horrific and full-tilt hilarious family yarn about a man-snacking mansion. It's engineered to scare your pants off, split your sides and squeeze your tear ducts into submission. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Kenan never loses sight of the wonderment that children (and adults) experience when the inanimate becomes animate. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Monster House never pulls off this transit of kiddie fright to delight and back. Yet there is plenty here to dread. The movie is a creepfest. And I don't mean that kindly. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: The result is an efficient film that never really catches fire, but satisfies along the way. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Feature first-timer Gil Kenan directs with a zingy sense of kids, comedy, fright, and visual perspective. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: Like the books of Roald Dahl and the Harry Potter novels, Monster House does not condescend to kids, but respects their intelligence, and their ability to separate fantasy from reality. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: Monster House is good fun. All that's missing is the indelible link between good and great. Read more

Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly: Monster House becomes one of those wonderfully weird adventure stories beloved of children who don't mind getting a good old-fashioned case of the heebie-jeebies. It's kind of a blast for adults too. Read more

Stephen Williams, Newsday: When the fat lady finally sings -- the filmmakers turn up the volume and the visuals explode. It's these sensations, and not necessarily the content, that might overwhelm some youngsters. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: The animated feature Monster House might one day become an amusement-park ride -- it's all about synergy, you know -- but it couldn't be much more fun than in its present incarnation. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: There's no gore, no nudity and only the mildest of vulgar jokes. But this time the haunted house isn't full of clever crooks, and the scares aren't just an excuse for silly humor. Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: What the movie lacks in story development it makes up for in spooky thrills. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: This Monster House is a real fun house. It's a 3-D animated kids' film built on classic gothic horror lines, a jokey, spooky Goonies for the new millennium. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: It's part story and part spectacle, with the two halves being nicely balanced to offer something for just about everyone. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Best of all, Monster House employs technology that allows for facial expressions and nuances of performance in its animated characters. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Monster House chooses not to take the interesting route, opting more often for wisecracking dialogue and bombastic effects. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: The hybrid computer animation technique used by Robert Zemeckis in Polar Express finds both better expression and a more appropriate holiday -- Halloween -- in the witty kids' horror movie Monster House. Read more

Time Out: N the pantheon of CGI films, it's one of the most adult-orientated animations yet. I don't need to tell you that the kids in the screening were enamoured from start to finish. Read more

Scott Bowles, USA Today: The movie treats children with respect. Monster's pre-teens are sarcastic, think they're smarter than their parents and are going crazy over the opposite sex. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: Across 90 minutes... the experience is desensitizing and dispiriting and far too insistent. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: Monster House is an eyesore. Read more