Monster House

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2

Content: -1 1/2

Voices: Steve Buscemi, Nick Cannon, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kevin James, Jason Lee, Catherine OHara, Kathleen Turner, Fred Willard, Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, Spencer Locke. Written by Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab, Pamela Pettler. Directed by Gil Kenan (his directorial debut).

IFILM SYNOPSIS: n this digitally animated spooky comedy, three kids battle a mysterious house that supernaturally comes to life and threatens anyone who crosses its path.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Witty, spooky, its a graveyard smash, but something unnerved me about Monster House. With this anthropomorphic house putting children in constant peril, director Gil Kenan crams in as much scariness as the PG rating will allow. Though its a wild ride for older kids, I was dismayed to see little ones at the screening. True, none had to be led from the theater while in tears; but I kept wondering why parents would bring a four-or-five-year-old to a movie that had to be scaring the Jujubes out of them. We adults have become so desensitized by media offerings, I sometimes think many moms and dads are simply unaware what such brutal imaging can do to the psyche of preschoolers. Its a good film; one that teaches positive lessons about caring for others and doing the right thing, but it isnt for preschoolers.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Sony Pictures/Columbia

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: One crude word; the boys, too frightened to leave their room, have evidently used a bottle to urinate in. This bottle is seen a couple of times. There is a joke about vomiting. There is some crude humor from the leads friend, but mostly the film gets its rating for scary sequences and thematic elements.

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: At one point one of our frightened heroes repeats the phrase oh my god several times.

Violence: There are other kinds of violence besides the physical. The film is jam packed with spooky imagery that may alarm little ones, including a house that comes to life and eats people. Two cops are devoured and never seen again. The three lead kids are on their own and in constant peril. An old man, looking demonic in opening scenes, is killed or so we think, with the lead boy believing he caused the death; this same old man is seen grieving over his dead wife a corpulent woman once caged as a freak at a carnival; it is her soul that has possessed the house. This huge, deceased woman is found in the basement, buried in cement.

Sex: A boy gets his first kiss.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: We see the babysitters boyfriend drink from what appears to be a beer bottle.

Other: A boy steals bottles of cough syrup from his fathers drugstore. Supernatural events occur throughout.

Running Time: 85 minutes
Intended Audience: Preteens

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