The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, July 28, 2006

Monster House (2006)

My favorite movie so far this year. Wow. This Spielberg production hits all the notes right, feeling like a stellar collaboration with, say, Steven King. Somehow, the filmmakers remembered all of the fear, wonder, and hope of childhood, and created a computer-generated film with the first fully human characters I've ever seen in the medium. Well...the characters and situations are SLIGHTLY flattened out (where the heck are all the adults?) but I had the clear and continual sense that I was watching a breakthrough in the field. The story is basic, and deceptively complex. A local neighborhood Mean Old Man lives in a Spooky House. Local kids are terrified to step onto his lawn, and for damned good reason. Then one Halloween...
Heck, I'm not going to spoil it. No, the movie isn't perfect. But it is a virutally perfect (pun intended) realization of an idea. More, the human beings work as human beings, without that spooky, empy, zomboid appearance that kept me away from "Polar Express." This one is a minor classic, and my hat is absolutely off to all involved. WARNING: this movie has genuinely scarey moments. Think before you take the kids. I give it, warts and all, an A+ for vastly exceeding my expectations, and thrilling me from opening to closing credits.

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