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Monster House Review

Movies.com Critics

4.0

Dave White Profile

Loud and frantic, but fun. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    68

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Monster House benefits from strong graphic design and lovely lighting, but the script is nothing to write home about.

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today

    Monster House may be the first true horror film for children.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    Set around Halloween, Monster House manages to cull bits and pieces from Hammer, Hitchcock and the old-dark-house genre of 19th Century literature and early 20th Century stage and film.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Kenan directs with a zingy sense of kids, comedy, fright, and visual perspective. But the movie also shimmers and shakes in all its motion-capture animated beauty with the slyly deep sensibilities of executive producer Robert Zemeckis.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Monster House reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 9+

Frightful fun for tweens and up.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know this is a pretty scary movie, and the last 20 minutes, in particular, take a turn for the dark. With windows like eyes and a flying carpet that unfurls tongue-like out the front door to scoop up trespassers, the house is a wonderfully alive structure. But it's creepy. You don't want your kids waking up in the middle of the night freaked out that their house is going to eat them. Most of the PG content comes from the scariness; there are very few crude jokes or language issues. The kids are in constant peril, and they're not exactly role models. They break and enter, steal cough medicine, operate heavy machinery, and use sticks of dynamite. Likewise, the adults in this movie are creepy –- not just Old Man Nebbercracker, but also the uninterested babysitter, detached parents, and clueless cops.

  • Families can talk about what the kids could have done differently. 
  • When the adults in their lives brush off their concerns about the house, is it okay for them to figure out a solution on their own that puts them in danger?
  • And where WERE the adults anyway? What should THEY have done differently to help the kids through this situation?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The children work together and learn an important lesson about the dangers of judging people by their appearances but these lessons are negated by the children's misdeeds.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: In their investigation, the kids steal, operate heavy machinery, break and enter, even use sticks of dynamite. The adults are unreliable and absent in their lives. The babysitter is mean, self-absorbed, and doesn't care about the kids. She allows her boyfriend in the house at night; he gropes her and is generally disrespectful. The kids display crude humor relating to bodily functions, and they pee in bottles to avoid leaving the room all night. A dad refuses to say "I love you" to his son

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: The house is a nightmarish creature that gobbles up neighborhood toys, pets, even people that trod on its lawn. It's scary, especially the last 20 minutes. The storyline includes dead and dying people; violent video games, guns and explosions; and there's a supernatural undercurrent to the movie that isn't appropriate for young kids. Nebbercracker and the babysitter's boyfriend make physical and verbal threats to the kids.

  • sex false1

    Sex: The boys are at an age where they're starting to think about girls, which comes out in their dealings with Jenny. Also, the babysitter's boyfriend tries to put the moves on her, and she kicks him out of the house.

  • language false2

    Language: Verbal threats to the kids, name-calling, potty humor, terms of deity used as expletives, and other words such as "suck," "moron," "kiss my butt," and "crap".

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Very few pop culture references, which is refreshing.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The boyfriend drinks beer and appears drunk when he leaves the house. The kids plan to use cough syrup to put the house to sleep. A cop takes a drink of the cough syrup when no one is looking.

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