Monster House is a 2006 American animated horror comedy film directed by Gil Kenan in his directorial debut, from a screenplay by Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab and Pamela Pettler about a neighborhood being terrorized by a demonic house. Starring the voices of Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, Spencer Locke, Steve Buscemi, Maggie Gyllenhaal, the film features human characters animated using live-action motion capture.
Three teens discover that their neighbor's house is really a living, breathing, scary monster.
Plot EditThe parents of twelve-year-old D.J. Walters leave town for the weekend, leaving him in the care of his babysitter Zee. DJ has been spying on his elderly neighbor Mr. Horace Nebbercracker, who confiscates any item landing in his yard. After DJ's best friend Chowder loses his basketball on Nebbercracker's lawn, DJ is caught by Nebbercracker trying to recover it but the enraged owner apparently suffers a heart attack and is taken away by an ambulance. That night, DJ receives phone calls from the house with no one on the other end. Eavesdropping on Zee's boyfriend Bones, DJ hears him tell Zee about losing his kite on Nebbercracker's lawn when he was a child, and that Nebbercracker supposedly ate his wife.
Shortly afterwards, Bones sees his kite in the doorway of Nebbercracker's house, but he is consumed by the house while retrieving it. Meanwhile, DJ meets up with Chowder, and the two investigate the house, but flee when it comes alive and attacks them. The next morning, a girl named Jenny Bennett is selling Halloween candy. DJ and Chowder see her going to Nebbercracker's house, and rush out to save her from being eaten. Jenny then calls the police but is not believed.
The trio consult Reginald "Skull" Skulinski, a supposed expert on the supernatural. They learn the house is a rare monster created when a human soul merges with a man-made structure, and that it can only be killed by destroying its heart. They conclude that the heart must be the furnace and Chowder provides a cold medicine-filled dummy that should cause the house to sleep long enough for them to douse the furnace. Police Officers Landers and Lister thwart their plan and they are arrested when Landers finds the cold medicine stolen from Chowder's father's pharmacy inside the dummy. The house then eats the officers and their car in which DJ, Chowder and Jenny have been shut.
When the house falls asleep, the kids begin exploring. In the basement they find a collection of toys accumulated from Nebbercracker's lawn, as well as a door that opens to a shrine containing the body of Nebbercracker's wife, Constance the Giantess, encased in cement. The house realizes they are inside and attacks them. DJ, Chowder, and Jenny force the house to vomit them outside by grabbing its uvula. Nebbercracker arrives home alive, revealing that Constance's spirit is within the house and that he did not eat her but instead had given her some of the happiest times in her life. As a young man, he met Constance, then an unwilling member of a circus freak show, and fell in love with her despite her obesity. After he helped her escape, they began building the house. One Halloween, as children tormented her due to her size, Constance tried chasing them away but lost her footing and fell to her death in the basement. Nebbercracker had finished the house, knowing it was what she would have wanted but, aware that Constance's spirit made the house come alive, he pretended to hate children in order to protect them.
DJ tells Nebbercracker it is time to let Constance go, but the house overhears this. Enraged, it breaks free and chases the group to a construction site. Nebbercracker attempts to distract the house so he can dynamite it, but the house notices and attacks him. Chowder fights it off with an excavator and DJ is given the dynamite. While Chowder distracts the house, DJ and Jenny climb to the top of a crane, and DJ throws the dynamite into the chimney, causing the house to explode. The trio then see Nebbercracker with Constance's ghost before she ascends into the afterlife. DJ apologizes to Nebbercracker for his losses, but Nebbercracker thanks the kids for freeing him and his wife from being trapped for 45 years. Later, children in their Halloween costumes are lined up at the site of the house, where DJ, Chowder, and Jenny help return the toys to their owners. Jenny's mother picks her up, and DJ and Chowder go trick-or-treating, which they previously felt they were too old for. Those who were eaten by the house emerge from the basement.
- Mitchel Musso as D.J. Walters
- Sam Lerner as Chowder
- Spencer Locke as Jenny Bennett
- Steve Buscemi as Horace Nebbercracker
- Maggie Gyllenhaal as Zee
- Kevin James as Police Officer Landers
- Nick Cannon as Police Officer Lister
- Jason Lee as Bones
- Jon Heder as Reginald "Skull" Skulinski
- Catherine O'Hara as Mrs. Walters
- Fred Willard as Mr. Walters
- Kathleen Turner as Constance Nebbercracker
- Ryan Newman as Eliza
The film was shot using performance capture in which the actors performed the characters' movement while linked to sensors, a process which was pioneered by Robert Zemeckis. A stereoscopic 3-D version of the film was created and had a limited special release in digital 3-D stereo along with the "flat" version. It was released in approximately 200 theaters equipped for new RealD Cinema digital 3-D stereoscopic projection. The process was not based on film, but was purely digital. Since the original source material was "built" in virtual 3-D, it created a very rich stereoscopic environment. For the film's release, the studio nicknamed it Imageworks 3D.