Evelyn GoughIn the Picture

Monster House

Directed by Gil Kernan

Rated PG

These school holidays theres a veritable smorgasboard of movies to keep the kiddies entertained and one thats definitely worth checking out is Monster House. Its been running for a couple of weeks but if youre a fan of fabulous animation this spookfest, which is produced by Hollywood heavyweights Robert Zemeckis and Steven Speilberg, is a must-see!

Think you have the neighbour from hell? Wait until you meet Mr Nebbercracker (voiced by Steve Buscemi). This old man is more than just a crotchety pain-in-the-backside, hes every childs nightmare. Any ball, toy, kite or bike, you name it, that lands on his lawn he confiscates and its never seen again. No kid is allowed anywhere near his creepy looking house, especially at Halloween when his behaviour becomes even more bizarre.

And this Halloween things take a definite turn for the worse. When Mr Nebbercracker is taken away by ambulance young DJ (Mitchel Musso), who lives opposite the old man, and his best friend Chowder (Sam Lerner) begin to notice some really freaky things.

Like Mr Nebbercrackers empty house its not only alive, its actually eating people!

The two are just in time to save school girl Jenny (Spencer Locke) from this dreadful fate, but can any of them convince the adults that there is a major neighbourhood watch situation? Of course not! No-one will believe them so its up to our three brave young heroes to fight back and take on the house of evil...

The studios have been working overtime in recent months cranking out animated features. Some have been great, some just average, but the one thing they all have in common is they revolve around cute little critters with plenty of sassy attitude. Which is fine if you like that kind of thing. Me, I prefer my cartoons spooky, ooky and totally kooky and Monster House delivers thrills and chills in abundance.

In fact I have to admit I would have found this way too creepy when I was knee-high to a grasshopper.

But there are plenty of laughs too. The writers have done a great job, coming up with a script which will appeal to all ages, making this one of the best animated features Ive seen for a long time.

Lots of other great stars lined up to lend their voices to this film. They include Jason Lee as Bones, Maggie Gyllenhaal as the babysitter, Catherine OHara as DJs mum and Kathleen Turner as Constance.

A spine-tingling holiday treat.

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