This one and a half hour suburban fantasy revolves around a mysterious house that attracts a lot of strange activity. This computer animated film creates an appealing environment with some creative camera shots, but could’ve worked as a live action film just as well.
So why didn’t famous film creators Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis use live action? – to push the content envelope and pack several scares into a PG movie. This tactic is no surprise considering the background of Spielberg (Gremlins) and Zemeckis (Death Becomes Her).
Young and experienced audiences can expect more than simple thrills as the strong story elevates this tale above the average adventure. The animation helps hold children’s attention a bit more, which is exactly what you want in a roller coaster-like thriller.
A curious young boy named DJ convinces his friends Chowder and Jenny to investigate the neighborhood house. The kids make realistic decisions as they find themselves in some scary and fantasy-filled situations.
Other neighborhood characters include Skull, voiced by Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), Zee the babysitter and her boyfriend Bones – voiced by comedian Jason Lee (My Name is Earl television series).
Veteran comedians Fred Willard and Catherine O’Hara voice the parents while the famous Kathleen Turner voices Constance. Horace Nebbercracker, a mean neighbor voiced by Steve Buscemi, and two local police officers round out the supporting characters.
Recommended (*** out of four stars) and rated PG for scary images, crude humor, thematic elements and brief language. Definitely the scariest PG-rated movie I’ve seen.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler