Feature first-timer Gil Kenan directs with a zingy sense of kids, comedy, fright, and visual perspective.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
One of the spooky archetypes of childhood imagination the dark, mysterious house across the street is literally brought to life in this marvelously creepy animated feature.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
One of the best animated movies of the past couple of years and the most enjoyable family entertainment of recent months.
Philip French - Guardian [UK]
The movie treats children with respect. Monster's pre-teens are sarcastic, think they're smarter than their parents and are going crazy over the opposite sex.
Scott Bowles - USA Today
Monster House is an eyesore.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Even at 87 minutes, Monster House overstays its welcome. The finale is an overbearingly loud chaos of splintered boards and sentiment.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
What the movie lacks in story development it makes up for in spooky thrills.
Jack Mathews - New York Daily News
Monster House benefits from strong graphic design and lovely lighting, but the script is nothing to write home about.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
Monster House, a frankly horrific and full-tilt hilarious family yarn about a man-snacking mansion. It's engineered to scare your pants off, split your sides and squeeze your tear ducts into submission.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
Monster House is good fun. All that's missing is the indelible link between good and great.
Philip Wuntch - Dallas Morning News
Monster House never pulls off this transit of kiddie fright to delight and back. Yet there is plenty here to dread. The movie is a creepfest. And I don't mean that kindly.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
The animated feature Monster House might one day become an amusement-park ride -- it's all about synergy, you know -- but it couldn't be much more fun than in its present incarnation.
David Edelstein - New York Magazine
Viewers of all ages who survived the 2003 film version of the Disney ride known as The Haunted Mansion will appreciate the improvement Monster House represents in the realm of old dark houses with great big secrets.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
The overall conception suggests Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle, the frenetic pacing seems as American as an apple pie in your face.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
Easily the best computer-animated feature to come from Hollywood in a long while, Monster House is also one of the weirdest.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
The film is comprehensively creepy, often funny, a little bit touching, and exciting.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
The result is an efficient film that never really catches fire, but satisfies along the way.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Most viewers will see this computer-animated movie on a conventional 2D screen. That's too bad, because, given the range of motion-capture effects and camera moves, the film was made for 3D.
Bill Muller - Arizona Republic
Across 90 minutes... the experience is desensitizing and dispiriting and far too insistent.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
The storytelling skill in Monster House isn't always up to its visuals. But as a roller-coaster summer entertainment, it's a heck of a lot more fun than Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, not to mention a full hour shorter.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
This Monster House is a real fun house. It's a 3-D animated kids' film built on classic gothic horror lines, a jokey, spooky Goonies for the new millennium.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
The hybrid computer animation technique used by Robert Zemeckis in Polar Express finds both better expression and a more appropriate holiday -- Halloween -- in the witty kids' horror movie Monster House.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
Monster House chooses not to take the interesting route, opting more often for wisecracking dialogue and bombastic effects.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
It's part story and part spectacle, with the two halves being nicely balanced to offer something for just about everyone.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
This Roald Dahl-esque tale and cornball fantasy never quite jell into a satisfying movie experience. The move feels frustratingly disjointed like that lumbering, disintegrating house storming down the street.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
The difference between Monster House and most other animated movies is a little thing called story. It actually has one, and doesn't just trot out cheeky characters spewing gratuitous pop-culture references.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Until this animated horrorfest turns shrill, debuting director Gil Kenan delivers enough visual goods to justify the faith of producers Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Kids may grow up too fast today to embrace the film's familiar message of the virtues of an unhurried adolescence, but it's nice to be reminded of the possibility.
Kevin Crust - Los Angeles Times
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
Frightful fun for tweens and up.
Jane Boursaw - Common Sense Media
I suspect, and hope that "Monster House" will become a Halloween classic, because it's too fun to be forgotten.
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
"Monster House" may well be the first mainstream animated exploitation movie.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Brian Marder - Hollywood.com
A good laugh and technologically fascinating.
Daniel Etherington - Film4
[Has] its moments of both scares and laughs.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
It's too dark for the kiddies, while not having enough of an adult flavor to reach an older audience.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
The most troubling element of the film is its conclusion ... which comes to rather alarming conclusions about how to deal with a resentful social outcast.
Jeffrey Overstreet - Christianity Today
Delivers the freaky/funny goods for audiences of all ages.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
A plodding and unimaginative screenplay.
Frank Lovece - Film Journal International
A cleverly conceived, kid-friendly horror flick with a lot going for it, mixing clever asides in a thrill-a-minute roller coaster ride on the way to a finale with a satisfying send-off.
Kam Williams - Upstage Magazine
Dean Essner - Irish Times
Monster House doesn't give specifics about when it takes place, but I swear it must be the '80's.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
The best animated film of 2006.
Forrest Hartman - Reno Gazette-Journal
A visual treat, with characters that look like caricatures and a house that's as much of a monster as anything Hollywood has given us.
James Plath - Reel.com
full review in Greek
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
Set on Halloween, the script is original and nicely creepy, even when the boys are joined by a redhead named Jenny.
Dean Essner - Sydney Morning Herald
In an era of meticulously muggy, corporate-vetted movies designed to launch possible franchises before the first film has even released, Monster House plays pleasingly to audiences of almost any age, driven by a strong sense of wonderment.
Brent Simon - Now Playing Magazine
A rich, layered and often funny script, with some decent scares, as well as some knowing, hip scenes that satisfy with their edgy moments and lines.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Here's a conundrum: an animated movie that is pitched at kids but is far more suitable for teenagers and adults.
Harry Guerin - RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)
...amid the technical dazzle, the spunky juvenile protagonists give the film an unlikely anchor.
Todd Jorgenson - Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
Monster House may look like the sort of movie that is more or less safe for little kids, but the humour gets a little crude in places.
Peter T. Chattaway - Christianity Today
From his brilliantly twisted vision of the house itself to the casting of the voice actors for this film, Kenan couldn't have done a better job for his frosh film effort.
Kim Voynar - Cinematical
This is not only going to make the little ones jump, but it made a few big ones (like me) jump, too! It's scary
Michael Szymanski - Sci-Fi Weekly
Unfortunately, I don't think it's going to be a monster hit.
Kamal 'The Diva' Larsuel - 3BlackChicks Review
The last act ends up marring what up to that point has been an above-average kiddie adventure.
Ethan Alter - NYC Film Critic
So fresh, innovative and fun, you can't believe it wasn't written by Brad Bird and directed by Robert Zemeckis.
Collin Souter - eFilmCritic.com
Newfangled technology providing old-fashioned frights. Maybe these folks are on to something.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
A scary, sharp, funny movie, this is the best kids' flick of the year so far.
Ian Freer - Empire Magazine
Un susto animado digno de risas y una cinta imprescindible mas para el almanaque de noche de brujas.
Luis Martinez - Cinenganos
It may be a tad too scary for the very young but for everyone else this is a frighteningly good movie.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
n the pantheon of CGI films, it's one of the most adult-orientated animations yet. I don't need to tell you that the kids in the screening were enamoured from start to finish.
Dean Essner - Time Out
While certain elements of Monster House might be too scary for very small children it is unquestionably worth seeing. With stunning animation, loveable characters and a witty script this is the best children's film of the year so far.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
A bracingly icy breath of fresh air, a tween-oriented family film that is unabashedly out to frighten… an excursion into primal fears of places you don’t want to walk past at night.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
While it might not bring the house down, there's enough here to suggest this Monster won't be moving out of cinemas any time soon.
Neil Smith - BBC
Monster House, a CG-animated horror comedy, has the kind of freaky-fun imagery that goes directly to the heart of your inner child.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Am I the only one wondering why "Monster House" wasn't released at Halloween?
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
... too intense for children... too dull for adults... why wasn't this a LIVE feature film?
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
A decent dark animated picture with some fun, some scares and some neat interaction between the three lead characters.
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
(Monster House)...is a Goonies to get lost in, an amiable adventure yarn that has action and atmosphere to burn.
Bill Gibron - DVD Verdict
In a lovely neighbourhood there is a very old and dilapidated house that eats anything that lands on its property.
Angela Baldassarre - Sympatico.ca
The basic story is very similar to a recent animated film called "Howl's Moving Castle."
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
...an often beguiling piece of computer animation that could nonetheless benefit from a gentler touch.
Josh Larsen - Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
Creepy in more ways than one: The 'performance capture' technology still results in animated human characters who look more disturbing than natural.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
This doesn't have a clear target audience in mind.
Audrey Rock-Richardson - Tooele Transcript-Bulletin (Utah)
A new Halloween tradition... Kenan and his crew have designed a carnival spook house thrill ride to match the best.
David Cornelius - eFilmCritic.com
Monster House is crammed to the rafters with the kind of satisfying horror-lite scares that make it a perfect midsummer diversion.
Sara Brady - Premiere Magazine
What initially appears to be a straightforward haunted house tale morphs into a haunting tale about love, retribution and acceptance.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Unfurls like a campfire story sugar-infused teenage counselors would spin for frightened scouts on an overnight trip.
Sean O'Connell - Charlotte Weekly
This daring effort is uniformly well-crafted and bodes well for director Gil Kenan's future.
John P. McCarthy - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Most of the characters are cliches, but the horror shows some imagination. This is not a classic animation film, but it is a nice and sometime grizzly little horror story for kids.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
One of the best puberty-peril films since the 1980s boom, "Monster House" balances out its elements of Burton and boyhood to make a movie more alive with the magic of Halloween than "The Polar Express" was with the spirit of Christmas.
Nick Rogers - State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)
Obviously, this is a movie aimed at pre-adolescents and not 30-something emotional cripples like me, but I felt the movie could've been a little more ghastly.
Pete Vonder Haar - Film Threat
If you've ever been freaked out by that run-down gothic-looking house down at the end of the block, you must see Monster House. If not, go anyway.
Larry Ratliff - San Antonio Express-News
I was wondering whether Summer 2006 was going to provide me with a genuine 4-star, this-is-what-I-love-about-movies experience. And then I saw Monster House.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
After a clever and well-constructed first half, this digital family cartoon falls apart before your eyes. When the kids finally get inside the house, it's as if the script gets eaten alive, too.
Thomas Delapa - Boulder Weekly
"Monster House" is just a blast, expertly turning those old childhood fears about the weird house down the street into big-screen entertainment.
Rob Thomas - Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Ultimately, the environments are far more interesting than the humans navigating within them.
Dan Fienberg - Zap2it.com
A fun trick, and a real treat.
Sean McBride - Sean the Movie Guy
A wicked house that confiscates every toy within its reach, and kidnaps every human on its doorstep, is more fun than you know.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
Sometimes irreverently hip and sometimes sweet, the spooky-house tale provides the best and worst in family entertainment.
Susan Tavernetti - Palo Alto Weekly
There are loads of priceless moments in this film.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
A haunted house that's alive, uproots itself, and storms down the street on a rampage seems a bit over-stimulating for young children.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Equal parts Ray Bradbury and rickety carnival spook show, this animated tale of a carnivorous, haunted house and the band of neighborhood kids who decide to put it out of commission feels maddeningly unfinished...
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
Don't let this one pass you by on the big-screen. It's movie magic. The kind many of us thought died many summers ago.
Alex Sandell - Juicy Cerebellum
With its childhood gothic imagery and carnival freak show subplot, "Monster House" feels like something sprung from the mind of Tim Burton.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Dean Essner - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
Dean Essner - Baltimore Sun
...a truly nostalgic reminiscence of childhood scares and dares.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
owes more to Tim Burton than to the traditional Disney-style animated summer family movies
Anne Gilbert - Filmcritic.com
'Way too scary for tykes and far too juvenile for teens, this malevolent monstrosity falls into a pre-adolescent abyss.
Susan Granger - Modamag.com
The movie, by UCLA film-school grad and whiz kid Gil Kenan -- reflects a distinctive voice, one that's needed in the ever more crowded but often less-distinguished field of feature animation.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Best of all, Monster House employs technology that allows for facial expressions and nuances of performance in its animated characters.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
reminiscent of last year's shrill 'Zathura,' another film that couldn't find the proper balance between humor and horror. ...The movie has a few nicely warped ideas that remain frustratingly underdeveloped.
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
Monster House, energetically directed by first-timer Gil Kenan -- takes what could have been a pretty thin story and turning it into a grand tale of daring and friendship.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
An enjoyable ride on a dark but not-quite-scary-enough-to-make-you-scream roller coaster, told in elegant motion-capture animation.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
This usually doesn't work in animation unless it's one of those dish-plate eyed Japanese things. Even then it doesn't work half the time. Which is why I'm happy to report that this is part of the OTHER half which actually does.
Eric Lurio - Greenwich Village Gazette
Monster House tries to straddle the line between childhood and puberty to little effect; it's adult enough to hint at consequence, but not enough to follow through.
Dean Essner - E! Online
A comedy at heart but potentially a kid's first horror movie, Monster House is a fine introduction to the young cinephile's realization that you can have a lark in the dark.
Matt Caracappa - Boxoffice Magazine
The house is the coolest thing in Monster House, though that's largely by default.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Some of the humor is a little crude for a PG-rated film, and the material does get dark. But the animation is bright and colorful, and it looks pretty spectacular.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Surprisingly enough, puberty-stricken J.D. and Chowder actually sound like real teenagers, but the cartoony look will probably alienate real-life kids that age, and the man-eating house might be downright terrifying to younger kids.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Trick and treat! Halloween seems oh so far away -- until Monster House rolls out its spooky, ooky welcome mat for kids of all ages.
Carol Cling - Las Vegas Review-Journal
There's no gore, no nudity and only the mildest of vulgar jokes. But this time the haunted house isn't full of clever crooks, and the scares aren't just an excuse for silly humor.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
A grim, dark ride.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
a bit too scary for kids under the age of 8 years old, but provides wonderful, funny and frightening entertainment for everyone else.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
The trick is that it's a little early for Halloween, but Monster House is the treat.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
Monster House is the most pleasant surprise of the year and will undoubtedly wind up on a certain list of mine at the end of the year.
Bill Clark - FromTheBalcony
Kids probably won't mind the movie's excesses, but even as Monster House moved toward the inevitable uplifting ending, I wished Kenan and company had toned things down a bit.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
This follows in the grand tradition of adventure stories with middle-school-aged heroes (and heroines), the big, scary world of the story standing in as a metaphor for the big, scary world of adolescence and adulthood.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
The haunted house concept gets an invigorating rehab in Monster House, the latest -- and highly entertaining -- animated feature from the folks who gave us The Polar Express.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Like the books of Roald Dahl and the Harry Potter novels, Monster House does not condescend to kids, but respects their intelligence, and their ability to separate fantasy from reality.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
It's fun, funny, smart and even scary -- in that surreal, Gothic-style way that the old Universal horror movies such as Frankenstein were frightening.
Bruce Kirkland - Jam! Movies
Monster House uses some of the same motion-capture computer-animation techniques employed in Polar Express, but in spite of its horror-movie trappings, it's much less terrifying ...
Keith Phipps - AV Club
While it has some spectacular set pieces and dollops of goofy, wisecracking humor, Monster House rests on such a flimsily constructed narrative framework that it starts collapsing in on itself, long before the predictably over-the-top conclusion.
Timothy Knight - Reel.com
strikes the perfect mix for children and adults
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
The house itself -- with a porch for a mouth, a carpet for a tongue and a chandelier for a uvula -- is terrifying in the family friendly way old Disney movies are terrifying, and the story packs a few genuine surprises too good to spoil here.
Mike Russell - Oregonian
Dave White - Movies.com
Monster House is a cute, fun and smart stroll down the universal adolescent memory lane, a sort of haunted Home Alone or a Leave It to Beaver episode set in The Twilight Zone.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Inventive, groundbreaking and engaging.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
The lone minority character is a complete fool and the onscreen kids either mock or fear the overweight, both pretty monstrous messages to send to a young audience.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
When the fat lady finally sings -- the filmmakers turn up the volume and the visuals explode. It's these sensations, and not necessarily the content, that might overwhelm some youngsters.
Stephen Williams - Newsday
The ultimate movie for 10-year-old boys.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Seems less a joyous return to innocence and more like the nightmares we have while contemplating the real-estate market.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
Ranks in a class of haunted house tales alongside the original Haunting and The Others. But, you know, for kids.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
When all's said and done, you wish the film had been about Nebbercracker and his girl.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
Acceptable as a kids film only as a punishment tool.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
It's equal parts funny and frightening, and should, like its two-decades-old predecessors, turn into a slumber-party staple. But really -- you must be this tall to ride this ride.
Phoebe Flowers - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Sure to give your kids nightmare. Like the best movie monsters, the monster house has a real tragedy at the heart of its backstory.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
Monster House becomes one of those wonderfully weird adventure stories beloved of children who don't mind getting a good old-fashioned case of the heebie-jeebies. It's kind of a blast for adults too.
Scott Foundas - L.A. Weekly
Kenan never loses sight of the wonderment that children (and adults) experience when the inanimate becomes animate.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
Monster House is professionally assembled and contains a good amount of irreverent fun; as an adult, I dug a lot of it.
Steve Schneider - Orlando Weekly
With a sensibility that falls somewhere between the Stephen King and Tim Burton, this is a horror movie for kids with bite, heart and a poignant happy ending that is entirely earned and completely rewarding.
Sean Axmaker - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
A feast for the eyes, Monster House should become a mainstay of the Halloween season.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Monster House is like an amusement park ride through a fun house. It's a great deal more fun than that other amusement park ride, Pirates of the Caribbean, and funnier than the summer's Pixar picture, Cars.
Bruce Newman - San Jose Mercury News
The movie might become one day a thrilling amusement-park ride, but for now, it's mediocre and generic kids animation tale with uneven special effects (some corny) that would have benefited from a release around Halloween, when the yarn is set.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Monster House is arguably the best family film so far this summer.
Stax - IGN Movies
The final film isn't wretchedly bad, but clearly needed a lot more polish before being presented to the public.
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium
It distinguishes itself as entertainment with a willingness to spill into macabre territory without losing its prepubescent sense of carefree, AM radio adventure and imagination.
Brian Orndorf - FilmJerk.com
Had it been released at Halloween (where it surely belongs), you might count it as marginal seasonal fun. In the middle of summer, though, it barely registers.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
The picture is yet another entry in the if-you-animate-it-they-will come (they being parents and kids) summer sweepstakes.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
After a promising beginning, with some clever dialogue -- Monster House can't figure out where to go.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
A spasmodic, cacophonous roller coaster ride.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
No cinematic dream house, but despite flaws in design and construction, it's worth a walk-through.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Roll out the welcome mat for Monster House - you'll be glad you did.
Staci Layne Wilson - About.com
Maintaining macabre spirit, Monster House is a happy horror film.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
In this latest extravaganza from executive producers Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis, millions of dollars and long hours in the digital-animation studios have produced . . . a photorealistic, computer-animated, generic American suburb!
Luke Y. Thompson - New Times
the PG-rated antics suck any tension away when you become fully aware that killer houses in kids' movies can't actually kill anything.
Mike Sage - Peterborough This Week
The Academy should seriously consider awarding the Best Animated Feature Film Oscar to Monster House, which is way, way better than Cars.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
The camera angles are dynamic, the dialogue wry, the story crackerjack, and the direction keeps everything moving along at just the right pace
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
... it's very weird and twisted in some of the areas it goes. But it's also just a ton of fun.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
This is a great fantasy story, the kind of movie kids dream about in their back yards.
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com