Monster House’s Incredible Animated Architecture

The haunted house, a landmark of horror. The best setting for any scary story, from classic movies to streaming hits. It’s amazing how one and the same place can generate a wealth of ideas. We all know movies and series like The spook, poltergeist, The Amityville Horror and The Haunting of Hill Housebut there’s an animated film that takes this idea to the frightening extreme.


monster house is a 2006 film directed by Gil Kenan and written by Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab and Pamela Pettler. It follows three kids, DJ, Jenny and Chowder, as they investigate the spooky house across the street that appears to be eating people. Kenan and the writing team have achieved great success themselves, and from this early work it’s clear why. This film is the strongest entry in ImageMovers Studios’ animated repertoire and fits in well with it The horrors and Death becomes her as an original, tightly written yet accessible horror film. While it’s far from perfect, it has a very classic “kids on bikes” feel to it, with a smug sense of humor and a heart of gold at the center, but the crowning glory of this film is Constance (Kathleen Turner), the monster house itself.

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This isn’t a traditional haunted house movie where those who linger in the house after death make the place dangerous; this is more of an ownership of the building itself. From the edge of the front yard to the lines of trees surrounding it, inside and out, this home is alive, sentient and angry. If you look at very early concept drafts for this film when it was planned to be live action, you can see that this idea goes more in a biological direction, the house has human organs, an eyeball and a fleshy tongue, kinda like that until the end Slide, which came out in the same year.


The Anatomy of “Monster House”

What we see in the film is a tongue made out of a long, elaborate rug, lighted windows instead of eyes, splintered wood instead of teeth, bare trees instead of weapons, and complete paranormal control over the entire area. The house can transform from a rickety but nondescript old building into a living being before the eyes of the audience as the wood cracks into a snarling grimace and the windows begin to glow. It can easily lure people in by taking away the warning signs that litter lawns and offering them beloved possessions it once took away before grabbing them by the frog’s tongue of a rug. Constance has very bestial qualities, but there’s clearly something about human intelligence and a deep sense of revenge and anger.

This film deserves more credit than just the monster design alone. The design change from anatomy to architecture wasn’t just a great way to make this film less terrifying for younger audiences — they probably wouldn’t respond well to one David Cronenberg –Haunted House in her spooky animated adventure – making the haunted house function like a human body paves the way for creative ideas that the crew took full advantage of, from the way Constance works to her defeat. The essence of this design is novel enough to be experienced, but in more ways than one it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

What does the haunted house mean?

No matter what exactly is inside a haunted house, it always retains a similar and rather intriguing symbolism. The idea of ​​a deep, resonant trauma capable of defacing a place that should be safe and welcoming, turning it into a death trap. The dark backstory that ties every film in this subgenre together, the one that people smugly point out when a new family moves in. Perhaps a family was horribly murdered, or the foundations lie in an ancient burial ground, or there is someone still living within the walls. Whatever it is, the home absorbs that misery, retaining almost a memory of what happened there and refusing to let it go.

This is by no means a new revelation in film analysis, this is a cold take, we all know what the haunted house represents at this point. The way monster house uses this metaphor is incredibly intriguing; The house is not the lingering trauma of an event, the house is a person’s vengeful spirit. Constance is the most intriguing character in the film, and you really only see her in photos and in a flashback scene. As a giantess on a traveling freak show, she was taunted and abused for a long time before she met her husband, the creepy old man, Mr. Nebberknacker (Steve Buscemi), which ended up being the silver lining of her life and she of his. While the two were very much in love, Constance still harbored a lot of anger and remained very insecure and defensive about herself and her home.

Threatening some egg-throwing children resulted in her death, and she was buried deep into the foundation of the house, her spirit burning on it. In a way, the house gives her the power that was taken from her in life, and she uses that power with all her might. Not only is Constance a completely malevolent force, she is incredibly protective of her husband, only fueling her volatility when DJ accidentally gives him a near-fatal heart attack. They’re both furious about another young delinquent throwing their home into a disaster that she attributes her death to, and Nebbercracker can’t come between them and do as she pleases. She embraces the monster the house turned her into, and it’s hard to blame her for that.

monster house is one of those movies that people in their twenties watched when they were young and were either traumatized by it or didn’t know what to make of it. The animation, while not nearly as bad as the other ImageMovers animated films, has some weird quirks due to the new motion capture technology, and the characters can have some really unsympathetic moments, but there’s a lot of fantasy here that’s worth watching is to be given it another look. It’s a masterful combination of the two great horror film subgenres that is accessible to all ages and all levels of horror tolerance. You’ll have a hard time finding a scary-cat that can make it through a splatterpunk slasher, but haunted houses and creature features are ones that can be a lot of fun and a great introduction to horror.

This film brings us the best of both worlds through the incredible architecture of the title building.

https://collider.com/monster-house-movie-incredible-architecture/ Monster House’s Incredible Animated Architecture

Sarah Ridley

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