Monster House in Your Face

By Matthew Curtis | Enzian Theater August 1, 2006 at 4:59AM

Monster House in Your Face
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First of all, if you haven't seen MONSTER HOUSE yet, you need to put it on the list. This funny and clever total creepfest--perfect for tweens and hip adults but pretty damn scary for little ones--wasn't written by just any old Zemeckis/Spielberg hacks, but rather Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab of "Heat Vision and Jack" fame. This was the hilarious "failed" TV pilot from 1999 directed by Ben Stiller and starring Jack Black, renowned in Orlando as the first film ever to play in the Florida Film Festival's inaugural Midnight Shorts program in 2000.

But don't just see MONSTER HOUSE anywhere--find out where it's playing in "REAL D Cinema" or Digital 3-D. The "Motion Capture" style of animation (much more effective here than in THE POLAR EXPRESS) and haunted house subject lend themselves perfectly to this 3-D format. Used to be you'd have to go to a studio amusement park like Disney or Universal or find a special engagement at an IMAX screen to get this type of sensory experience. How cool is is just to go to a regular cinema, pay normal price, put on the gray-lensed glasses, and settle in for a unique time at the movies? Though the film is on a zillion screens at 18 different locations in Central Florida, only three are playing it in this format. Believe me--it's worth the extra time or gas to make sure you see it in the manner I'm sure the filmmakers dreamed about.

I recently read somewhere that the studio didn't feel it necessary to press screen the film in Digital 3-D for the critics. Are you kidding me? I know MONSTER HOUSE got mostly favorable press, but that's assinine if you ask me. Maybe the ones who found the narrative lacking would've been so entertained by the visuals that their reviews would've had a more positive spin. If you've got it, why wouldn't you want to flaunt it? Morons...

One more added bonus--since hardly anything else currently exists in this Digital 3-D format, you only have to sit through two trailers: a 3-D reissue of Tim Burton's THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS coming in October (count me in!), and some kiddie inventor/time travel flick called MEET THE ROBINSONS coming in March, 2007 (we'll see...). I almost applauded that the main feature started in four minutes. And it's a film that may just be a Halloween classic for years to come.

--Matthew

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