Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. Kenan directs with a zingy sense of kids, comedy, fright, and visual perspective. But the movie also shimmers and shakes in all its motion-capture animated beauty with the slyly deep sensibilities of executive producer Robert Zemeckis.
  2. Kenan never loses sight of the wonderment that children (and adults) experience when the inanimate becomes animate. Anthropomorphism is basic to the art of animation. So is a good story, and Kenan has that, too.
  3. Monster House makes its intentions clear: It wants to wrap you in a thick, warm blanket of 1980s nostalgia.
  4. The most imaginative and delightful computer-animated movie of recent years outside of the Pixar brand, Monster House is a Halloween ghost story by way of monster-movie adventure.
  5. 90
    One of the best movies of the year, and a great accomplishment for Messrs. Harmon and Schrab. Maybe now we’ll get a feature length "Robot Bastard" movie.
  6. Easily the best computer-animated feature to come from Hollywood in a long while, Monster House is also one of the weirdest. A creepy-crawly, freak-show Halloween yarn.
  7. Reviewed by: Sara Brady
    Smaller kids might find the movie too intense at times, especially when DJ, Chowder, and Jenny find themselves literally in the belly of the beast. But everyone else should enjoy a good, goosebumpy scare.
  8. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    A scary, sharp, funny movie, this is the best kids’ flick of the year so far.
  9. 80
    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.
  10. 80
    Has a return-to-innocence sweetness that recalls some of the work of another of its executive producers - Steven Spielberg. 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.
  11. Unpretentious, smartly written and a lot of fun.
  12. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Set around Halloween, Monster House manages to cull bits and pieces from Hammer, Hitchcock and the old-dark-house genre of 19th Century literature and early 20th Century stage and film.
  13. 75
    Ultimately, what happens with the house is not only entertaining, but a marvel of what animation can accomplish in this day and age.
  14. A captivating piece of visual wizardry. The house, which eventually frees itself from its moorings and chases after our trio of tweener heroes, is a genuine original.
  15. 75
    The house itself - which walks down the street in one impressive scene - is memorably voiced by Kathleen Turner.
  16. Monster House was designed as a family movie and a scary movie. It may scare children, but it won't terrify them. So it's no scarier than it should be.
  17. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    Monster House may be the first true horror film for children.
  18. 75
    While Monster House is in no way groundbreaking, it's an enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes, and is suitable for all but the youngest children.
  19. I was a little disappointed by the cop-out ending, in which debut director Gil Kenan gives up the film's frightening elements and comforts the audience with comedy and superficial emotion.
  20. 75
    What's missing is what Pixar never fails to provide: The kind of storytelling heart that is inseparable from imagination.
  21. 75
    Director Gil Kenan has a feel for dizzying "camera" work, and the screenplay combines witty gags with a sweet, albeit familiar, suggestion that kids shouldn't be in any great hurry to be anything but kids.
  22. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    The movie might be scary for small kids--but good scary, with goose-bump-inducing frames, witty repartee, and three resourceful kid protagonists.
  23. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Constant shock cuts and souped-up music and sound effects will keep small fry in a state of moderate petrification, while the trio of tweeny leads plus attitude-redolent cohorts will make teens feel welcome.
  24. The three neighborhood kids who venture inside this toothy trap are wittily conceived (as are other characters, like a goth babysitter), but though the overall conception suggests Hayao Miyazaki's "Howl's Moving Castle," the frenetic pacing seems as American as an apple pie in your face.
  25. 63
    The voice work is exceptional, with a special nod to Maggie Gyllenhaal as a toxic-tongued baby sitter and Jason Lee as her raunchy-to-the-point-of-depraved boyfriend. Kenan is a talent to watch, even in a flick that doesn't know when to quit.
  26. 63
    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.
  27. A serviceable story served up as a large animation experience for kids.
  28. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Monster House is the first horror comedy made exclusively for fourth-graders.
  29. Monster House benefits from strong graphic design and lovely lighting, but the script is nothing to write home about.
  30. 40
    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.
  31. Reviewed by: Luke Y. Thompson
    The coolest thing about Monster House is that Kathleen Turner's face was actually motion-captured to create the house's movements, but actual human beings on-screen might have ratcheted up the tension, of which there is none.
  32. 30
    A grisly, often cynical piece of work whose joyless, aggressive spirit is made even less appealing by its soulless visual style.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 80 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 41
  2. Negative: 2 out of 41
  1. Oct 17, 2011
    It's a average blockbuster adventure animation you'll love to see with your kids in a sunny day. Robert Zemeckis does a fine job overall for "Monster House", but I expect more from him. Full Review »
  2. Nov 7, 2010
    its scary, but perfect
  3. Feb 16, 2014
    Monster House actually isn't such a bad movie. Kids will enjoy it , and there are enough scares and some more adult material that parents won't be bored. Zemeckis does a fine job directing, and proves he can master animated as well as live action films once again. Full Review »