Monday, November 28, 2005

Monster House: Creepy Cool

Thanksgiving slouch being over, I think its time for me to get back on the saddle and post some mofo’n blogs.

I begin this Black Monday, with a link to the delightful Monster House teaser courtesy of the sweet apple High Def trailers .

The 3-D animated film was produced by Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis, and directed and co-written by newbie Gil Kenan. I was immediately taken by the unique animation style which was atmospheric and spooky, melding perfectly with the film’s mysterious subject matter. The teaser is framed with the movie trailer (also known as the “in a world….”) guy’s voice, who narrarates throughout with a sort of storybook sensibility, dropping phrases like “every town has a legend…” and “every street has a story…” The movie has the tone of an urban legend or ghost story that kids tell one another scare each other. Did you hear the one about the kid who’s parents left for a long weekend? He was stuck with a mean babysitter, and when he snuck across the street he was eaten by this old house!

The teaser felt like it was cut for a horror movie, but one that was told from a kid’s perspective, the animation serving to accentuate the imaginative and exagerrated elements of a child’s mind. That opening shot of the quiet suburban street in autumn, with the orange leaves dancing in the air and the parents pulling out of the driveway in a station wagon felt like some curious fusion of Speilberg and John Carpenter films from the 80’s.

The animation, which was done by Sony Imageworks, has a really different look to it, distinct from Pixar and Dreamworks both. If Tim Burton’s stop motion characters and the toys from Toy Story bred together, these characters would be their children. To me they look like wooden dolls come to life, and I like that their design is not too realistic (like the kids in the cringe inducing Polar Express), but maintain an artistic style, as animation should.

Interestingly enough, I actually heard a rumor that at one point the script was going to be done as a live action film, but then the producers/studios decided against it. Though I think it would have been captivating in that format, I am equally intrigued by it as an animation piece. I already feel the tittering butterflies in my stomach as I await a new slate of summer movies. Superman Returns. Monster House. It may be a grand summer yet.


Blogger Daddy Background said...

My favourite "In a world..." trailer was for Jerry Seinfeld's movie "Comedian" where the trailer really doesn't have anything at all to do with the movie (Seinfeld, go figure) - instead it's the Voice Guy (Don LaFontaine) doing a send up of himself.

On the list of things to do tonight is to check out the Monster House trailer. In hi-def.

9:48 AM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Yes, I remember that trailer, it was awesome. LOL

11:25 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Did anybody see the trailer for what will surely go down as the pinnacle of human civilization? I'm talking of course about Tim Allen's The Shaggy Dog. He's a work-a-holic dad who's out of touch with his family. But when he gets bit by a magical dog and becomes a dog himself, hilarity ensues! This will be AWESOME.

12:13 PM  
Blogger jeremybgg said...

it kind of bothers me that the biggest "fan-boy" i know is a girl.

2:33 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Aw come on, don't get all caught up in gender roles...

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear New York post, I am a fan of Kreepy amazing dark movies about erie unknown lifeforms that make the main characters ponder on what situation they have put themslves into with the unimagineable being (such as the Bride in corpse bride or Jack Skelington in Nightmare before christmas, may I mention I am a big fan of Tim Burton movies). So by that information will I like this movie the Monster House?

7:34 PM  

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