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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2006), PG [R-PG*] (1hr 21min)
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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Sony Pictures Animation, ImageMovers, Amblin Entertainment
Distribution (US): Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Pictures Releasing
Director(s): Gil Kenan
Producer(s): Jason Clark, Jack Rapke, Heather Smith, Steven Spielberg, Steve Starkey, Peter M. Tobyansen, Robert Zemeckis
Screenplay by: Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab, Pamela Pettler
Story: Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab
Cinematography/Camera: Paul C. Babin, Xavier Pérez Grobet
Music: Douglas Pipes, Steven Severin
Film Editing: Fabienne Rawley, Adam Scott
Casting: Scot Boland, Victoria Burrows
Production Design: Ed Verreaux
Art Direction: Norman Newberry, Greg Papalia
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Mr. Nebbercracker (voice of Steve Buscemi), when a circus worker long ago, fell in love with Constance, The Giantess, a.k.a.,the Fat Lady (voice of Kathleen Turner) and stole her from the brutal life of the circus world and built her a house. But Constance was killed during the construction of the house and became entombed in concrete. Her soul took possession of the house. For 45 years Mr. Nebbercracker was locked in servitude to Constance, both trapped by "love."
This is a story celebrating Halloween and all reverence stops are pulled.
I was surprised how much animated horror violence filmmakers could stuff into an 81-minute "kids" film and still have a story to it. Monster House is rated PG for "Scary images and sequences, thematic elements, some crude humor and brief language." The film is given that PG "tease of restriction" for a reason but Monster House has fallen victim to a trend that PG-13 films have suffered since at least 2000 ... of belonging in a lower rating stratum.
This time the film content falls not one but two huge downward tiers into the darkness of lower rating strata, into equivalency to some R-rated programs in some areas.
Monster House is one more of the as yet few R-PG films. I randomly selected and scanned one and only one secular review for Monster House and even it echoed what the CAP analysis model reveals about this film: that it clearly belongs in a more severe classification.
But then, who cares what the MPAA says. They don't decide what entertainment is fit for your kids. You do. And we try to help you do that by giving factual, objective information borne of direct observation so you might be in a better position to make an informed moral decision on your own whether a film is fit for your family. In a nutshell, we tell you what is there, you decide. That is what we do. For your little ones. Through you. In His name by His Word. Remember, the MPAA does not decide what is fit for your kids by slapping a "PG" on a film. You do.
Note that included in the reasons the MPAA gave this film a PG was "brief language." In the cut I saw I noted no uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary. I very well could have missed uses of profanity but after doing this for eleven years and after more than 1100 film analyses this is unlikely. There were, however, several uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive, by children no less, but to my knowledge the MPAA has never given any notice to such abuse of God's name, even by children. So, I have no idea why the MPAA said "brief language" as part of the reasons for the PG rating.
Mom and dad (voices of Catherine O'Hara and Fred Willard) leave DJ (voice of Mitchel Musso) in the hands of a viciously selfish and uncaring, hateful baby sitter for an overnight trip somewhere during a Halloween period. Where? Doesn't matter. Something dental, I think. DJ, who is at the age of wondering whether tricking or treating is now beneath him, is at the mercy of a controlling, heavy metal, two-faced "I'm in charge of the phone, TV and stereo" teen girl named Zee (voice of Maggie Gyllenhaal) who shows her true colors as soon as she knows mom and dad are gone.
Zee has a boyfriend named Skull (voice of Jon Heder), a member of a heavy metal band. Skull must be much older than Zee since he is apparently of drinking age. "How can you tell that from an animated film" you might ask? Since you've asked, I'll tell you -- by the brown bottle he drinks from and by his wobbling walk. If he is not of drinking age then it is a matter of teenage drinking and drunkenness. And DJ's adolescent friend Chowder (voice of Sam Lerner) asks for beer. [Eph. 5:18] As noted by the studies in the Eph. 5:18 Scriptural Application reference below, such presence of alcohol in a film for this age stratum is dangerous.
By the way, Zee invites Skull into DJ's house while she "babysits" DJ while mom and dad are gone. And yes, he makes moves on Zee. At one point, Zee leaves DJ home alone to go look for her Skull boyfriend who did not come back after she kicked him out. If nothing else, this portrayal of a teen girl as selfish and shallow may serve as clues of what to look for in your babysitters.
One might think I am going into too much detail in this Summary/Commentary. If so, you might think differently when you learn the truth about the content of this nasty little piece of celluloid if you take the time to read this report.
By the way, all adults in this film haven't the foggiest idea of what is going on or where are their kids. [Prov. 29:15]
As all the above are going on, DJ and Chowder amorously observe Jenny (voice of Spencer Locke), a little prep school girl about the same age as DJ and Chowder as she goes about selling candy for her school benefit. In a dazzling display of cunning, Jenny and Zee conjure a way atypical of preteens to fraud DJ's parents out of some of the emergency money they left behind. Though this is apparently the caliber of character Hollywood thinks is typical of the modern adolescent, it is not the main feature of initially unbelieving Jenny's contribution to the story. Once Jenny is attacked and almost eaten by the monster house, she becomes one of the trio who do battle with it.
The preview tells enough about the story for the average parent to be able to fairly well extrude the story from it. But what is not in the preview (as is always the case) is the level of extreme the film spews. The intensity of the attacks by the monster house is not well described in words. While seeing some of the lighter preview attacks on the TV screen may be revealing to a small degree, there is no comparison of the TV screen to the larger-than-life 20 foot by 60 foot big screen with several hundred-fold more audio power than home systems.
The Wanton Violence/Crime (W) investigation area found enough issues of violence and a couple of crime (such as fraud and theft) for this film to lose all its starting 100 points in Wanton Violence/Crime. [Prov. 16:29]
The content found by the Impudence/hate (I) investigation area also caused the film to lose all of its starting 100 points in Impudence/Hate, due mainly to matters of arrogance and disrespect in the programming involving the teen babysitter. Additional matters of arrogance, disrespect and hatefulness were noted in disrespect of private property, sneaking out, coaching others to defy, lying to steal and several other like issues. Though no utterances of profanity were noted, Skull utters an abbreviation of one of the words of profanity. For example, teens have engineered "Sh-yeah" to euphemize one of the four letter expletives. Skull's use of it was nearly "invisible." [Prov. 8:13]
The Sexual Immorality (S) investigation area found things such as a teen pair "messin' around" on the floor while she was babysitting and a couple issues of crude humor/innuendo. [Eph. 5:4]
The Drugs/Alcohol (D) investigation area found some exceptionally serious matters of drinking and drunkenness, maybe by a teen. [Again Eph. 5:18]
The content of Monster House found by the Offense to God (O) investigation also caused the film to lose all of its starting 100 points in this investigation area, due largely to a number of uses of God's name in vain by a child but without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11]. That a child was portrayed as having used God's name in vain invokes Luke 17:2 as well. In addition, a massive amount of animated horror violence involving the possession of a house by a spirit was found. God speaks ominously about evil/unholy spiritual matters. Just one example is Deut. 18:10 - 12. He even condemns those who do such things who are unforgiven. [Rev. 21:8] Hollywood takes a very cavalier attitude about such things. It would be wise in God's eyes to not do likewise or let Hollywood give your child(ren) a cavalier attitude about evil spiritism. Though Halloween has become little more than a holiday to be celebrated, remember what it is you celebrate if you do. "All Hallow's Eve." A day for evil. Well, from sunset on October 31st to "All Hallow's Day (November 1st), anyway.
The Murder/Suicide (M) investigation area found no murders or suicides. There are, however, a number of "deaths" in the film. Constance is killed. Nebbercracker "dies" of a heart attack toward the beginning of the show which is later reversed by seeing him recovered. And at least three people are "eaten" by the monster house, who later emerge from the pit where the house used to stand. Since the film led the viewer to initially believe these were deaths, the CAP model treated them as such.
Please be cautious, mom/dad, when deciding whether to let your little ones (which include at-home teens) watch this film with or without you. The listing in the Findings/Scoring section has evidently become the best source of factual and objective information available about the content of a film. It will hopefully help you be in a better position to make an informed moral decision on your own whether this film is fit or not for your kids
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.
***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
Christian Educators Association International
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
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