Monster House

Although we LOVE doing kid-oriented horror films from time to time, animation is a first for our podcast. But being Halloween season, we could not resist revisiting this underrated, surprisingly frightening family film from the Robert Zemeckis/Stephen Spielberg ImageMovers team.

If you're looking for a good Halloween flick to watch with the fam, check it out! Then listen to us yammer on about it...

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Monster House (2006)

Episode 273, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw

Craig: Hello and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Craig.

Todd: and I’m Todd

Craig: And we are continuing our Halloween months. This week was my turn to pick. We’ve been, uh, taking turns and I wasn’t sure, you know, there are, uh, a lot of Halloween movies out there and some of them look like they have some pretty good potential.

Some of them look pretty stupid. Not that I’m above doing stupid movies at all, but, 

Todd: or knows we’ve done a few, um, or that a view, 

Craig: but I decided to go a little bit different this week. I don’t know. I hope that, uh, our loyal fans will respect this decision because it’s, uh, a little unorthodox for us. I decided this week that we should do 2006’s Monster House, which is a PG rated family film, but it is set on Halloween and it has a lot of horror elements to it. I would kind of describe this as gateway horror for kids, something that’s relatively safe for kids to watch, but still with some dark elements and themes and, and. Frankly, some pretty serious, uh, scares, uh, in some places.

And I just remembered liking it. I hadn’t seen it for a long time. I had seen it before. I don’t remember when the last time I saw it was, but I remembered being struck by how scary it was for a family film now, going back and watching it again. I think that my memory of. Was I think I remember it being a little scarier than it really was, but, uh, it does definitely have some scary elements and it’s just a super, super fun Halloween film.

I mean, it’s set on the day before Halloween and Halloween day. And it’s just beautiful fall landscaped, tons of fun, Halloween stuff, you know, jack-o-lanterns and Halloween costumes and all of that good stuff that really just kind of gets you in the mood for the season. And ultimately, while this time around, I didn’t find it as scary as I did the first time.

I still really enjoyed it. And it was a movie that I could sit and watch with my partner. Who’s really not a huge fan of horror and he enjoyed it too. Um, and I think that if you do have kids, um, this is something that they would like. And because of that, I’m going to try to watch my language during this podcast.

So if you do kids. Maybe they could listen to this with you. 

Todd: You mean, I’m not going to have to bleep out any F bombs this time? 

Craig: Really hard. I promise nothing, but I’ll, I’m going to try. So, uh, what about you Todd, any history with this? Had you seen it before?

Todd: I had seen it before. I don’t remember when it was probably around the time it came out.

I watched it and I actually, I get this movie confused a lot with ParaNorman. Another good one animated in a very different style, right? This one, sometimes I discover a nice little things as the credits are coming up that get me interested. And I didn’t realize this was an image, movers, production. Yeah.

And image movers was, um, it’s not around anymore, but it was a studio kind of a technology created by Robertson meccas and his team. It’s basically a motion capture technology. And at first, you know, when I heard about it, I thought, oh, you know, back in the day, I thought I’ll motion capture. We’re doing that now.

It’s no big deal. But what these. Because they had a whole large room basically, and they were cameras everywhere in the room. And of course the actors would wear these motion, cap, dots and things on their faces and whatnot. It was entirely just performing in this space and there’s nobody walking around with a camera, capturing things from different angles.

And so I actually watched a little documentary about, uh, image movers sometime ago, and I think it was around. Cause I really liked that Jim Carrey movie. Oh yeah, the Christmas one. Yeah, I think that’s the last one that they did before. They kind of stopped that closed that studio down, but it started out with another Christmas one, right?

The polar express, which creeped people out. Cause it, it went into that uncanny valley level of, of animation, which I didn’t mind so much. One has a little bit of that too. I thought it was still fun. Anyway, Jim Carey talked about how free. That method was because, you know, you could just perform, you could just act, you didn’t have to worry about hitting your mark or where the camera’s pointing and not to look at the camera.

You could just get back to acting school, you know, on the stage, uh, and just perform as an actor and not have to worry about all those technical things. And so once he described it and I kind of saw some video of this behind the scenes production, I thought, oh God, yeah, that would be quite nice. And then afterwards, You know, they have all the data of how everything was laid out and positioned in the movement and everything like that.

So then inside the computer, they can set up the camera anywhere they want. And then the animators can of course augment it with other stuff. And they certainly did that here. This doesn’t fall into that uncanny valley trap because although this was, I believe in production short, maybe at the same time that the polar express was being was being put to.

They took a different look for the animation. They made it a lot more cartoony. And I think that was a choice by the writer directors to make it more cartoony, because this is about an evil house and we’re not talking about a haunted house where evil things happen inside the house. The house itself is a monster, which is just a really cool and interesting concept.

I mean, you know, to some extent every haunted house movie, the house is quote unquote a monster, but not quite this. Right. And so that’s what I find really charming about this movie. And that’s probably why this works so much better in animation than it would any other way. Cause then they could really focus and the, the Mo the house could become a full fledged monster by the end of it and go places and do things and transform in any way that it wants without being hindered by technology.

And without feeling kind of lifted out of the. You know that it’s in, it’s a little more fantastical concept. So that just seems to naturally lend itself a little bit better to animation and especially for kids. Right? Because as you said, this is more family friendly. I mean, certainly we’ve done other PG rated family friendly horror movies, but like you said, this one is a little different from what we’ve done, because I’m not sure we’ve done an animated movie.

On this show, have 

Craig: we, oh man, I don’t know. You know what? I don’t think we have, we’ve talked about it. We did a whole month of family from friendly films. And at the time there were so many that we were interested in that we decided to break it up and we decided to do live action ones first. And then we said we would return to it at some point and do a month of animated ones because there are other great animated ones.

Like you mentioned. ParaNorman which is great. Coraline is another really good one. 

Todd: a Maki. I think it’s a Korean hand-drawn animation when somebody requested quite some time back, it’s been on our list for awhile. 

Craig: Yeah. And there are, you know, animated films that are not intended to be family-friendly ones that I’ve been interested in.

I know that there’s a. An animated SQL to train to Busan that I have really been interested in seeing. Right. Yeah. But I haven’t gotten around to watching it, but this movie, as I was watching it last. I was actually thinking, you know, as we are talking about it, I feel like if somebody hadn’t seen it and they didn’t know that it was an animated film, if we were just talking about the plot and the things that happen, it still feels very much like a horror film.

Yeah. Granted a horror film that focuses on kids, which I love. I love movies that have children protagonists, just because I think that the kid perspective is so unique and interesting and children are. At an age where, you know, it’s easy to believe things. And so the idea of a haunted house, which is what they think at first, they think it’s haunted at first.

But then, you know, the fact that the house itself is sentience and more of a monster, as it turns out, it’s possessed, it’s a possessed house, but you know, when you’re a kid, your expectations of reality. Still being shaped. And so you could almost, you could, you could believe in these types of things. And I love that perspective.

It’s just so innocent and fresh and it takes me back. You know, I remember being a kid and having an active animation, uh, imagination. Um, when I was growing up the house that I grew up in, uh, up until I was. Fifth grade, there was a house like this across the street, just catty corner. I lived on a corner and just catty corner.

There was a house like this, it was big and it was scary. And it was just a little bit rundown. It’s not like it was in complete disrepair or anything, but it was old and it had like an eight foot hedge all the way around it. And wow. And we, and we never saw. People going in or coming out. I don’t even know if people lived there.

They probably did. I’m sure. If I asked my parents, they could have told me who lived there, but it was more fun to just kind of think of it as this spooky creepy house. And that’s, that’s what’s going on. 

Todd: And what a cliche that is, right? Like how many movies, horror movies, or just otherwise they’re just these sort of kid adventure movies, either as a main plot or as sort of a side thread, have this idea that in this perfectly manicured nice suburban neighborhood.

There’s this one rundown. The place that is spooky and has a lot of, you know, lore surrounding it by the local children or whatever that does this actually happen, I guess. Yeah. You, well, you said that the neighborhood, you know, there always some places like that, so I guess it, it’s kind of a trope, right?

It’s great material for this sort of thing. Right? 

Craig: I think so too, like I said, I mean, it’s just. The very opening scene. Even the opening image is just the camera shooting through these beautiful Auburn leaves, uh, and showing us this beautiful fall landscape and this adorable little blonde girl missing her front teeth is flying down the sidewalk on her tricycle and she’s avoiding.

Trash bags and piles of leaves. And it’s just, it’s so stinking cute. And she’s singing and talking to herself. It’s so cute, but she ends up getting her tricycle stuck in this one particular lawn. And she’s the, the, the front wheel is somehow off the ground. So she’s just spinning and spinning the wheel.

Get it going and it’s in front of this old scary house and this scary old man comes out and we find out that his name is Mr. Nebar cracker and he’s freak. He’s scary looking. He looks like. Kind of like the crypt keeper or like Gollum or something like that. Now he’s voiced by Steve Buscemi. 

Todd: That’s so funny.

I never would have 

Craig: guessed. I wouldn’t either. He does a character voice. I never would have guessed it was him, but he’s good. And he’s very effective. The main characters, the little kids were child actors, and I don’t recognize them, but the, there are tons of adult actors in here. Big name people. And Steve Buscemi is a great actor.

Um, the reason that I brought up the looks of the old man is because he looks a little bit like Steve who’s 

Todd: shimmy. He does well funny teeth, right? Yeah. 50% of it right there. Steve 

Craig: Buscemi is not a handsome man, but he is a fine actor and I will forever and always have so much respect and admiration for Steve Buscemi because before he was an actor, he was in New York city firefighter and on nine 11.

He went to ground zero and work side by side with those firefighters, getting people out of there. And that’s, that’s, that’s amazing. That’s pretty awesome. Yeah. He, you know, he’s, he’s typical. He’s the typical creepy old guy, skinny gaunt, uh, wife beater shirt, and he grabs this little. And he screams at her.

It’s so over the top, but eventually contextually, you understand that he’s warning these children away for a very real reason, but he just seems so mean like she runs away and she turns back around and she’s like my tricycle and he picks it up and he breaks it. He breaks the, uh, Front wheel off. And then he takes it inside his house.

As he’s going back in his house, he looks back over his shoulder and we get a different perspective, seeing him through a camera lens and, um, a camera clicks and takes a picture of him. And it turns out that the kid across the. His name is DJ. And he’s been watching this guy across the street, taking toys from kids and yelling at the kids.

And he’s kind of been chronicling this, he’s got all these pictures and stuff. He’s a scrawny kid. There’s a lot of, uh, scrawny, chubby duo, um, in this story, but his friend is this chubby kid named chowder. Who’s super funny. And it’s the day before Halloween. DJ is starting to go through puberty and thinks that he may be getting too old to trick or treat which totally bummed.

His friend and DJ’s parents leave right at the very beginning of the movie. I don’t, did they even say where they were going? Like, 

Todd: oh gosh, I don’t remember. I think they did, but I don’t remember where it was. Yeah. They leave right at the 

Craig: beginning and then they’re gone for the whole rest of the time, but his, his parents, uh, are voiced by Catherine O’Hara and the late.

Fred Willard. Who’s just a comedic genius. And who only passed away, I think within the last year. And they’re in it. So, so little, but I love both. I am madly in love with both of them as, uh, actors. They’re they’re fantastic. 

Todd: Uh, it’s weird. And this has always struck me as strange is that these movies, especially when we started to see a lot more animated movies and I think it was Shrek, or maybe it was one of the earlier Disney.

I don’t remember where they they’re taking famous people who are voicing, um, characters, but otherwise, like the characters don’t look like the famous people. And even when people say, Hey, that’s that guy? You don’t know, like you can’t even tell because for look, for example, Steve was, Shamie’s doing another voice, right?

Like I’ve always wondered what is the point, except that you think that somehow people are going to be attracted to this movie because it has these famous names attached to it. When at the end of the day, it didn’t matter if this guy was nobody, nobody, son, you know? Uh, and so I find it weird. I found the casting choice of this movie.

Weird because you got. Actors that like you, and I wouldn’t know. I don’t think your average person, I think actually the two of the kid actors, the two boys were like Nicola. Actors, but hardly like drawing star power. And then you have these major stars, like you just rattled off and who are playing these small parts and you don’t even know it’s them and they’re not their characters aren’t modeled after them.

It’s so strange. Right? I just 

Craig: don’t get it. Well, I mean, there are great people in this, like Maggie Jilin hall voices, the babysitter, but she too kind of does a character voice. I don’t think that I would have recognized 

Todd: Turner is in this. 

Craig: Yeah, who is she? I don’t even 

Todd: remember. Goodness, like, I mean, romancing the stone and 

Craig: uh, oh no, no.

I know who she is. Oh, she’s the wife. That’s right. Crazy. Right. Well, now we’re getting into the spoiler stuff. Oh gosh. She’s huge. Um, Jason Lee, uh, It plays a teenage boyfriend, like you said, Kevin James is a police officer alongside his partner. Nick cannon, John heater has a tiny cameo role. He’s one of the few whose characters kind of look like they modeled the character.

Look after him. They just made him chubby. But yeah, all these famous people. It’s interesting because animated movies did not star famous. For the, for the longest time, it was a Latin that Robin Williams, Robin Williams broke that mold. He broke that mold. He was really the first big name actor to take an animated role.

Um, and after that, then. These roles became desirable. I mean, because he was so celebrated and as, as he should’ve been, he was fantastic, but then big famous people started, uh, taking these roles. But only after that, like I know that when Disney. Not himself, but when the production company was writing the little mermaid, they wrote Ursula as a Bea Arthur type.

That was her character description. And once they had it going and they were ready to get, uh, the voice actors to do it, they approached me Arthur and asked her to do it. And she, it was a from no, because serious actors didn’t do that kind of thing. Oh, Interesting. So everything, everything changed, uh, with a Latin and, and, you know, I that’s great.

I guess I, I suppose if you’re on the other side of the argument and you want to give other people opportunities, you know, there’s that argument too. But I do like kind of being able to pick these people out and, and especially the people in this movie are people that are. Many of them, people that I’m big fans of.

So it’s, it’s fun to see them 

Todd: well, real quick. Well, I mean, we’re going to get into the plot. I mean, while we’re talking about the creators of the movie, the director of the film is guilty. Uh, and he wrote a Ghostbusters afterlife. That’s going to be coming out here any minute now, or, yeah. And apparently directed the remake of the Poltergeist, which, uh, in 2015, I’d never saw that.

So I don’t know if that’s any good, but then Dan Harmon, one of the two co-writers of the movie created. Community and Rick and Morty, which are two big, big things, you know, since then, of course, I’m not at the time that this came out at the time this came out, this was one of his, uh, he’d been writing for TV and had a few other little projects, but this was one of his very first screenplays and movies that he, uh, that he wrote 

Craig: well, and there’s, there’s a lot of hype for Ghostbusters after life, and I’m really looking forward to it.

And the people who are. The people who are involved, people like I’m Sigourney Weaver, and a couple of the others have spoken and said, you’re going to be surprised. It’s really good. It’s, it’s very much in keeping with the first movie I’ve seen some of the trailers and it looks like they’re really doing throwbacks to the first movie.

Like I I’m, I’m pretty darn sure that goes or is going to be, if not the main villain, one of the main villains. The demon dogs from the first one are back and the stay Puft, you know, thing, is there, can we 

Todd: get Rick Miranda’s back? That’s the key. If 

Craig: I’m out of retirement, I don’t think they did, but most everybody else who’s still with us, um, is involved.

But on the other hand, I did see the Poulter guy stream make, and it was terrible.

Todd: One of those movies, it’s hard to recapture the original 

Craig: magic. Right? Well, that’s the thing. I, yeah, I, I have to be fair and that the original we’ve not done it. And I can’t believe that we haven’t because it is favorite. Literally one of my favorite movies of all time, I absolutely loved that movie 

Todd: deeply impacted me as a child, my God, 

Craig: to me too.

And we did part two and I liked part two part three. Most people. I think is absolute garbage. I loved it when I was kid, whatever. But now back to the movie that we’re talking about. Yeah. So it’s the day before Halloween and chowder comes over and he’s got this new base baseball, basketball that, um, you know, they shoot some hoops with or whatever, but, uh, eventually.

Chatter tries to make some shot and it rebounds right into his face and bounces off his face and goes over into never cracker his lawn. And at first they’re basically like, oh, well it’s gone. Yeah. Something goes on, never crackers law. And that’s it bye-bye but shouters like, I paid $28 for that ball and I really want it.

And I, I, I think he cries, which is actually kind of cute because that would have been me when I was a kid. I would’ve cried, but the. They don’t see anything, never cracker doesn’t come out to collect it or whatever. So they think that he might be asleep or something. So DJ goes out to get it, but I’m never, cracker does come out and he grabs DJ and picks him up and holds him up over his head and said, Yells.

I mean, he yells everything. This place is not a playground for children. Why can’t you respect that? Why can’t you just stay away from her? And then he freezes and it’s a little confusing because it kind of seems like maybe he has a heart attack because he falls over and his seemingly unconscious. And the ambulance comes and takes them away.

And the boys are convinced that he’s dead. DJ thinks he killed him. Yeah. I thought he was 

Todd: dead. I mean, the way they haul him out on a gurney, you know, with a sheet draped over it and everything. I thought, man, this is kind of dark for this, for this movie. And then even nice touch as the gurney is going across the lawn.

It gets stuck because some pieces of grass have. Have wrapped themselves around one of the wheels. Like it’s true. Like it’s trying to grab it and pull it back. These little touches early in the movie where you see the house has a little bit of a sentience about 

Craig: it. Yeah. The movie does not hide that from you.

Like, you know, that there’s something going on right away. And as soon as he falls and as he’s being taken away, you can tell that something awakens in the house and the house itself looks. Like a monster, like it only has two windows where eyes would be, and then the front door looks like where the mouth would be.

And as they’re taking, never crack her away, you get the perspective through one of the windows and you see a tiny little crack, you know, make its way up. So you know, that there’s something going right. And DJ finds a key on the lawn. I guess it must have fallen out of never crackers pants or something.

And then the babysitter shows up and she’s very stereotypical, like not goth, but kind of alternative. Doesn’t get. Care. 

Todd: Well, you’re really restricting yourself. I am so proud of you actually. It’s funny because this would be the, the movie clearly doesn’t take place in modern day. I was trying to figure out what we were watching it.

As soon as the landline stuff started popping up, I was trying to figure. What year, what era that might be set 

Craig: in, she pops in a cassette in the stereo. 

Todd: Yeah. So, I mean, she probably wouldn’t be goth at this point, but more like a, just like into heavy metal or, or, uh, or the hair bands, which that was me. I didn’t dress like it, but I was so into that music and I MTB, it says 1983, somewhere else.

It said based on some of this stuff, 19 86, 19 87, I think it’s later eighties for sure. 

Craig: Yeah. But. It was a great guy. I mean, you know, that was the, that was our childhood. We could, 

Todd: we could go off the rails again. If we started talking 

Craig: about how much we love these. Oh, I know. I mean, we would have been. These kids age, maybe a tiny little bit younger, but yeah, I mean, this was our childhood and it feels so familiar.

Todd: Like you said earlier to this, the movie has a bit of the feel of those child adventure movies, like Goonies or whatever adventures in babysitting that we had in the eighties as well. So it stylistically, it’s also kind of a throwback to that as well, you know? 

Craig: Oh, right. And, and it plays right to us, but I think.

That kids can still relate. Like kids, aren’t going to be thinking kids. Aren’t going to be thinking, what era does this take place? You know, like, they’re just, they’re just going to go with it. But for us, it’s nostalgic 

Todd: and they might be like, and they pull out their cell phones, light things up a little bit, or call the mom.

Craig: So the babysitter shows up, DJ goes to bed and there’s kind of a spooky scene where he lays down in his bed and the shadow of the house stretches out from his window and. And turns into a giant arm that like lunges at him, but then he wakes up, like it was a nightmare, but immediately after that, he gets a strange call and he hangs up on it, but the phone immediately rings again.

And so he picks it up and he just hears these weird noises. So again, big throwback to the eighties, he hangs up and hit star 69

is like, let’s see how you like it. And the phone rings and rings, but nobody picks it up. But then. He kind of hears something and he opens up his window and he realizes the phone is ringing and never crackers house. So he thinks that somebody is calling from never crackers house, but he believes never cracker is dead.

So all of this is very spooky to him. A guy named bones shows up, this is. Voiced by Jason Lee and he’s Zs boyfriend or boyfriend interest. And he’s a douche and Nope, he’s, he’s a not very nice.

And there’s a, you know, there’s a scene where he kind of picks on DJ or whatever, but DJ then overhears the two of them talking downstairs when I was 10 years old, I had a. Awesome guide. I can fly it so high. You couldn’t see it. One day it crashed down. I followed the string and it ended right over there across the street, right at the edge of his lawn.

Todd: He take your kite. 

Craig: Yeah. He takes whatever lands on his lawn. That’s not the point. The point is, is that I saw him talking to his house kiss. 

Todd: I’m trying to figure out how that 

Craig: works, right? Yeah. I don’t know. And he could be totally making it up cause like he’s going in for a kiss. Like it could just be, you know, flirty or.

Eh, but then he’s like, and you know what he did to his wife. Right. And Z’s like, no, and he’s like, he ate her and I don’t know, he does something that irritates her. And so she throws him out of the house and, and he goes across the lawn. I guess we’re supposed to think that he’s a little drunk. He’s drinking a beer.

And he throws the beer bottle on the lawn and kind of taunts the house. Cause he doesn’t think anybody’s there. But then the door opens and in this lurid red light, his kite is floating right in the front door and. Apparently I didn’t pick up on them, but I read about them. Apparently there are several kind of throwbacks to Stephen King.

Um, and this wasn’t one of the ones that was listed, but this was so it. Oh 

Todd: my gosh. It was so obviously it, I couldn’t believe that wasn’t listed in the trivia. Maybe, maybe we’re going to have to make our mark on the CMDB trivia page after, 

Craig: but yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s just like, you know, Pennywise luring Georgie with the boat or Loring any of these kids with images of what they 

Todd: want to see.

Right? The balloon, this is a red kite floating. I mean, it’s just the same. It’s cute. And it’s spooky. It’s actually pretty 

Craig: spooky. It is. Um, and he gets lured in and presumably eaten by the 

Todd: house. Well, isn’t this at the point where the, I that’s pretty early on in any case, I think it’s now where the house actually does.

Metamorphosize a little bit, right. Yeah, 

Craig: all that happened. Well, DJ, DJ, see some, no DJ, just, I don’t remember if he sees the boyfriend. I don’t think he sees the boyfriend get eaten, but he knows something’s going on. So he calls chatter and they meet at this construction site for no apparent reason other than we need to know that it’s there so they can return to it later.

And he says, the house is haunted. I’m sure of it. It did something to the boyfriend helped me. And so they go back and the is like, well, I’ll, ding-dong ditch it to prove to you that it’s. Haunted and he does. And that’s when it does just straight up turn into a huge monster. Like it’s just a head, you know, it’s a huge, scary head with this long, like hallway carpet, tongue that can roll out and like grab people.

And they just barely escape, but it’s frightening. Like I wasn’t scared, but the imagery is really quite frightening in a very good way. Like, I really liked it. I thought that it was very spooky appropriate for kids, but yeah, I don’t know. I just really like. I don’t have anything bad to say about 

Todd: it. It does make me wonder because there is a tendency to soften things up a little bit nowadays, and to throw in a lot of funny, ironic humor.

And, and this, this movie has got quite a bit of humor in it, but it’s, it’s a different tone still. I, I wonder if this were made like say in 2021, if, if the house itself wouldn’t have been a little joke, Or a little cartoonish or a little silly, you know what I mean at times at times, but no, it’s pretty terrifying throughout.

And I think that works in this movie’s favor, really, you know, that the house itself is not, it’s dead serious. Th that’s played for seriousness, you know, the spookiness of this house and the, the monster that. And the threat and the danger. Yeah. It’s going to eat them. All 

Craig: right. And it really does, you know, it’s, it’s a legit danger at one point, they watch it eat a dog.

I, I think that’s later, I guess, but these, these people, you presume these people are gone owners, the people that it eats and it does, and it eats the boyfriend, it eats a dog. One of my favorite parts of this. Is the next morning. There’s a knock at the door, a persistent. Or, or doorbell ringing or something.

And it’s this cute pig tailed red head girl. And she’s my absolute favorite character, because first of all, she’s genius. She’s going door to door with this wagon full of Halloween candy on Halloween morning, and she’s selling Halloween candy. To people to give out for trick or treaters, and she’s got a whole spiel about it.

And I’m like, this girl is going to grow up and conquer the world. 

Todd: And I, I was thinking at the time, what a brilliant idea, why has nobody really done that? Right? Like there’s so many people selling crappy candy bars and stuff, door to door on random times, or you’ve got the girl scout cookies, but this Halloween came.

Door to door to how she would make bank. 

Craig: If a kid, if a kid showed up at my door on Halloween morning, of course I wouldn’t have bought any candy already. Cause I put everything off to the last minute and you know, she she’s right there. You know, like, uh, this girl would make bank, but of course she, um, meets up with the, a babysitter and she does her whole spiel.

And eventually the babysitter’s like, yeah, I don’t live here babysitter. Okay, let’s cut the crap. Maybe the parents you work for left you $40 in emergency money. Maybe they left me 30. Maybe you give me 20. I write a receipt for 30 and you pocket 10, maybe. And I want two extra bags of peanut clusters, one bag, and I’ll toss in a liquor.

Todd: She is so smart,

Craig: but then, so she leaves and the boys have been up all night just watching the house and peeing and mountain Dew bottles by.

So gross, so gross, but totally something that me and my friends would have done, like so gross, but we totally would’ve done it. Like we can’t leave that. We can’t leave the room. So they’re there watching out the window and they see the little. Headed towards the monster house. And like Mr. Never cracker has signs up.

Like BeAware go away. And like, the lawn is sucking the signs down, so she’s not for warrant and they run out, um, and she’s walking up the walkway and they’re yelling for her, but then the house, the house almost eats her. Like it’s a great scene. Like it shoots up the planet. Like the submit panels of the sidewalk, the walkway, like she trips into her wagon.

And so her it’s just maneuvering her wagon down these panels towards its mouth, the front door. And at the very last minute they save her, but it’s a great, super exciting scene. And then she. Basically joins their boys’ club and is in it with them from then on. 

Todd: So classic. Right. You got the boys club gets a girl, gets a smart girl.

Craig: I’m a smart girl, pretty girl. And of course they’re both just in love with her and I don’t blame. I would have been too she’s she’s smart. She’s pretty, she’s tough. Like she’s great. That’s when they see the dog get grabbed. So she calls the police and they head over to the house and chowder gets tempted by his basketball, but the other to keep him from falling for it.

And then the stupid police are fried. It’s hard. I’m really used, like, even in my notes, there’s bad words. I’m trying really hard. This is. Police arrive. Yeah. I mean, they’re dumb and Kevin, James, I’m really not a big Kevin James fan. I know a lot. Yeah. I know there are a lot of Kevin James fans is, you know, he is in the Adam Sandler school and they work together a lot and yeah.

But, you know what, just really silly 

Todd: a charm about him, that Adam Sandler, you know, Adam, Sandler’s kind of smarmy and cocky and Kevin, James just has kind of a charming, like oafish, but heart of gold, I have to admit, like, what was it, Paul Blart mall cop. That was a movie I watched by accident and I was not expecting to enjoy it.

And I, I kinda liked it. 

Craig: I will see now I feel like I should give it a chance because it looked so stupid. 

Todd: It is stupid. It’s one of those really stupid movies, but there’s something about it that he just kind of elevates it a little bit in. Just kind of awe this guy, this charming guy, you know, 

Craig: kind of thing.

Well, if it ever happens to be on, I’ll give it a 

Todd: chance. I’m not saying, I’m not saying don’t get me wrong. I don’t want letters afterwards. Like Todd from two guys in a chainsaw, I said, everybody run out and see Paul Blart mall cop as soon as, 

Craig: uh, but you know, he’s the typical doofy overweight cop doesn’t take anything seriously.

Makes stupid cop donut jokes and stuff. His partner is a black officer. Again, one thin one chubby, and the partner cop is played by Nick cannon, who I don’t have anything against, but like, I’m not a huge fan of his, either a, he plays this very silly, but you know, that’s, it’s, it’s, it’s written that way.

That’s supposed to be. 

Todd: It’s kind of weak though. Uh, that, that character was weak. Ah, 

Craig: it’s a, it’s a little stereotypical 

Todd: that too. It bothered me a little bit. And as being the only person of color in the movie, you know, it was also a little cringey I thought, but. 

Craig: Yeah, there reminded me of someone, but I, I can’t think of it anyway.

It doesn’t matter whatever they show. Of course they don’t believe DJ tries to trigger the house, but it doesn’t fall for it. And so there are no help. So they decide to go to an expert, chowder knows of this like expert. Cause I guess he’s a video game expert. So that makes him an expert on monsters or something.

And then. And he’s only in the skull and bones. Yeah. Which I guess there was originally a subplot where those two were in a band and they, I don’t know, had some falling out or something, but the subplot kind of got cut, but this is John heater and he sounds like John heater and his face looks like John heater.

And I think John, John heater, I’ve not, I’ve never seen it in anything where he displayed any real type of range. The characters that he plays are hilarious. Like he’s just really funny. He doesn’t have a whole lot to do here, but he says that he has heard of. Domus Meg tip plus, which I have no idea if this is any kind of real thing, or if he’s just making up words, but it’s when a building is possessed by a human soul and it turns out that he’s right.

And he says, in these instances, you got to strike at the heart. And so they’re like, well, what’s the heart of a house. And they’re like, well, ever since never cracker. Was gone. There’s been smoke coming out of the chimney. So maybe the heart is, uh, the furnace. So they go back home and make some home alone plans.

You know, these, these great, you know, like drawn out in marker plans for their, how they’re going to take it down. And part of the plan is, I guess, chowders dad is a pharmacist. And so he has to go to the pharmacy and steal a bunch of cold medicine. 

Todd: Hmm. 

Craig: Probably. I hope kids don’t think that’s something that’s okay.

Like really probably getting some big trouble for that. And like, at first he’s like, no, I don’t want to do it. I’m not going to do it. And then Jenny’s like, well, I really think you should. And he’s like, yeah, I I’m going to, I definitely. 

Todd: I mean, he’s either going to put a house to sleep or make meth. We’ll see which countries living in.

Right. Maybe a little bit, 

Craig: obviously in the 1980s, because the cold medication wasn’t laws 

Todd: and behind the counter,

that dates and more than anything else. Good times. Good times. The days we could just buy cold medicine, whatever we wanted right off the shelf. Oh 

Craig: gosh. Now, like, if you really need it, like you have to, huh? 

Todd: I just get your cold is over by the time you to medicine 

Craig: a little bit in your hometown, but then you have to drive a half an hour away to get more.

If you need it. They’re watching you 

Todd: and you end up on a list somewhere. You know what happens if you buy that second bottle, it’s like a large sound at the FBI office or something. I wouldn’t even risk. It don’t 

even 

Craig: buy. It’s a real issue. I have like people seriously, like people, I have people in my life who talk about it.

Like I’m out of my NyQuil, where can I go 

Todd: for like drugs? I got a Nicole Guy. 

Craig: Yeah. So he does it, he, uh, he steals it and they, they rig up this dummy. First of all, they, they, they crossed the street in disguise and trash cans, which I thought was hilarious. And I know we’ve seen it in a movie before, but I can’t remember what.

Maybe is it E T or 

Todd: I think it was 

Craig: they’re in a trash cans and like scooting across the street. Super cute. And then they have this dummy in a wagon or no, no, it’s they, they make up a vacuum clean. Like a self-propelled vacuum cleaner and they put a mask on it and like dirt dress it up. And it’s super cute.

Jenny rings the doorbell with a Slingshot. Like we got some, uh, Beverly Marsh action going on here. And they send the dummy up and the house starts to wake up, like it’s going to eat the dummy, but then the cops show up because they think that these kids are, you know, playing pranks or something. And they, the cops discover the cough syrup.

So they’re going to take the kids to jail.

So they locked them in the back of the cop 

Todd: car suddenly is the nineties. Oh, 

Craig: right. And so they locked the kids in the backseat of the cop car. Chorus. We all know mean they’re stuck there. They can’t get out, but the cops here, something in the house. And so they go up and they are attacked, like a tree grabs, one of them and is throwing it around and.

It ends up eating both of the cops and then it attacks the gob car and like picks up the cop car and it’s like pulling it towards its mouth and they get pulled inside and the cop car gets like cut in half when the, the houses eating people, the floorboards of the foyer open up like this big gullet.

And, um, they almost get pulled into the gullet, but at the very last second, they managed to escape, but they are locked in the house. The house repairs itself and the goal it closes. And so the kids think that the house must think. That it ate them and it must be sleeping now. So they need to find the heart of the house.

And so they look around and they find all these explosives around the house, which seems random. There’s a reason for it. And they see pictures of never cracker and his wife and never cracker is this very scrawny guy. And his wife is morbidly obese. Like. 

Todd: She’s literally a circus freak. I don’t like, I don’t like, 

Craig: yeah, I don’t like talking about people’s, you know, size weight.

Cause I I’m not one to talk, but she’s intentionally morbidly obese. And they find out, uh, you know, they, they just get a little history from looking at pictures and stuff and they see that never cracker was in the service. I don’t know if it was army or what, but whatever he was in, he was on the demolition squad and the house wakes up and like coughs and spit something out and they see this chandelier type thing hanging down the girl Jenny’s like, oh, it must be.

Something must have tickled it’s uvula that’s it’s feel and chakras like, oh, so it’s a girl,

which is so funny. Kids would never get it. No, I love that. I love in children’s movies. When they throw jokes to the adults, that would go completely over the kids’ heads. And even if the kids did get it, like there’s nothing dirty about that. You know, like it’s just about girl parts, whatever, but they ended up falling, I guess, through a hole or the gullet or something.

And they find all the toys that have been stolen and they find this cage and it’s, it’s labeled constant. The giant tests and it’s locked, but DJ, the key that he found opens it. And when they open it up, there’s a, her dead body and Cayston cement like that’s dark for 

Todd: movie. Haley is, I mean, and then, then you get the backstory of, uh, of that.

Craig: And, and the backstory well, and, and stuff like there’s other action that goes in here. They end up the house, knows they’re in there and they’re threatened, but Jenny like jumps up and swings on the gullet. So it chokes and they get spit out. Uh, and then an ambulance. Like, as they’re running across the street, they never look both ways.

They’re running across street. DJ gets hit by an ambulance, but he’s okay. But never cracker his back. He had just broken his arm. I don’t know if he had passed out or what, but he just has a broken. He yells at them. Don’t, you know what, this day is, I’m running out of time, honey, I’m home. And then he says, the house is her.

And that’s when we get the backstory. And frankly like this movie is for kids. And I think that kids can totally appreciate it and be fine with it. But this backstory is really. Heartbreaking. Yeah, really sad. It makes me sad. Just even talking about 

Todd: it. I mean, basically he, he meets her as a young man.

She’s in a circus freak show. She’s not happy about it. She’s not just a overweight. She was like a giant Tess. Apparently she’s super tall. And of course he’s really, really small and thin. And so it’s kinda cute. Um, and so, you know, he falls in love with. And, uh, rescues her from the circus and they get married.

Craig: He says, I’ll take you away from all this. Do you want that? Not only is she a circus performer, but she’s like a kid she’s caged, like literally she lives in this cage. Um, and it seems like. I don’t know. He like when he talks to her, it’s almost like nobody ever talks to her. Like she almost doesn’t even know how to talk.

And people are just horrible to her, which I’m sure was real, you know, back in those days of, of freak shows, these people were horribly abused. Um, one of these days we really should do freaks. I’ve never seen it and I am a. I’m really, really intrigued. 

Todd: It’s it’s a good one. I like it for a classic horror movie, especially it’s one of the more disturbing ones.

Craig: Yeah. But, you know, I just, I feel, uh, he seems to love her and, and he takes her away and he, he starts building her this house. That’s. You know their house and, um, it it’s no it’s in the middle of nowhere, you know, apparently they’re the first house in the development, but she’s still being abused. Like kids are throwing rocks at her and stuff.

And when she’s abused, she gets super angry, which is sad, but understandable. And she loses control and she screams it’s my house. And that just breaks my heart. Like your house, if nowhere else should be. Your sanctuary and she’s not even safe there. And before the house is even built, as she’s raving against these kids who are abusing her, she falls into the construction and dies.

And the cement falls on top of her. And apparently that’s just where she stayed. And, um, he finished the house, but he says she died. But she didn’t leave. Yep. And, um, he explains how he has to take all of these precautions on Halloween, because if kids, you know, come to the door or play pranks or whatever, she gets angry and kills them.

And that’s when it turns into, you know, that’s it. Then the enact three it’s very action. The house completely, you know, completely transformed it up roots itself. It chases that. To this quarry strach slash construction site that we had seen before. And there’s a lot of action that goes on there. The house is trying to get the kids and kill the kids in.

There are a lot of very close moments and the kids, you know, a couple of them, Jenny and a DJ fall into the quarry and chowder is, is in like a. Crane trying to fight her, get her to fall into the quarry or something. And there’s a sweet moment where the house is trying to attack the kids and never cracker throws a brick at her.

And she turns around and starts coming towards him. But right when she gets to him, she stops and they just look at each other. And they love each other. Like it’s so sad. And he says to her, 

Todd: oh, 

Craig: nice, sweet. You’ve been a bad girl. Haven’t you heard people? Oh, we’ve always known this day would come.

Nah, I have to make things right.

I have to make things

I’ve always done. What’s best for you. Haven’t I ever nae girl. Dynamite, but the house grabs him, but shouter kind of saves him with, uh, the bulldozer, but DJ, I don’t know. They have to like, they swing on a cord or something and yeah, the house falls into the pit and is totally broken, but then it rebuilds itself and DJ has to throw the dynamite and he throws it and it goes in the chimney and the house.

And everybody is okay. And never cracker is sad. But relieved. And the last scene is there’s a long line of people 

Todd: at the hole 

Craig: walking up to the hole where the kids and never cracker are returning. The things that had been stolen from the kids off of their Alon and the cute tricycle girl comes and never crack her, gives her, her tricycle back.

And the kids are all friends, you know, Jenny and the boys, you know, are they’ve bonded and their friends. Never cracker is kind of, he’s kind of nice, but the last thing he says to them is, and stay off my 

Todd: law,

Craig: which was like with a smile, like it’s like a smirk, like it’s cute. It’s funny. And then the credits. And in the credits, we see the hole where it never crackers house was. And all of the people that had been eaten throughout the movie bones and the dog and the cops crawl out and are like confused. And I guess that they, the studio kind of forced them to do that.

Like otherwise 

Todd: the only way to get a PG 

Craig: rating. Right? Yeah. It would have been too dark if they. Actually dead and it doesn’t bother me. It’s a kid’s movie. That’s fine. You know, let them be okay. That’s fine. 

Todd: It did feel, I will say though, that the ending felt awfully long. Like once the main action is over, you know, pretty much the movie needs to wrap up, you know, the movie’s done.

And I felt like all this stuff at the end was. Kind of dragging even before they started climbing out of the hole. And I was kinda thinking, oh God, when is this movie going to end that there might be some other twist or something? And no, it’s just them kinda getting out. And XE is apparently now dating skull, which bones finds out.

I at dog pisses on a jack-o-lantern don’t put it out. It’s so, so much like, come on and already that’s all I felt at the end. 

Craig: I don’t know. I actually thought, yeah, I thought that it was very cute and sweet and I liked that. I am such a sucker though, for that type of thing. I love sweet, cute stuff. I love kids, movies, even not scary ones like animated movies, kids, movies.

I love them. Eat them up at our house. It’s certainly not the only thing we watch or even something that we watch regularly, but we love them light and they, like, they always make me cry. Like those despicable me movies, like especially the first one, like at the end, I’m like weaving 

Todd: every Pixar movie ever for cars too.

Yeah. The same way. 

Craig: Love him. Love this movie. If I had kids, I would totally show it to. Um, I think it’s it’s it’s so it’s such a great Halloween movie, uh, just for this time of year, you know, I decided this year that I was going to do the novel, something wicked this way comes with my, my students. And, uh, I hadn’t read it in years.

And picking it up and just reading the first few pages. The first few pages are all about the magical month of October. And, uh, 

Todd: he’s a wizard at the window 

Craig: and this movie gave me those. Feelings. It’s just, I love this time of year. I love the fall. I just wish it could be fall all year long. I love Halloween and this just, it fits perfectly for that.

And it’s fun. I I’m glad I chose it. I know that it’s an unorthodox. For us, but I don’t care. It’s our podcast and we’ll do we watch

Todd: darn it, darn it to happen. We will do whatever we want with our parents’ approval. Of course. 

Craig: All right. Anyway, thank you for listening. We, I hope I didn’t disappoint you with a non traditional horror movie, but I really do have a feeling that most of our listeners and fellow for fans do appreciate this kind of stuff.

I not, all of you. I’m sure. Um, I’m sure many of you do. And if you do let us know, let us know if there are other things like this that you’d like us to take a look at, or you know, anything at all, any requests that you have. Uh, we always put those on our list and try to get around to them as soon as we can.

If you liked this episode as always. Um, please feel free to share it with friends. Of course, you can find us anywhere. You can find your favorite podcasts, or you can just Google two guys in a chain saw podcast and you’ll find our Facebook page, our Twitter, which right from the first look, Todd, I hope that you’re, I hope that you’re managing the Twitter cause I’ve never even looked at it, uh, 

Todd: every now and then I get a notification that somebody responded to.

It’s not our most active means of communication so far. 

Craig: No, but people do private message us on Facebook and we always respond because we really, really do enjoy engaging with you. It’s one of the most fun elements of doing this show and we should be back, I think with one more horror Halloween movie.

But until next time, I’m Craig, and I’m Todd, with Two Guys and a Chainsaw.


3 Replies to “Monster House”

  1. Clark

    Hey guys, loved the episode! If you haven’t, I would recommend you guys watch Lake Mungo if you haven’t. Interesting paranormal take on the found footage/documentary style horror.

  2. Alec Bolas

    Another great review. I also picked up on the theme of abuse, but for me it hit different. For sure the wife was abused in her past. But as they say: hurt people, hurt people. It was the old man who was the principle subject of abuse in this film. He had to alienate himself from the community just to stop her from killing indiscriminately. Cleary he is afraid of her. And his speech at the end about how “we both know it has to end” was him strait up confronting his abuser.

    Heavy stuff for a kid’s movie, but my little one still liked it.

    Keep up the great reviews,
    Alec

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