Monday, June 15, 2009

An Afternoon in a Monster House

I am very blessed that every weekday, my mother's daycare includes my little cousin JD. He's probably the funniest 5 year old I've ever met in my entire life. To give you an idea, today he greeted me by quoting Jeff Dunham and saying "Good Morning...Infidel". I had the plan of going to pick up Uncle Ronny's (my father's) father's day gift today. However, you can't leave a 5 year old unattended so I asked if he wanted to tag along. He gave me the saddest face and said "I don't want to go, my favorite scary movie is on". This is the moment that made my heart sing.

Granted he's only 5 years old so his horror chops aren't quite there yet, but he asked if I would join him in a mid-day screening of Monster House on Cartoon Network. With a face like his, how could I say no? So he curled up next to me after I promised to take pictures on photobooth with him and watched the flick.

You know what, I think I like watching "scary" movies with him better than I do anything else. While my friends curl up into little balls and put their hands over their eyes in fright, this little bugger has his eyes completely glued to the film and reacts right along with them. You can see his little gasps, his jumps, his heart racing, but he never blinks. I looked to him and said "is it too scary for you?" and he replied with "Nope, I just don't want to miss anything".

I have seen Monster House before, but I don't think I actually "watched it" like I did today. It's such a perfect family horror film. It's cartoonish and fun, but at the same time is incredibly creepy. The fact that this house was eating people with its carpet tongue and floor board teeth is pretty terrifying for little kids. However JD corrected me when I asked if it scared him. It can't scare him, it's just a movie. It's not real. And that I'm too old to trick-or-treat, in case you were wondering.

I think there needs to be more films like Monster House. I feel that it's an absolutely perfect gateway horror film for the litle ones. I honestly can group it in the same category with a lot of other family fantasy classics, reminiscent of movies like Goonies. Now I'm not saying Monster House is anywhere near a Goonies film, but it gives me the same impression. It has a fantastic, quick witted pace to it that carries the story right along with or without that amazingly cool monster house set piece roaming around in it. The characters other than the children I think are dead on. Nick Cannon (Mr. Mimi) does a bang-up job as the voice of a rookie cop investigating the children’s claims of the human munching house, and Maggie Gyllenhaal is the perfect, disinterested, goth babysitter. My favorite line of the whole film comes from her. "If a guy with tattoos comes up to the drive through, give him his burger, not your phone number." Not to mention the "Old Man Nebbercracker" character voiced by Steve Buscemi is absolutely amazing. He's creepy, cooky, but has a heart.

It may have taken me a while, as well as taken a five year old to show me it, but I do love these kid friendly horror flicks. If you have a kid, a younger sibling, or a little neighbor down the road, sit down and watch this with them. It might be exactly what they need. Start em while they're young. Keep in mind though, "It's only scary when you're "free" years old, not when you're five".

2 comment(s):

B-Sol said...

Nice to see his horror chops are developing, you're training the kid well!! Hmmm...family-friendly horror flicks, eh? I think I sense a new best-of list coming on...

CSY said...

AWESOME!!! My kids are horror FREAKS!!!! They're still a little young to watch the full version of the movies, but when they come on TV I let 'em watch. Hmmmm, now I wonder....why is CPS pulling into my driveway? ;c)~

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