Monster House

  • Review Date: October 22, 2006
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2006

Common Sense Media says

Frightful fun for tweens and up.
  • Review Date: October 22, 2006
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2006





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The children work together and learn an important lesson about the dangers of judging people by their appearances but these lessons are negated by the children's misdeeds.

Positive role models

In their investigation, the kids steal, operate heavy machinery, break and enter, even use sticks of dynamite. The adults are unreliable and absent in their lives. The babysitter is mean, self-absorbed, and doesn't care about the kids. She allows her boyfriend in the house at night; he gropes her and is generally disrespectful. The kids display crude humor relating to bodily functions, and they pee in bottles to avoid leaving the room all night. A dad refuses to say "I love you" to his son


The house is a nightmarish creature that gobbles up neighborhood toys, pets, even people that trod on its lawn. It's scary, especially the last 20 minutes. The storyline includes dead and dying people; violent video games, guns and explosions; and there's a supernatural undercurrent to the movie that isn't appropriate for young kids. Nebbercracker and the babysitter's boyfriend make physical and verbal threats to the kids.


The boys are at an age where they're starting to think about girls, which comes out in their dealings with Jenny. Also, the babysitter's boyfriend tries to put the moves on her, and she kicks him out of the house.


Verbal threats to the kids, name-calling, potty humor, terms of deity used as expletives, and other words such as "suck," "moron," "kiss my butt," and "crap".


Very few pop culture references, which is refreshing.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The boyfriend drinks beer and appears drunk when he leaves the house. The kids plan to use cough syrup to put the house to sleep. A cop takes a drink of the cough syrup when no one is looking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know this is a pretty scary movie, and the last 20 minutes, in particular, take a turn for the dark. With windows like eyes and a flying carpet that unfurls tongue-like out the front door to scoop up trespassers, the house is a wonderfully alive structure. But it's creepy. You don't want your kids waking up in the middle of the night freaked out that their house is going to eat them. Most of the PG content comes from the scariness; there are very few crude jokes or language issues. The kids are in constant peril, and they're not exactly role models. They break and enter, steal cough medicine, operate heavy machinery, and use sticks of dynamite. Likewise, the adults in this movie are creepy –- not just Old Man Nebbercracker, but also the uninterested babysitter, detached parents, and clueless cops.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

You know that scary old house down the street? Turns out, it's a real live monster! This animated family horror movie –- yup, that's what it is -- centers around three kids who discover that a neighbor's house is actually a living, breathing monster. It all begins when DJ (Mitchel Musso) looks out his window at the creepy house across the street. It's old. It's run-down. And it's owned by "Old Man Nebbercracker" (Steve Buscemi), the meanest guy in town who loves terrorizing the neighborhood kids. And heaven forbid any toys should land on his lawn or he'll snatch 'em away forever. DJ starts keeping track of all the lost items, so much so that he becomes a bit of an outcast. Right before Halloween, DJ's parents (Catherine O'Hara and Fred Willard) head to a convention and leave him home with a Goth babysitter, Zee (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Zee's slacker boyfriend, Bones (Jason Lee), knows all about the house. DJ's friend, Chowder (Sam Lerner) and neighbor Jenny joins in the house observations. On their watch, the kids discover that Nebbercracker isn't the only thing that's creepy about the house. The house, it seems, has a life of its own. Rounding out the cast are Skull (Jon Heder - sweet!), a pizza delivery guy and video game champ; Officer Lister (Nick Cannon), a rookie cop; Officer Landers (Kevin James), a jaded cop who's seen it all; and the house itself (Kathleen Turner, the original Jessica Rabbit).


Is it any good?


This is one of those movies where all the planets align: a top-notch crew (director Gil Kenan; executive producers Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis), memorable voices that fit the characters perfectly; and a great story, ingenious backstory, and twisty-turny ending. The motion-capture animation is the same as that used in The Polar Express, where the characters have so much personality you feel like you're watching real people. But even more important is the story, which is approaching Pixar quality. The characters and animation revolve around the story, rather than the other way around.


Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what the kids could have done differently. 

  • When the adults in their lives brush off their concerns about the house, is it okay for them to figure out a solution on their own that puts them in danger?

  • And where WERE the adults anyway? What should THEY have done differently to help the kids through this situation?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 21, 2006
DVD release date:October 24, 2006
Cast:Jon Heder, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Nick Cannon, Steve Buscemi
Director:Gil Kenan
Studio:Sony Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Run time:91 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:for scary images and sequences, thematic elements, some crude humor and brief language.

This review of Monster House was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old Written byEminemForeva8 September 2, 2011

Nice movie!

Well, I watched this when I was 8. It didn't scare me at all, and I watched it AT NIGHT. Again, it just depends on if you are used to this stuff or not. But I think it's for 9 yrs, because I barely noticed the word crap in there. And kids 6 and under may notice the word and start saying it and get their selves in trouble or whatever.

What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old Written by2drocks October 9, 2010

scary movie better than gory horror flicks. not for kids, though

we can all agree. this movie is way too scary for your young ones. this is a surprisingly good movie but it's not for anyone under the age of 10. the babysitter's boyfriend does not respect her "property", and...are there really any good role models here. this movie also has adult characters that are so oblivious of anything that it almost convinces kids that adults are terifying, lazy, oblivious, unloving, deviant people that cannot be relied on. this is a scary, and disturbing message that kids will NOT be able to handle. I don't know why they call this a family movie, but all I know is it's FREAKING AWESOME. not 4 kids though.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Great messages
Kid, 9 years old April 12, 2011


property is in valved in this movie.t j wants to defeat the house with chowder and jenny.a few mentions about kissing.the babysitter Z boyfriend BONES drinks beer [BONES is a weird name.] this is iffy for 8-10

What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models


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