Back when I was a projectionist, the trailer for this movie annoyed the FUCK out of me. It started with that little girl singing, and I always had to listen to the very beginning of trailers to make sure everything sounded right. Because of that annoyance, I had a negative opinion of this movie. That all changed the moment I saw this photo:
In case you don’t know what this is a picture of, these are my friends Lazer and Steve-O Beevo. The story behind this picture is that, considering I was working at a movie theater, I would get movie shirts to wear. The box of these shirts was kept in the projection booth, so I had easy access to all of this cool swag. Lazer had mentioned how much Beevo enjoyed this movie, and I’m sure you can figure out where this story is going. I sent the shirts, with the only stipulation being I had to get a picture of these two wearing these XL sized shirts. Based on Beevo’s great taste, I had no other choice but to watch this movie. This movie taught me an important lesson: ALWAYS TRUST STEVE-O BEEVO.
A bunch of fucking perverts if you ask me.
There’s always that one creepy house that all the kids in the neighborhood is afraid of, and in this cartoon, that’s no different. DJ, voiced by Mitchel Musso, has noticed the crazy old man who lives in the creepy house across the street. Through some surveillance, DJ discovers that it’s not only toys that disappear from this creepy house, but also kids. With his best friend Chowder, voiced by Sam Werner, the two set off to figure out what’s going on. While exploring, they startle the old man who lives there, voiced by Steve Buscemi, and when he confronts the kids, he has a heart attack and seemingly dies. This might seem scary, but this affords the kids an opportunity to go inside. Through the help of some of the teenagers in the area and hearing their stories, as well as their new-found love interest Jenny, voiced by Spencer Locke, they are finally able to infiltrate the house successfully. They find that it’s almost as if the house is alive, which means there’s a way to kill it. The further they explore, they eventually find a large woman who is seemingly cased in concrete. At this time, the old man who lived there shows up, because he’s not dead, and tells the story of the house. Turns out that he used to live there with his very obese wife, and while building the house, she accidentally became encased in concrete. Her spirit is what caused the house to attack passersby because of her wrongful death, and it’s been the old man yelling at everyone in hopes of protecting them. He can’t leave the house, because it’s the embodiment of his wife, and he loves the house. Eventually, the house realizes the kids are trying to destroy it, which leads to the house uprooting itself and chases them to a construction yard. Luckily, DJ is able to blow the house up with dynamite, which frees all of the neighborhood kids of their fear, and the old man of his responsibilities as he gives back all the toys that the house confiscated. DJ and Chowder then have enough time to go trick or treating, because after all, it’s Halloween!
HAHAHA THE BABYSITTER’S BOYFRIEND DRESSES LIKE ME!
If you hadn’t seen this movie before, would you automatically think, based on the description, that it was a cartoon? And the weird thing is, the filmmakers had to make changes to ALLOW it to be PG. If they had kept the film the way they intended, it wouldn’t have even gotten a PG rating. The film had to include a sequence of the characters who had been “eaten” by the house emerging from the house alive and well to make the cut. There are plenty of segments that are intense and way too scary for kids, and the fact that this movie doesn’t really dumb things down for kids is what makes it so much fun. Sure, there is physical comedy in it that’s silly and there’s a scene where Jenny points at an object and says it’s the house’s uvula, causing Chowder to respond by saying, “Ohhhh…so it’s a GIRL house,” which is still pretty mature weiner/vagina humor for the intended audience. I think one of the cooler things about this movie was something I didn’t learn until watching the special features. This movie was filmed with actors wearing motion capture suits, and those motions were then animated with the character designs later on. Not really that new of technology, and plenty of movies before this had used it. The cool thing about this one was that after every scene was animated, the filmmakers had a device that acted as a handheld camera, which would then allow them to move the camera around in different ways for each different scene. Did that make sense? They would create a 3D environment using the motion-capture technology, cover everything in the character and object’s “skin”, and they could treat each scene as an actual environment that someone could move around in with a handheld camera, as opposed to things always being on tripods. I might not be making sense in my description, and I don’t care, because the results show fluid animation with an added touch of realism that gave you an animated movie that didn’t feel animated. I definitely recommend anybody to check this out, as it’s definitely one of my favorite Halloween movies that is supposedly for kids.
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