Columbia Pictures
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First off…why this movie is not being released at Halloween is completely beyond me.  It’s about a haunted house for cryin’ out loud!  Well, the good news is that it’s designed for more than the ankle-biters and their sticky fingers.  Monster House uses motion-capture animation (but not in the creepy Polar Express way) to tell the story of three kids who take on a possessed house in their neighborhood and save all the trick-or-treaters.  The voice talent here is fantastic, especially Maggie Gyllenhaal as the babysitter and Kevin James as Officer Landers.  The script is well above par for an animated film, and the story is wondrously imaginative and fun.  There are moments here when I flashed back to The Goonies and that sort of fare.  I think this one may be a bit scary for the little chilruns, but then again, they play Mortal Kombat and don’t even flinch – so what do I know?  For the rest of us, it’s funny, scary and clever.  What more do you want?