Monster House 3D

Featured In Issue 157, May/June 2011

3D Picture5
WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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For scary images and sequences, thematic elements, some crude humor, and brief language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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A, B & C
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Gil Kenan
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Who is the Monster that lives in the House across the street? That's what young DJ (Mitchel Musso) wants to know and intends to find out. Anytime anything lands on the lawn of Old Man Nebbercracker (Buscemi), it disappears, never to be seen again. But when DJ and his friends Chowder (Sam Lerner) and Jenny (Spencer Locke) find themselves trapped inside the spooky place, they find out the truth inside the scary old house. (Tricia Spears)

Special features include 3-D sneak peeks of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and Open Season, filmmaker commentary; "Inside Monster House," which contains several featurettes: the storyboarded Imaginary Heroes (SD 03:38), a Beginner's Luck casting featurette (SD 02:35), The Best Of Friends (SD 02:50), Lots Of Dots (SD 02:38), Black Box Theater (SD 04:23), Making It Real (SD 06:13), and Did You Hear That? (SD 03:04); a multi-angle featurette that takes you into various stages of animation, depending on which angle you choose—Evolution Of A Scene: Eliza vs. Nebbercracker—broken into the following chapters: "Story Reel Animatic" (SD 02:50), "Performance Capture" (SD 02:50), "Layout Stage" (SD 02:50), "Animation" (SD 02:50) "Final Film" (SD 02:50), and "Composite" (SD 02:50), "The Art Of Monster House" including three still image galleries: "Conceptual Art," "People," and "Places And Things"; previews but no up-front ads; and BD-Live and D-BOX Motion Code™ functionality.

The previous 2.40:1 Blu-ray Disc picture reviewed in Issue 115 was a marked improvement over the DVD release, without the bothersome edge enhancement and pixilation that marred the standard-definition version. As with the standard Blu-ray release, this 2.40:1 1080p MVC 3-D Bu-ray version exhibits colors that are vibrant, and details are well resolved. Colors are nicely saturated with rich and warm hues throughout. Blacks are deep and solid, and shadow delineation is nicely rendered, to reveal depth and detail. Resolution is excellent, with a crisp display of detail. The old Monster House itself is as rich in fine detail as clothing and other objects, displaying texture. The level of dimensionality is superb, with consistently excellent depth and perspective perception. Characters are nicely offset from their backgrounds and amongst themselves, for a sense of natural dimension. Twisted tree branches outreach and snatch a police car, which is "eaten" by the house, in a visually dimensional scene that conveys a sense of spooky excitement and effectively pulls the viewer into the movie. Occasional objects poke out of the screen for dramatic effect, but all is seemingly ungimmicky. The imagery is virtually free of double-image ghosting artifacts, and when detectable, they are extremely faint. Pristine throughout, this is an impressive and virtually faultless immersive 3-D experience that is exciting to experience. (Gary Reber)

The previous Blu-ray release was encoded in uncompressed linear PCM and sounded great. The 2.40:1 1080p MVC 3-D Blu-ray is a 5.1-channel DTS-HD Master Audio™ lossless-encoded soundtrack that delivers the same exceptional dynamic range and well-placed images around the soundfield. Dialogue is recorded well, with a naturally spatial integrated quality. Fidelity is impressive. The music score is expansive, dynamic, and sweeping in its dimensional soundfield presence, with aggressive surround envelopment. Atmospheric and sound effects are articulated with impressive dynamics, low-level ambiance, and directionalization throughout the soundfield. The intensity builds from low-level creaks and cracking sounds to intense, destructive rumble sounds, as the house springs to life. The house is characterized by roars that rumble through the soundfield, producing a throbbing sensation. Bass energy is, at times, intense during the action scenes, dropping into the sub-25 Hz region in the .1 LFE channel. The D-BOX Motion Code encoding perfectly enhances the low-frequency energy and delivers a real fun turbulent ride during scenes with the house in full action. This is a fun and exciting soundtrack that manages to perfectly energize every scene with its dynamic and engaging presence. (Gary Reber)