Tuesday, August 01, 2006

How stereotypes can ruin an otherwise good movie

Case in point? Monster House.

I was really looking forward to seeing Monster House. It's received some great reviews, the preview was funny and scary, and I really like haunted houses as a rule.

Parts of the movie were really great. The animation, the scary haunted house, the girl lead, the babysitter. It was truly scary in a way kids movies haven't been in awhile. But, the stereotypes really got me down. Here's what bugged me:
  • The backstory. One day a skinny man falls in love with the "fat woman" at a carnival. People laugh at her and throw stuff at her. He takes her away and builds her a home. When kids come around and laugh and throw stuff at her, she goes crazy, attacks them, and then falls into the foundation pit and is covered with cement. The fat lady becomes, then, the evil house who eats children. Yuck. Why did she have to be a carnival fat lady? The house itself was so cool. It was cool enough to exist without the backstory.
  • The best friend was, of course, the goofy fat kid.
  • The absolute worst part of the movie was the pair of police officers. Guess what? The African-American one? He's the goofy one who shakes and trembles when entering the house. Ugh.

So, tell me, friends...am I reading too much into a silly kids movie?