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The movie focuses on DJ Walters, a boy who believes the house across the street from him is actually a monster. When his parents go away for the weekend, he tries convincing his babysitter that there is something wrong about the house. She does not believe him, so DJ enlists the help of his best friend Chowder and Jenny, a girl selling Halloween candy (and who nearly gets eaten by the house). Together, the three of them try to destroy the monster house, along the way figuring out its secret.
- 3D Movie
- Adults Are Useless: Very much so.
- All CGI Cartoon
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Elizabeth/Zee and Bones. Subverted in the end when she starts going out with the resident nerd, Skull.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese dub has "Seishun no Tobira" as its theme song.
- Attack of the Killer Whatever
- Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny: Chowder shows signs of having ADD or ADHD.
- Axe Crazy: The house, though Constance also shows signs of this in her human form. Quite literally so.
- Big Beautiful Woman: Constance's human form.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Chowder, DJ and Jenny.
- Brick Joke / Chekhov's Gun:
Chowder: Oh, so it's a girl house...
- The tower crane.
- Broken Glass Penalty: DJ is expected (and forced) to retrieve the ball after it is lost on the then-villain's yard.
- Chekhov's Skill
- During the main character's break-in inside the house, a photograph in the house reveals that Mr. Nebbercracker was a veteran engineer during (perhaps) the Second World War. This proved instrumental with destroying the house using dynamite during the climax.
- Child-Hater: Mr. Nebbercracker as part of his Jerkass Facade. Constance in life was this, due to the fact that kids made fun of her during her time as a circus freak.
- Determinator: Even after chasing the kids halfway across the town (presumably), battling an excavator, falling off a cliff, and being destroyed by the fall, the house still won't stop trying to kill them. See One-Winged Angel below.
- Dying Town
- Debatable since they're obviously getting new development where the showdown occurs at the end.
- The Eighties: Though never mentioned, many signs throughout the film pinpoint the film as being set sometime in the mid 1980's (most likely 1987, due to Halloween falling on a Saturday).
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Executive Meddling: Apparently it had enough for one of the screenwriters to write an apology letter.
- Is this really an example? It reads more like "Don't blame me for your nightmares, little girl, it's all the Big Mean People in charge who MADE me make a horror movie scary." Especially given the entry above this one
- Favouritism Flip Flop
- Fictional Video Game: Thou Art Dead
- First Kiss: DJ's Motivational Kiss from Jenny also seems to have been his first, much to his joy ("I kissed a girl. I kissed a girl on the lips.")
- Geek: Skull
- Geeky Turn On: At the end, when Zee starts dating Skull.
- Genius Loci: The house, of course.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- After Jenny notes that the house has an uvula, Chowder states that it's a "girl" house.
- How on earth did this one slip past the censors?
Chowder: Whoa. Look at all these toys!
- In the scene where Elizabeth's boyfriend tackles her, he appears to be trying to "have his way with her."
- Chowder's parents. Very subtle.
DJ: Chowder, where are your parents?
- Girlish Pigtails: Jenny wears these.
- Girls Have Cooties: Subverted.
- Grumpy Old Man: Mr. Nebbercracker at least this is what he pretends to be.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: The house.
- Haunted House: Duh.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Chowder and DJ towards Jenny.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Elizabeth is voiced by Maggie Gyllenhaal and Nebbercracker is voiced by Steve Buscemi.
- Ink Suit Actor: Many of the characters bear very good likeness to their voice actors. Maggie Gyllenhaal as Zee being among the best examples.
- Ironic Echo: One of the main gags advertised in the film is when Jenny points out the House's uvula, and Chowder, mistaking the word for something else, exclaims "Oh, so it's a girl house!" Turns out, it is.
- Jerkass: Bones.
- Jerkass Facade: Mr. Nebbercracker. He does this to protect the children from his house/wife Constance.
- Just a Kid: Why no one will initially believe DJ.
- Kid Heroes: DJ, Chowder, and Jenny.
- Kids Are Cruel: This could all have been avoided if not for cruel kids teasing Constance and eventually causing her to fall to her death in the foundation of her new house.
- Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Mr. Nebbercracker, who acts angry and crazy towards people but turns out not to be such a bad guy.
- Motion Capture
- Motivational Kiss: At the climax, DJ is faced with the task of climbing up a tower crane and dropping a stick of dynamite down Constance's chimney, destroying her once and for all. When he says that he doesn't think he can do it, Jenny loudly proclaims, "Yes, you can!" before kissing him on the mouth.
- Object Tracking Shot: The leaf at the beginning of the movie.
- One-Winged Angel: The titular house becomes more and more monstrous the more times it attacks until eventually it's using two trees in the front yard as legs. After the house is destroyed, it reforms into a giant bloodthirsty orb of broken wood supported by two trees it uses for legs. Leading to a Clipped-Wing Angel.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: The house is possessed by an angry spirit that eats people who come too close.
- Pac-Man Fever: Chowder is shown playing a video game that looks like Pong. The arcade game Skull is playing looks like it came from the '80s - early '90s at best.
- Police Are Useless: Though, in fairness, there's only two cops in the entire town, one of whom has only been on the job for under a week. Oh, and Judy back at the station.
- Product Placement: The people in this movie sure like Mr. Clean.
- Redheaded Hero: Jenny
- Stealth Pun: It is revealed that the house is possessed by the spirit of Constance, Mr. Nebbercracker's wife. Which makes it a housewife.
- Three Amigos
- Two Decades Behind
- Undeath Always Ends: At the end of the movie, the house is finally destroyed, setting Constance's spirit free.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: There's a BIG FREAKING HOUSE stomping its way through the middle of a suburban neighborhood, and NO ONE comes out of their house to see what's going on.
- Never mind that no one in any of the other houses seems to ever look outside.
- Urine Trouble: A dog pees on a jack-o-lantern, putting out its flame.
- Don't forget the squick bottles.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Subverted with the dog, the cops, and Bones, during the end credits.
- With a Friend and a Stranger
- You Have to Believe Me: When the kids tell two police officers about the house.