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Rated NR

Adventure, Family
I thought the motion-capture animation used for The Polar Express looked creepy as all hell, and I couldn’t stand watching the thing. Now comes this animated pic, using the same technology but wisely going for a creepy storyline that befits the animation look. A couple of kids discover that the house across the street is not only haunted, but it eats people. This is not your standard, happy-go-lucky matinee, but as Harry Potter and Jaws (when I was 7 years old) have proven, kids like the scary stuff. Steve Buscemi lends his voice to the cranky character of Nebbercracker, the owner of the haunted house who’s hiding a terrible secret. If your child is younger than 10, watch out, because this one gets pretty scary. While the animation is often impressive, they still haven’t learned how to synchronize the vocals with the character mouths, and that can be a distraction. The voices of Jason Lee, Jon Heder, Fred Willard and Kathleen Turner are also featured.

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