Monster House Screenwriter Apologizes for His Movie, Slams Director and Spielberg
It's an epidemic! Ever since Chloe Sevigny apologized for the last season of Big Love, making amends in the most backhanded way possible has become de rigueur in Hollywood. We already brought you J.D. Shapiro's apology for Battlefield Earth and James Cameron's apology/victory lap for Avatar -- now, let us hand you an apology for the 2006 CG film Monster House, in which its screenwriter Dan Harmon calls Steven Spielberg a moron.
Harmon (also the creator of the NBC sitcom Community) wrote the mea culpa for his friend Kelly Oxford after her 7-year-old daughter Salinger was gripped by nightmares from watching the Spielberg-produced, Gil Kenan-directed Monster House. Oxford originally posted the heartfelt apology to her blog, but has since deleted it, perhaps in deference to the unusually candid Harmon. Here's what he wrote:
I think a good story, even if it is sad or scary while you're watching it, should always make you a little less scared after you've seen it. Because even a scary story, if it's a good scary story, takes us into strange, dark places that don't make sense at first, and helps us see that they do make sense, and are therefore not so scary. And that didn't happen in Monster House. The kids go inside the house, and everything's scary in there, but nothing starts making more sense.
And why, after they escaped the house, did that old man tell them another scary story about a mean fat lady that didn't make very much sense either? I'll tell you why. Because Gil Kenan is a hack and Steven Spielberg is a moron. But hey, I shouldn't be dumping this stuff on you.
Let's just say, Salinger, that I have a lot of questions about that movie, too.
I guess you and I are just smarter than other people, and I guess part of being smart is being scared of things that don't scare other people. Henry's a little younger than us and he just thinks the movie looks cool, which it does. And we won't take that away from him. But you and I are looking at the movie through smart, sensitive, older eyes, and we can see how confusing it is.
Who knows what kind of amazing things you will be doing as you live your life. But we know one thing for sure: you are going to be very special while you're doing it, and you're going to remove a lot of fear from other people's lives, because you're smart enough to see it, which means you're smart enough to conquer it.
I hope one day I can finish writing a movie that they don't change so much, and if you see it, I hope it makes you happy. Until then, I heard that Wall-E is very good, you should go see that. And next time Monster House is on, just remember that the guy that wrote it told you it was dumb.
Noted! All right, who's up next? M. Night Shyamalan for Lady in the Water? Kurtzman and Orci for Transformers 2? Your move, guys!