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Monster House

Discovery Channel (ended 2006)



User Score: 308

out of 10
User Rating
229 votes

By TV.com Users

Monster House

Show Summary

Monster House revolves around foreman Steve Watson finding a crew of 5 builders to redesign a home. The homeowners get to choose the theme, but the building and design of the house has to be left up to Steve and his crew. If the building team completes the job by midnight Friday they win power tools. The theme and crew of each house vary from week to week.
Jamie Jean Winton

Jamie Jean Winton


Jeff Weikel

Jeff Weikel

general manager

Lewis Burns

Lewis Burns

Aboriginal artist and craftsman

Peter Marr

Peter Marr

general contractor

Reverend Gadget

Reverend Gadget


Curtis Baruth

Curtis Baruth

film and television construction coordinator

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    I think it really sucks that monster house ended because I was planning on getting a monster house in a few years. I was going to live in Las Vegas or in Las Angeles becaus thats where you have to live to get a monster house. I would have the theme like a casino.
  • A one-sided Trading Spaces gone extreme. From the creator behind Monster Garage. Three-year run on Discovery Television.

    Cross-posted review of Monster House from TV.com:


    A one-sided Trading Spaces gone extreme. From the creator behind Monster Garage. Three-year run on Discovery Television.


    Monster has its only special meaning on Monster House. Let's call it tricked-out, extreme home remodeling, with a liberal dose of hot rod culture. If the macho imagination had a brain child with a home construction and redecorate crew, this would be it.

    The show's broken down into predictable stages: design, construction, and reveal to homeowners. Steve Watson, a Tennessee boy with acting AND construction chops, narrates on-site and occasionally steps in for an expert assist. Five or so construction experts, often with different skills and very different backgrounds, make up the contest crew. They have five days to get the build done. If they manage, and it will be a serious game of beat the clock while it beats you, $7000 of prizes await: the usual Monster House music cd, t-shirts, and tools.

    The show's minor rituals are as engaging as its stages. The homeowners are installed in a luxury RV at the front curb, and teased about the impending destruction and reconstruction. They aren't allowed to look. Steve does a walk-through with the contest crew, power stapling design sketches to the home's walls. The impossible work list mounts. The contest crew reacts. On day 3 or so, the clock comes out: a digital counter that displays the build's remaining time down to seconds. Internal deadlines sometimes bring on pressure too, as crews have to meet job site visit requirements by inspectors, hardcoating companies, and cement deliveries. Surprise parts orders and failures add to the tension, as do team breakdowns.

    While team harmony is a real pleasure to watch -- surprisingly so, given the Schadenfreud reality tv usually promotes -- the fights are instructive, too. These are people who've just met performing under pressure for the cameras. How well they can pull it together for the cause, matters. Those teams that fracture are the ones who usually don't make it.

    Although, most do -- and that, too, is part of the show's pleasure. We get to watch creative, dedicated workers striving together to finish a cool project. Most of them care about quality, and the homeowners who will inherit their creation. Aside from team sports, when is the last time you can think of when an American television show demonstrated such a work ethic amongst professionals? And, aside from entertainment competitions, when did we last get such a side car seat to the creative process?

    The show isn't a how-to primer for construction itself, but it does give the viewer some techniques for extreme construction. Although I'll probably never try it, I know how artists carve large objects out of foam. I've seen it done a dozen times on Monster House, followed by a hardcoat and a paint job. I've got some idea, too, about how to fit the odd television into a lift from nearly any surface (coffin or car) or make a booze tap work when fitted into a foreign object, like a deconstructed engine.

    The decorative magic on the show is as worth seeing as the build itself, although we don't get much insight into the process. We get a fast run-through of the design elves at work, with a preceeding visit or two from the head decorator. Jarri flirts with the builders and shows off a purchase or two, but these are a tease for what's to come. And what's to come is impressive. It transforms the bare bones of the build into an extreme wonderland, often tacky but always outrageous. If homeowners are made to feel they've walked into their own version of an amusement park, everyone goes home happy.

    The show's weakness may have been its undoing, and that is the preditability of its build elements and its flat design curve over time. Early projects seemed wildly different from one another. Later shows give a more preditable set of design items: a wow platform for a Cal Spas hot tub, a cool fixture for a bar or keg and / or a grill, a lift platform for a big-screen tv, something done to the fireplace (putting a new facing on it), a motorized chair or two, a drop-down table, an outdoor building or structure made out of pieces parts of real unconventional vehicles (airplanes or hearses) or mimicking them (Viking longboats). Bedrooms and bathrooms are rare, and so too are dining rooms. Party patios and outrageous living rooms are the norm. The show focuses on the home as entertainment pad. However, some of its best standout elements come from this concept, such as the Skateboard House's backyard course, the tube drink delivery system in Retro Future House, and the drop-down hydraulic kitchen tools in Race-Car House.

    Of course, even when the build elements become entrenched, the themes change with good variety, from Three Stooges, to Old English, to Miniature Golf, to Old West, to Fright, to Jurassic, to Biker, to Amusement Park, to Soccer houses. Monster House owners have become a breed set apart. Other show elements changed as well, including the episode contest crews and occasionally the show's parameters. Several episodes feature charity builds, for schools, animal shelters, and emergency workers. These "extreme makeovers" are among the best, leaving the deserving recipients and their communities grateful. A few episodes feature sentimental favorites, such as when Steve redid his childhood home for his mother or when crews and their individual members returned, or in the last episode (Farewell House for Tombstone, a returning build member) when the behind the scenes crew came forward for the build.

    Steve Watson himself is the show's second-greatest strength. He's the most watchable of home makeover show hosts, giving Paige Davis of Trading Spaces and Tai Pennington of Extreme Home Makeover more than a run. Funny, charming, and yet serious and occasionally stern as build crew chief, Steve makes sure the job gets done and done right. He conveys the emotion of the build, and keeps the focus on homeowners. He enjoys the demo more than any crewmember, and the fruits of the labor too. No one's ever beamed with pride more over a reveal than Steve.

    This is a reality tv show that will be, deserves to be, missed. It's a show about making things: art, teams, deadlines, life changes, oddball happiness. We need more of them, ones that don't exploit but transform, genuinely.moreless
  • Amazing

    Monster House is an awesome program. I wanted to suggest something for it though.

    Was just tinking if u can have all the members who had participated in the monster house program to have a get together and have a competition to see among all the teams participated who will win the Monster House Team of 2005.

    Each team should be given one house to rebuild or modify. And using thier own ideas to come up with the best Monster House of 2005 and win the award.

    Either that or you could break the teams to smaller number like having 5 teams in each show so that it can be extended over a longer period. Which will keep the ratings high for a longer span of time.

    Thanks and regards,


    P.S: Please do feel free to contact me if you feel you could use this idea.moreless
  • i was looking at the monster house site and why is there no longer pics of the houses they have done there used to be pics now the web page sucksmoreless

    i think the show is good but the web page needs help there used to pics of previous houses and stuff now there is nothing it was neat to see other design techneques used thanks

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  • It's a monster... hit!

    Monster House is so beyond awesome. I love this series, since it shows random people smashing and recreating houses to add spice to this bland world of ours. The host is cool, the voices are amazing, and they have the most creative staff on the Discovery Channel. Sometimes the show can be a bit boring, but nothing should be perfect. Furthermore, the sound effects sometimes annnoy the living crud out of me, but I am sound sensitive. Monster House has a multitude of ripoffs, but that proves how great this series is. Watch it if you want to see something original.moreless

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