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You... vandals! You hooligans! I'll get you!
~ Constance Nebbercracker's last words, threatening to hurt two children with an axe.

Constance Nebbercracker (1931-1960), formerly known as Constance the Giantess, is the titular main antagonist of the 2006 computer-animated film, Monster House. She was once an unwilling member of a circus freak show who was made fun of by children. As a result of this she hated children. She later became Nebbercracker's housewife in 1959. But then one Halloween, she was provoked by children and while chasing them away fell to her death in the basement. She then became the vengeful spirit that possessed the house that she and Nebbercracker constructed, turning it into the titular abomination.

She was voiced by Kathleen Turner.

Biography

Background

Not much is known about her backstory, aside from the fact that she is a depressed circus freak show member that always got made fun of by children due to her extreme obesity. Not only that, she was forced to sleep in a cage by the rest of the circus members. Judging from her photos that Jenny and DJ found in her house, it was shown that her extreme obesity was due to her love of food. Whether this was true or not (or merely speculated), her size disgusted many people, even children whom made fun of her in extreme manner.

Mr. Nebbercracker eventually rescued her from the circus, and then married her. Though Constance was happy with her later life, her happiness proved short lived after she fell to her death.

At that day, the children threw rocks at her, in which she responded by asking Nebbercracker for help. Nebbercracker told her that they were merely joking because it's Halloween. He tries to convince her that he won't let anyone hurt her. But as he said so, the children continue to provoke her, prompting her to scare them away with an axe. Unfortunately, she loses her balance and falls into the house's foundations. She presumably instantly dies upon impact due to her weight that crushed her spine, followed by cement that spilled on her and buried her corpse. Though implied that she may survive the fall, she was buried alive by cement.

Despite being killed, her soul became the vengeful spirit both due to her rage and her unwillingness to leave her husband. She then possessed the now-finished house to accompany Nebbercracker for 45 years. However, she is no longer the same person that Nebbercracker once knew: Her hatred against children (which stem from their treatment back when she was still a circus member) has made her a tricky, but savage, bloodthirsty and murderous monster that tries to kill anything and anyone that approaches her except for Nebbercracker himself.

Aware with what she has become, Mr. Nebbercracker was forced to pretend to be a child hater to save their lives. He even confiscated their toys that ended up into his lawn so they never returned for sake of their safety. As he did this, Constance became appeased as she was no longer bothered, and presumed undergo a deep sleep. The only one whom is suspicious with this grumpy and wrathful attitude is DJ, a boy whom spy on the house for the past few years.

Events in the Movie

Nebbercracker's Absence

One day, when Chowder's basketball accidentally flew into Nebbercracker's lawn and prompts DJ to bring it back, Nebbercracker ambushes and storms towards him. DJ tries to calm him down, but this does not change Nebbercracker's mind to scare him further. Nebbercracker proceeds by lifting him upwards and unleashing several tantrums on his face. This is however a great mistake; due to his elderly age, he forgot that his body could no longer endure the boy's weight and he had a heart attack at the same time. His bones cracked in the process, causing him to fall unconscious on DJ's body.

Both the boys are horrified by this, believing that Nebbercracker had died. They are unaware that they have unleashed the terror on their housing complex.

Reawakening

When Nebbercracker was immediately brought to the hospital, Constance immediately awakened from her years of slumber. The house's furnace burns on its own, and with both the house and lawn under her control, she caused them to emit sad, groaning voices as the ambulance approaches to carry her husband away. As the medics put Nebbercracker's body on a stretcher, she possesses grass on the lawn and tries to prevent them from leaving albeit failed, while her spirit, from the house's window, glares on unsuspecting DJ and Chowder, causing it to crack as they leave.

Reign of Terror

That night, she possesses the telephone in her house (off-screen) and calls DJ through telephone. When DJ got the call, he only hears furious growls instead of a word. Thinking that it maybe a trick, he tries to call the house itself, only for no one to answer him. Afterwards, while DJ sneaks away, Bones (who had lost his kite when he was 10 years old) expresses his anger and sadness over his stolen kite on Nebbercracker's house by damaging the lawn. When Constance sees this, she proceeds to possess his kite within the basement, and uses it to lure Bones into the house. Unaware that this was a trap, Bones approaches the kite, only to have it coil around him and the house quickly devours him.

Later on, when DJ and Chowder sought to investigate the house, Chowder, whom doesn't believe strange things that occurred inside the house, starts to fool around on the house's lawn. They discovered Bones' empty bottle but dismissed it and toss it aside, unaware that the possessed grass on the lawn pulled it underground. Everything seems normal, until Chowder pressed the bell, where the house awakened. The door suddenly opens, revealing it's interior's fractures and shifts into a mouth-like cavern. Even the house's exterior turned into a demonic form while retaining its former appearance. The horrified Chowder is then chased by the house's rug that act like a chameleon's tongue, and barely escape. The house roars, prompting them to flee in terror. Chowder looks behind, where the house became more deformed that it previously was before returning back to normal.

Attack in the Morning

The house remains still until morning, though DJ and Chowder continue to watch it from DJ’s room for hours even with Zee’s interference and resort to pee in bottles so they won’t miss any of the possessed house’s activities.

For a brief moment, they are distracted by a beautiful girl named Jenny who, much to their horror, approaches the house. Before it was too late, they rush toward her and convince her to go away. Just then, Constance, whom already set her sights on Jenny, possess the porch causing the planks below her to rise and led her to her mouth, only to be failed by Zee and the boys' interference. DJ and Chowder then return to DJ’s room with Jenny to continue the investigation. They later witness a dog who approaches the lawn, only to be eaten by the house. Witnessing this, they realize that the house only moved when the unsuspecting victim approaches, and Jenny decided to call the police.

Taunting Chowder and Attacking the Police

As they were waiting, the trio imagines what would happened if many children come to that house due to tonight is Halloween. Just then, the house moves again and taunts Chowder by playing his basketball that marked with Jack-O-Lantern's face, which Chowder perceives that the house would start the real killing spree tonight.

Just then, the police (namely Officer Lester and Officer Landers) arrive, but they didn’t believe him at all and instead scolding them for “vandalism” toward the house (due to any attempt to taunt the house was vain and Jenny discovers that the possessed house was very intelligent to do so). They later decided to have a discussion on Reginald “Skull” Skullinski on a cafeteria, where he believes that the possessed house was a monster named Domus Mactabillis, or at least that was he believed as he knew about from comic book conventions. He stated that like mortal beings, it can only be killed by the destruction of it’s heart.

As the trio went home, DJ believes that the possession on the house was started from when the furnace inside the house was set alight, implies that the furnace was the house’s heart. So, they schemed a plan to make a dummy full of cold medicine, hoping that the drugs was enough to render the house sleeping. Unfortunately, Officers Lester and Landers interfere and upon seeing objects that they used to render the house asleep, they wrongfully arrest the kids.

Before they could drive away, however, the house groans on them, luring both the police officers closer. Oblivious with what has lured them, the two officers decided to investigate the house against the kids’ wishes. Officer Landers notices that something seems not right as the other one suddenly driven away with the tree’s roots. Officer Lester taunts the tree, which suddenly, prompt it to move and grab his leg. Things suddenly became worse as the house reveals its true nature and devour Officer Landers alive while sadistically playing with Officer Lester that it grabbed via branches, before eventually tossed him into its mouth.

The police officers, however, were not the sole target, as it had the trees to grab the police car and devouring it into its mouth inside along with the kids. The kids managed to escaped, but is trapped inside the house as they witness the house’s interior revert back to normal.

Discovering the Truth

DJ convinces his friends to keep up with their search for the house’ furnace. There, they discovered Nebbercracker’s old explosives and photographs depicting Nebbercracker when he was young alongside his wife Constance when she was alive. DJ stated that Zee and Bones had a conversation about Nebbercracker’s past life and assumed that he devoured Constance, much to Jenny’s disgust. Just then, Chowder spotted the hanged lamp on the house’s hall, prompting them to shoot it. This, however, nearly caused the house to awaken as the house' main hall turned into a mouth-like cavern before spitting a large amount of water. It then had a beam of light to search the house' main hall where the beam came from one of the windows. Here, Jenny stated that the main hall was deformed into some kind of mouth cavity where the opened hole acts like a throat, the rug acts as a tongue, deformed woods around the door acts as teeth, while the hanged lamp acts as a uvula.

The kids then resume the investigation where suddenly, the floor below them opened, sending them to the basement where Nebbercracker kept the confiscated toys from children. There, they also discovered what appeared to be Constance's carriage that DJ opened with a key that he found back when Nebbercracker's body was taken away by medics. When they entered it, they discovered Constance's corpse that was covered by cement layer. Around her dead body, they found some flowers and photos that people would normally place on the grave of their loved ones.

However, DJ accidentally desecrated Constance's remains by breaking the concrete casing that covered the corpse, revealing the skeleton and inciting the house's fury. The house then pick them one by one after spotting the kids before they find the place to hide. The house had the slinkies snatch Chowder before did the same on the pipes that snatch Jenny and had the wooden stairs to attack DJ, whom barely escaped back to the hall that turned into a mouth cavity, with his friends nearly devoured. Thanks to Jenny's quick actions in pulling the house's lamp, the possessed house ended up vomitting them to the outside, along with the contraptions that they supposedly used to make it sleep.

Terrors that they endured caused Chowder and DJ arguing with each other with Jenny breaking up their fight. DJ has considered to abandon the case after fed up with the argument, only to unexpectedly hit by an ambulance by accident which turned out to be hijacked by the still-living Nebbercracker. DJ was happy that he didn't cause the old man to be killed, but only crippled him instead. Nebbercracker then lashed out to the trio to leave, but his wrath quickly changes into worries as he realized that kids would be approaching his house. He then approaches his house which becomes possessed again, but somewhat became gentle to him. By this point, DJ learned that all this time, the house was possessed by Constance's restless spirit.

Constance's Revenge

Against his friends' protests, DJ tries to talk some sense with Nebbercracker about the truth behind his wrathful and suspicious behavior. Nebbercracker was at first furious after he had discovered the truth, but eventually relents and tells them both his and Constance's story. All of his bad deeds on the children were merely ruse to keep them away from his wife's wrathful spirit after the latter's accidental murder by bullies and because of it, he was forced to become a child hater so Constance, now as the possessed house and wrathful spirit, won't be able to destroy and consume everything on her path.

Aware that the old man cannot do that forever, DJ convinces Nebbercracker to put her out of her misery as this is the better way. Therefore, Constance has been suffered too long and in spite of his benevolent intentions to keep the children away from the house, it won't improve either of their lives.

Final Rampage and Death

Having overheard the conversation, Constance goes berserk and tears the house free from its foundations and begins to chase her husband and the kids via arms/feet made of trees on the property. The four run in terror, going down an alleyway where Nebbercracker is forced to stay behind due to his old age preventing him from keeping up and encourages the kids to go on without him. The house continues to chase down DJ and his friends until they were near a construction site, where, for the safety of the children, Nebbercracker throws a stone brick at his house/wife and stands up against Constance, revealing his non child hating ways in the process.

Whilst managing to calm Constance down, Nebbercracker laments over the fact that he has failed to keep his wife's wrath from hurting others and turning her into what she is now; a true monster. This saddens the house and provides Nebbercracker an opportunity to end his wife's suffering using a stick of dynamite. The house, however, does not take this well and grabs Nebbercracker with the intentions of killing him for this apparent betrayal before DJ, Chowder and Jenny arrive just in time with an excavator, which proves effective against the house. As Constance fights with Chowder, who is controlling the vehicle, DJ is given the dynamite and is told to destroy the house for good.

DJ and Jenny are knocked into the construction site as a result of the house and Chowder's battle on top of the cliff that leads down to the site. They manage to formulate a plan where Chowder will lure the house under a crane so that the two can drop the stick of dynamite down its chimney which leads to the heart. This plan is stalled, however, when the house is dragged down the hill and it breaks apart as a result, leading to the heroes celebrating their apparent victory. This celebration is short lived, however, as Constance's control over the house is still intact and she manages to reform it from its broken remains, resulting in a more horrific and monstrous form that proceeds to devour the excavator before chasing Chowder.

Upon reaching the crane, DJ uses it to swing over the house's chimney and throws the dynamite down to its heart. This causes the house to explode and Constance's spirit to be released, allowing her to spend a peaceful and loving moment with her husband before passing on, signifying that her wrath is finally gone. Nebbercracker is happy that both she and him are finally free from their torment, and proceeds to return all the toys he had taken back to the children of the neighborhood. In the end, all the house's victims are revealed to be alive and well as they crawl out of the house's foundations.

Personality

Due to nature of her death and misery she has gone through, Constance is trapped in angry, hateful, loathsome, obstreperous, uncomplimentary, treacherous, uncaring, merciless, bloodthirsty, destructive, and heartless state: When others come near her or the house, she will immediately attacked them except for her husband. She is also very disagreeable and unpleasant, so she frequently dislikes the circus and playful teasing, which is evident by her reacting to the boys throwing eggs and rocks at her before death and overhearing others talking about her in house form. She only likes Mr. Nebbercracker and dislikes it when DJ tells Nebbercracker to "let her go". She chases DJ, Chowder, and Jenny. She is also extremely brutal, murderous, and vituperative, so she wants to kill them, but when the house got blown up instantly, it seems that her spirit is finally put to rest and most likely let go of her grudge to people.

Gallery

Trivia

  • She was born in 1931 and died in 1960, meaning that she was 29 years old when she died.
  • In terms of backstory, Constance is similar with Onryos in mythology (includes restless souls such as Kayako Saeki) as both are wronged in their lifetime and ultimately murdered (though Constance's murder was accidental), resulting in them becoming restless souls that terrorize the living. Unlike the onryos however, Constance's restless spirit possessed her house most of the time, though she briefly manifests as a shadowy apparition when DJ take a peek to his house.
  • Constance is similar to Davy Jones, they are both nearly indestructible and almost impossible to stop them, the only way to kill them both was to destroy their own hearts.
  • Early drafts of the film revealed concepts for Constance's character that not used due to deemed too disturbing and to keep the rating:
    • The interior of the house possessed by Constance become warped that it more like interior of human organs.
    • When Chowder explore the house and stumbled upon a large mirror that used to be Constance's, Constance's spirit appeared on the mirror and attacked him.
    • Early script also further cemented Constance's status as antagonist who pose greater threat than either Bones or Zee, as there's a scrapped scenario where Zee also ended up attacked by Constance.