House Arrest is a film about two children, 15 year old Grover, and Stacy, his 10 year old sister, and how they put their parents under house arrest. Grover and Stacy have a special present for their parent's tenth wedding anniversary. Grover took a collection of home videos and had a friend make one tape of special moments in their parents life over the past ten years. When the big day arrives, the kids give their parents the video tape at breakfast. Grover and Stacy do not receive the happy response they anticipated, instead their parents, Janet and Ned, tell them they are separating. The two children are devastated. While at school, Grover tells his friend Mat what is happening and Mat jokingly suggests that Grover lock his parents in the closet until they reconcile. Grover thinks about it awhile and decides to do just that however, instead of the closet he will lock them in the basement. He and Stacey go home after school and decorate the basement like their parents Hawaiian honeymoon. When Janet and Ned arrive home from work, Grover and Stacey coax them into the basement and lock them in. They explain to the couple that after they reconcile they can come out. The children provide them with food and go to bed. While at school the next day, Grover tells Mat what he has done and is overheard by T.J., another classmate. That afternoon, T.J. comes over and with the help of Mat and Grover, he puts an iron storm door on the basement so Grover can keep an eye on his parents. When T.J. leaves he takes Mat with him and on their way home they decide that they want to do the same to their parents. The boys think that it will improve the rocky relationships between their own parents. T.J. and Mat kidnap their parents and arrive on Grover's doorstep to add them to the basement. Along with the kidnapped parents, the boys bring their siblings, a snake, and a dog, which Grover's cat takes an instant dislike too. The chaos has just begun as the parents try to find a way out of the basement and the children and animals demolish the house. To make matters worse, Chief Rocco, Grover's nosy neighbor, is suspicious and is either looking at the house with his binoculars or knocking on the door. He really causes trouble when he calls the police on the kids and they show up to find one of the parents stuck in a basement window, trying to escape. The parents are eventually released and the kids are arrested. It might not have gone the way Grover planned, but the end results are exactly what the kids wanted. Everyone's parents are back together again and living harmoniously.
- Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis
- Director(s): Harry Winer
- Producer(s): House Arrest Productions
- Screenwriter(s): Michael Hitchcock
- Distributor: Rhyser Entertainment / MGM Studios / UA
- Animal Coordinator: Unknown
- Release Date: Thursday, April 18, 1996
- Rating: Acceptable
Featured Animal Action
In one scene, Flossie, the cat, is being chased by Cosmo, T. J.'s dog, across the dinning room table. The cat jumps down and runs out of the room followed by the dog. For this scene the cat and dog were prepped together. Trainer #1 released the cat and she ran A to B where trainer #2 waited to retrieve her. The dog was released a few seconds after the cat and ran A to B to his trainer. Flossie is seen in several other scenes. In one scene she is sitting on the breakfast counter while the children mix up a weird goop they call hamburgers. He jumps down and just misses getting hit with a blob of the concoction, as it flys all over the kitchen from the hand mixer the children are using. In another scene, Ned is in the bedroom packing and Flossie is seen sitting on his suitcases as he gets ready to leave. Flossie is also seen sitting in a child's wagon full of Ned's tools as the children barricade their parents in the basement. In yet another scene, she is seen jumping on Grovers bed to be stroked by Stacey, as the children discuss what to do about the situation with their parents. For all of the scenes where the cat is sitting, lying down, or merely being held by the actors, the trainer placed the animal on his mark or with the actor and cued him with verbal and hand commands. Cosmo is seen several times throughout the film. In one scene Cosmo is seen chewing on the cushion of one of Janet's expensive chairs. For this scene, the trainer had merely placed the pillow in the dog's mouth and used verbal commands to cue the dog to play with the pillow. In another scene, Cosmo is seen sitting in the dinning room as the children are throwing the china to each other and then placing it on the table. He is also seen going into Grover's bedroom, jumping on the bed and licking Grover's face until he wakes up. Several times throughout the film, he is seen sitting on the couch and chair with or without an actor present and also sitting in front of the basement door, as if he is guarding the parents. For all of the above scenes where the dog is seen sitting, lying down, or being held or stroked by an actor, the trainer placed the dog on his mark and used verbal and hand commands to cue the dog from point A to B or to stay. When Grover's friends arrive they not only bring Cosmo but they bring T.J.'s pet snake. The snake is seen several times on various actors. He is either lying across a certain area of their body or hanging from a ceiling lamp or on another piece of furniture. In one scene, Grover is seen asleep in his bed and the snake is crawling up the bed towards his pillow. Chief Rocco has a small dog and he is seen in many scenes. In a later scene, the chief's dog is seen running across the yard. He jumps over a bush and then jumps at the chief, landing in his arms. The chief stumbles backwards and into a trap the children had set for any intruders. When the chief hits the rope at a certain point it triggers a net and scoops them into the air, dangling them from the tree. This scene was shot in cuts. A fake and a real dog was used for the scene. A real dog was used for the scenes of the dog jumping over the bush and into the actors arms. A platform was constructed and placed in front of the bush and in front of the actor. The dog then jumped onto the platform and over the camera near the bush and then onto the platform in front of the actor and into his arms. A fake dog was used for the shot of the actor and dog being pulled into the air by the hidden trap. Then the fake dog is replaced with the real dog for the establishing shot of the dog in the actor's arms as he the two are seen dangling in the air. There is another scene where the chief and his dog are in the super-market. The dog is sitting in the cart when a security guard approaches and the chief picks up the dog and places him on the floor. The dog then sees the children in the market and starts running after them and follows them through the electronic doors to the parking lot. The doors shut after the dog passes through. Later the dog is later seen looking at the chief through the closed doors. When the dog is seen in the grocery cart, trainer #1 placed the dog in the cart and used verbal commands to tell him to "stay." Trainer #2 was near the cart at all times. When the dog is placed on the floor, the actor merely placed the dog on the floor. For the segment of the dog chasing after the children, trainer #1 releases the dog and he runs to the front door and outside. When the dog returns to the grocery store and is looking at the chief through the glass, trainer #2 was on the other side of the glass door to cue the dog for his look. In another scene, the dog grabs the chiefs pant-leg and the chief slowly walks away with the dog still holding on. Chief Rocco and his dog are seen a few times driving by various locations in his car. When the parents are attempting to escape, Ned and Janet remember that they once had a laundry shoot and had plastered it up. After successfully chipping away at the plaster, Janet proceeds to climb up the laundry shoot. While climbing up the shoot she encounters a few rats. The rats are seen crawling up her arm and down her back. Trainer #1 placed the rats on the actor's back while trainer #2 called the rats with a buzzer to their feeding cage at point B.