1990s Dark Slapstick Comedy Classic Everyone Can Watch, Stream Now Without Netflix

By Nina Phillips | Published

Mousehunt is a slapstick comedy full of darker moments than you might expect for a family film as two siblings end up in a bitter fight for survival against a mouse. While it certainly has some disturbing scenes, the sibling interactions and comedic elements cemented this as one of my favorite childhood movies. 

MouseHunt Is A Movie Lost To Time

MouseHunt follows the story of Lars (Lee Evans) and Ernie Smuntz (Nathan Lane), who have been left an old Victorian home and a string factory after their father, Rudolf Smuntz (William Hickey), dies. Earnie has no desire to own either, and he is too focused on his career as a chef. However, due to an unfortunate accident, he quickly loses his business and his home. 

Lars is so dedicated to keeping his father’s wishes alive that he loses his wife and misses a potential business opportunity. With the two having no other option, they temporarily move into the mansion. 

Big Names Involved

Unfortunately, a mouse that lives inside the mansion makes all sorts of noises, keeping the brothers awake. The brothers end up searching around and finding out that a famous architect made the mansion. Realizing they can make a fortune, the brothers start to develop plans to get rid of the mouse and sell the mansion, including hiring a questionable exterminator (Christopher Walken).

Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) directed MouseHunt, and Adam Rifkin (Bone Chillers) wrote it. Interestingly, it was one of DreamWorks Pictures’ first family films, released in 1997. 

A Movie For Kids

I loved this movie growing up. There’s just something about a small little mouse getting the best out of three grown men that amuses me, especially when two of them cause the horrible situations that arise. While the mouse is intelligent, it’s their actions and desperation to get rid of the mouse that really causes the problems. 

Some Scenes Are Dark Looking Back With Age

Having recently watched the movie again, I have to admit that it’s a lot darker than I remembered. As a kid, I saw MouseHunt as simply a comedic movie. However, the scenes about being homeless, gassing a cat (again), and eating and subsequently dying because of a cockroach now seem much darker. 

That’s still not to say it’s a bad movie. I still love it, and the darker moments are balanced out well with the comedic scenes. The brothers are a little eccentric, but I felt the sibling love-hate relationship was on point. 

Available On Amazon Prime


However, I have to say that I seem to be in the minority. On Rotten Tomatoes, MouseHunt is far less loved. Critics gave it a painfully low 44 percent, and the audience members didn’t do much better, at 49 percent. 

If you’re ready to watch a movie often described as Home Alone meets Tom and Jerry, MouseHunt is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video with a subscription or with ads. It may make you laugh, or it may make you cry, but either way, it’ll be a memorable experience.