Kids vs. Monsters

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Kids vs. Monsters Movie Poster Image
Tedious, awful horror-comedy for kids is unwatchable.
  • NR
  • 2015
  • 101 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Survival; working together.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lots of stereotypes. Characters are incredibly simplistic and superficial. Caricatures of rich, self-involved parents who send their children to be murdered; caricatures of vapid, self-interested teenagers who only care about themselves. One teenager is a shy goth; another is a teen philanthropist, but all are reduced to one dimension.

Violence

News anchors blown up by a bomb (only explosion is shown); witch melts under water; guy head-butts another guy; some fighting, punching, hitting over the head; plates are broken over someone’s head; guy bites another's hand; some creepy but very fake-looking monsters; a girl slaps a guy in the face; a guy eats a lobster that emits green goo.

Sex

Minor flirting, rejection, reference to a woman with a great body.

Language

"Hairy ass," "bite me," "eat my boogers," "stupid," "lovable chubster," "fat," "creep," "ugly," "oh my God."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kids Vs. Monsters is a dull, uninspired film about a group of self-absorbed, narcissistic, wealthy parents who send their equally self-absorbed, narcissistic kids to a house be murdered by monsters. The characters are caricatures, the violence and monsters are fake-looking, and the plot involves an incredible amount of sitting around and talking about the monsters and their backstories, and it has very little action. Some profanity ("hairy ass") and name-calling.

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What's the story?

Fed up with their entitled, spoiled offspring, a team of rich parents decides to team up with evil and send their kids to a house where they will be killed off by one monster after another.

Is it any good?

It’s meant to be satire poking at teens today -- from the social media-obsessed to the goth to the obese to the overachievers -- but it's not clear what the point of this exercise in dullness is. The film spends a long time setting us up to loathe these teenagers -- and loathe their rich, self-important, evil parents just as much. So by the time the kids are sent off to be murdered by monsters that look about as well crafted as any B-movie flick from the early 1980s, it's hard to tell who the joke is on -- them, or us.

The film ultimately finds these teens working together to save themselves, which arguably gives it a tiny bit of merit, but the lifeless plot, tedious dialogue, and bizarre route to get there -- one monster is a man with a giant beet for a head -- will leave you wondering if this was a film student's idea of a very good joke. Jury is still out.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about stereotyping. Are these stereotypes of teens accurate? Why, or why not? 

  • Why does Kids Vs. Monsters fail so spectacularly as a horror movie for kids? How would you improve it?

  • How might this movie have succeeded as a commentary on teens today?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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