A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Little Monsters is an over-the-top comic-horror movie about zombies and a group of kindergarteners who are in their path. The movie is extremely gory, with a tone that aims for laughs along with the mayhem and "ewwww" factor. Blood is everywhere. The undead attack, ravage, and eat their victims. Heroes fight back. Expect all manner of combat; weapons range from assault rifles to shovels and pitchforks. And, all the while, more than a dozen kids are comforted, cared for, and protected by their spirited and saintly teacher (Lupita Nyong'o), who keeps them calm and assured of their survival and then risks her life for them. Swearing and coarse sexual language are constant, mostly delivered by a blowhard, maniacal children's media celebrity. Expect countless uses of "f--k," "s--t," and lots of insults ("douchebag") and sexual references ("blow job, "c--t," "c--k," etc.). Two scenes depict a man masturbating while clothed; in another, he discovers his girlfriend having sex with another man (breasts are glimpsed). A mind-altering substance is used in two scenes, and a little boy gets a shot after a severe allergic reaction.
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What's the story?
Dave (Alexander England) is a lost soul in LITTLE MONSTERS (2019). He probably won't survive a terrible breakup; his music career is definitely not happening; and he's stuck on the couch at his disapproving sister's home. Only his 5-year-old nephew Felix (a wonderfully natural Diesel la Torraca) can stand to be around him. But a visit to Felix's kindergarten classroom changes everything for Dave. It's there that he sees Miss Caroline (Lupita Nyong'o), an astonishingly sensitive teacher who is as smart and warmhearted as she is talented. She sings and plays music; she's uber empathetic; her students adore her. Smitten, Dave offers to accompany the class on the next day's field trip to Pleasant Valley Farm, which doubles as an amusement park. Even better, the class visit coincides with a special appearance by a children's media personality, Teddy McGiggle (Josh Gad). Unfortunately for all involved, Pleasant Valley is situated next to a U.S. military base conducting scientific work that goes terribly wrong. Zombies emerge from the facility, destroying dozens of service men and women, and soon, almost everybody at Pleasant Valley, including other field trippers. The only class that avoids capture is Miss Caroline's. With almost no resources, it's up to Miss Caroline and Dave (with Teddy McGiggle along for the wild ride) to save the day.
Is it any good?
With another fantastic performance by Lupita Nyongo'o, Josh Gad at his most hilarious as a foul-mouthed media star, and dozens of gore-filled action sequences, what else could a zombie fan ask for? If the answer is a gaggle of kid actors who are both adorable and gifted, all prayers are answered. Little Monsters, written and directed by Abe Forsythe with great gusto and wit, is set in Australia, and produced with skill and high spirits. Raunchy and extremely violent, it's not for kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in Little Monsters. Does the fact that it's meant to be funny as well as suspenseful make it easier to watch? How much is too much? At what age do you feel that teens are ready for the exaggerated horror sequences? What determines that?
Talk about the extreme profanity in Little Monsters. Does the fact that it's meant to be funny make it less offensive? How much is too much? Does it make you wonder how the child actors in Little Monsters were affected?
Zombie movies are hugely popular. What is it about the genre that makes it so appealing? To kids? To adults?
- On DVD or streaming: October 11, 2019
- Cast: Lupita Nyong'o, Josh Gad, Alexander England
- Director: Abe Forsythe
- Studio: Hulu
- Genre: Horror
- Topics: Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: Bloody zombie violence, crude sexual content, language throughout, and brief drug use
- Last updated: May 21, 2020
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