Monster High: Frights, Camera, Action!



Monster adventure is overly concerned with teen crushes.
  • Review Date: April 2, 2014
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 74 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

These characters are all about teamwork, friendship, and inclusion. They don't discriminate against one another based on what kind of monster they are or what they look like.

Positive role models

Draculaura stands up for her belief in the fact that the queen of the vampires is out there somewhere. The girls help Draculaura find the missing vampire queen even though it would be a lot easier (and safer) for them just to stay at school.

Violence & scariness

Although they are made to look attractive, these characters are still monsters and may frighten or confuse very young children. The interim head of the vampires is greedy and tries to force Draculaura to marry him.

Sexy stuff

Since the characters are high-school-aged, it's no surprise that there is more mention of romance, boyfriends, and celebrity crushes than in other elementary-targeted media with younger characters. A few of the students are paired up as couples who hold hands, hug, and even kiss. Two of the girls are obsessed with competing male actors in a fictional love triangle. They keep talking about how much dreamier and "hot" their pick is and even have a "cute court" to determine which guy is better.


Some name-calling language like "phony," "stupid," "cray-cray," "blind," and "freak," as well as "shut up."


This movie is based on a toy line from Mattel, and the characters have previously starred in TV specials, movies, and a web series. There is also an accompanying set of books about the doll characters written by Lisi Harrison.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Monster High: Frights, Camera, Action! is a movie based on the Mattel toy line of adolescent monster dolls, books, games, and other merchandise -- as well as TV specials and a web series. Because they're high school students, some of the Monster High characters are preoccupied with celebrity crushes and have boyfriends/girlfriends. Several times, someone says a celebrity is "hot," and the couples hold hands, hug, and briefly kiss. The language is fairly mild but does include some name-calling like "stupid," "cray-cray," "loser." Parents concerned with unrealistic body issues may not appreciate the way the Monster High characters are mostly tiny-waisted waifs with perfect hair, big eyes, and noticeable makeup or super handsome jock-ish looking guys.

What's the story?

Draculaura (voiced by Sue Swan) is tired of the popular Vampire Majesty movies all her friends are obsessed with -- particularly the way actress Veronica Van Vamp depicts vampire royalty (her family used to be part of the court). In a surreal coincidence, Draculaura is informed she is the only surviving heir to the vampire throne, but on the eve of her coronation in Transylvania, she discovers the rightful heir is missing and somehow connected to Veronica Van Vamp. She and her Monster High besties head to Hollyweird to uncover the truth. Meanwhile, the teens left behind at school hold a "cute court" to once and for all decide which vampire actor is the best-looking celeb of all.

Is it any good?


These monsters have a similar look to the Bratz -- they have huge doe-eyed, prettily glossed lips and shadowed eyes, and fashionista figures -- but they also have the more interesting twist of being monsters. Because the characters are teenagers, they tend to be focused on adolescent issues like romance and friendship drama, so this movie's plot is really for upper elementary. The plot, at least, is actually pretty funny, as it clearly spoofs on real pop culture, like the Twilight craze and the fervor with which fans debate which suitor they support in fictional love triangles.

But the overarching story about Draculaura's search for the real vampire heir may not interest kids as much as the silly debate between the girls back at school about who is the hotter Veronica Van Camp boyfriend --  Edweird of Alucord. Because of the way the girls fight and get upset over their celebrity crushes, it's hard to recommend this for young girls who really shouldn't be concerned with boyfriends and celebrity romances yet. But for existing fans of the dolls, this movie at least provides a somewhat amusing story to follow.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how common it is for toys and dolls to have accompanying movies (Barbie, American Girl, etc.). Are you OK seeing movies about toys without getting/wanting the actual toys?

  • How do the Monster High girls represent different backgrounds or cultures? What is the movie trying to say about friendship? Should how someone looks or where they come from keep you from being their friend?

  • How familiar are you with the Monster High characters? Do you prefer the movies, TV specials, or books about them?

Movie details

DVD release date:March 25, 2014
Cast:Kate Higgins, Karen Strassman, Sue Swan
Director:William Lau
Studio:Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Friendship, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Run time:74 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Monster High: Frights, Camera, Action! was written by

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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