Monster High: Scaris, City of Frights

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Monster High: Scaris, City of Frights Movie Poster Image
Fashion-focused tale with strong messages, products to sell.
  • NR
  • 2015
  • 61 minutes

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Using fashion design as the art form, the film encourages artistic expression. Reminds that there's room for more than one voice or creative vision in any art. Imagination and originality "can take you anywhere." 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Monster High ghouls are loyal, open-hearted, fun-loving, and resourceful. The ethnically diverse female characters are drawn with curvy bodies (long legs, pronounced breasts) and doe eyes, and, not withstanding their individualized monster characteristics (fangs, a ghost-like appearance), all are traditionally beautiful. They wear very short skirts and high heels; some clothing is skimpy and revealing. Villain here is an older, successful fashion designer who preys on the innocence and creativity of the leading characters.

Violence & Scariness

Not very scary. A few of the monsters the girls encounter -- abominable snowman, yeti, sea serpent -- might be frightening for very little kids, but after a few growls and some thrashing, they inflict no harm. Mild cartoon action includes an animal stampede; good-guy monsters imprisoned; a plane explosion; a hot-air balloon burning; characters plummeting into a pool; and a wild cycle ride. No resulting injuries. 

Sexy Stuff

Some hugs and brief kisses between established Monster High couples. Unrealistic body types.


Promotes an extensive Mattel line of dolls, clothes, toys, games, TV specials, and other merchandise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Monster High: Scaris, City of Frights is a fashion-focused entry in this popular, heavily marketed brand for girls. The curvaceous, high-heeled teens take their first European trip, headed to "Scaris" for a stylin' good time. The travel aspect of this story has launched a whole new genre of products for purchase; all the regulars now have travel clothes, travel accessories, and Parisian-inspired Mattel merchandise. The ghouls wear very short skirts and high heels; some clothing is skimpy and revealing. There's nothing really scary in this story, except for a few of the usual fang-toothed or growling beasts, which turn out to be friendly. Only very young or highly sensitive kids will have trouble with the villain and cartoon action here. This story was originally a 2013 TV special, and to give the DVD a one-hour running time, Playground Productions has added a 15-minute filler story about a few of the girls on an obstacle-filled trip back to the U.S.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 7 years old July 21, 2015

What's the story?

MONSTER HIGH: SCARIS, CITY OF FRIGHTS takes Clawdeen Wolf (Salli Saffioti) and some of her BFFs out of school for an adventure in the fashion capital of the world. Clawdeen's design submissions have made her one of the three finalists for an apprenticeship to fashion-design icon Madame Ghostier (Cindy Robinson). But all is not as it seems; Madame Ghostier has a more sinister plan afoot. In the midst of the competition, the other "ghouls" take in the sights of the city, and Frankie Stein tries to help Rochelle Goyle find her long-lost first love, who seems to have disappeared from the Scarisian map. Meanwhile, back at Monster High, Clawd Wolf and Deuce Gorgon desperately miss their "ghoulfriends," so they take off after them, with Heath Burns along for the ride. When Madame Ghostier's malevolent ambition puts Clawdeen in terrible danger, it's up to the rest of the gang to keep both the design "ghoul" and her artistic freedom out of harm's way. 

Is it any good?

It's refreshing to see high school girls treat each other with respect and empathy, but let's be honest: fashion is the not-so-subtle focus of this Monster High entry. The filmmakers have found a formidable way to tap into young girls' love of clothes, shoes, hairdos, and style. So that's what the story is about, along with the introduction of a few new likable ghouls, Jinafire Long and Skelita Calaveras, who join the gang with opportunities to purchase those new dolls as well as all the regular dolls in "travel" attire. And travel it is, as fans watch the girls take in the sights and sounds of Scaris, City of Frights, a place that looks and sounds a lot like Paris, City of Lights. The messages here encourage artistic freedom as a means of expressing oneself and promote staying true to yourself in spite of outside influences.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can discuss the emphasis on friendship in all the Monster High stories. The characters are almost always respectful of their differences and the uniqueness of each player's look and personality. Are you always as accepting of differences among your friends? Do the "ghouls" seem like positive role models?

  • Why do you think the Monster High specials and DVDs continually introduce new characters? How does creating travel experiences for the Monster gang increase sales potential for the companies that license and sell all things Monster High?

  • Monster High is noted for its comic puns, such as "ghouls" for "girls." Look up the word "pun." What are the puns in this movie's title?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love scares

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate