Monsterous Holiday

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Monsterous Holiday Movie Poster Image
Clever Halloween tale has fun with science, stereotypes.
  • NR
  • 2013
  • 44 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids will get exposure to safety rules regarding science experiments in a school and lab setting as well as on how NOT to conduct science experiments.

Positive Messages

Brains can outsmart brawn. Science is fun. It's important to stick with something even when it's not working. It's OK to ask for help. Details matter. Safety is important.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Parents are engaged and present, with a special focus on a caring, expressive father. Kids are realistically concerned with fitting in, doing what's right, and being good enough. And kids work to overcome stereotypes about differences.

Violence & Scariness

There's a bit of minor, cartoonish violence of the don't-try-this-at-home variety, such as a minor explosion in the garage from Andy's latest experiment, which results in a burning ember in his hair that's quickly put out. In another scene, there are a few near misses when he almost sideswipes a car on his jet-fueled bike invention that careens out of control. Elsewhere, multiple lab experiments (unsupervised) result in orange gooey matter exploded everywhere and the creation of a giant mold monster. Overall, there's a spooky Transylvanian setting with frequent lightning, shadows, and fright.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Monsterous Holiday features minimal violence or scariness, but what's there is not to be encouraged -- there are a lot of unsupervised lab experiments involving electricity, unsuspecting fruit, and explosive goo. Parents will want to reinforce the safety risks inherent in experimenting for fun, while still encouraging the delightful pro-science, pro-intellectual-curiosity attitude in this flick that has a lot of fun with the Halloween spirit.

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bysmoshLOL691 October 31, 2013

Uh...give me a break!

I don't bother about this movie, EVER!

What's the story?

Andy (Drake Bell) is a good kid who "accidentally explodes a lot of things." He needs a new project for the upcoming science fair but is having trouble making any experiments work. His father signs him up for football, and his mother (Brooke Shields) encourages him to pursue both interests. When he asks his neighbor, the brilliant, reclusive Dr. Frankenstein (Jon Heder) to help, he finds the doctor's creation, a monster named Frank, a teenager he finds he has a lot in common with. They devise a plan: Frank takes his spot on the team, and Andy gets to use the lab. Unfortunately, Andy's project turns out to be too scary for its own good, and now he must save the town from his own invention: a giant monster!

Is it any good?

MONSTEROUS HOLIDAY pulls off some really smart tensions -- between brains and brawn, between lonerism and community, between isolation and teamwork. It works out notions of differentness and fitting in, and, instead of having the characters resort to typical cliquishness, the book finds a way to bring seemingly disparate groups together toward common ground. It does this against a backdrop of spooky Frankenstein Halloween spirit that's gooey, pro-science, and self-aware. 

Kids who love science, creepy crawlies, and Halloween will have a blast with this film, and parents can appreciate so many smart lessons layered in without fanfare.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about safety with science. What are some rules for conducting science experiments safely?

  • Andy struggles between fitting in with his football-loving father and getting better at his favorite subject, science. Have you ever felt torn between activities? How did you choose?

  • The movie plays around with the idea of being smart versus being physically fit. Can you be only one or the other? Is it possible to work on your brain and your body? Which do you like doing more, and why?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love Halloween

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