Toys of Terror

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Toys of Terror Movie Poster Image
Violence, scares in cheesy, low-budget holiday horror.
  • R
  • 2020
  • 89 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

No positive messages in this horror movie. 

Positive Role Models

Diversity in the cast. Movie centered on a blended family. 


 Horror movie violence and imagery. Possessed dolls, toys, and video games from the 1970s and '80s cause death, car accidents, encourage suicide by jumping out of a third-story window of a house. Man impaled through the chest by a loose and sharp piece of hardwood flooring. Character stabbed to death. Blood. A Christmas tree attacks one of the characters, attempting to choke them with Christmas lights. Jump scares. 


During a climactic moment of the movie, character mutters "F--k Christmas." Also: "s--t," "goddamn," "damn," "hell." While losing at a video game, young boy yells "Dog balls!" then later yells "Balls!" Older sister calls younger brother a "loser." 


The toys, dolls, and video game system in the movie are similar to toys that were popular in the past. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A possessed toy growls that it's "time to drink and drive." 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Toys of Terror is a 2020 holiday horror movie in which a family spending Christmas in an isolated rehabbed mansion must contend with a group of murderous old toys. Horror imagery and violence. One of the characters gets impaled through the chest by a piece of hardwood flooring. A woman is stabbed to death before falling through a third-story window. One of the characters is attacked by a Christmas tree, choked by the lights. A car accident during a bad snowstorm. The toys, when not killing or attacking, encourage suicide by jumping out of a window. Jump scares throughout. Some profanity, including "f--k" during a climactic moment. While not as gory or violent as other horror movies, there's plenty of imagery that's likely to give younger and more sensitive viewers nightmares, making this best for older teens and up. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bywhat the fuck w... December 22, 2020

What in the f did i just watch

Decided to look this movie at 2 am scary mood ive never seen such monnstrocity of a movie the special effects if there were even used were so bad a junior it p... Continue reading
Adult Written byjlindycram December 27, 2020

ridiculous social justice with terror

2 white 1 black child wit 2 black parents what? Divorced but both parents black so children would look black not white..cheesy below budget effects poor acting... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byKatsuki.Bakugou December 12, 2020

It was an 'Ok' movie

It was just a crappy movie yes there was some language but other than that it was kinda dumb, the whole movie didn't even really make sense

What's the story?

In TOYS OF TERROR, Hannah has just closed on a secluded old mansion that she hopes to renovate and sell for tremendous profit. With her kids Zoe and Franklin, husband David, his teen daughter Alicia, and the kids' caretaker Rose, they decide to spend Christmas at the mansion. Upon arrival, they meet Emmett, the mansion's contractor, who tells them not to go up to the third floor, as it's still being rehabbed. As they settle in, Zoe and Franklin find a chest filled with old toys. Once out of the chest, the toys come to life, and they seem to possess Zoe and Franklin. After the toys lure the kids to the third floor, a near-fatal injury ensues, and David must drive Emmett to the hospital in spite of the blizzard that keeps everyone else stuck in the mansion. Meanwhile, the toys continue to wreak havoc, and Rose and Alicia begin to suspect that there are some very dark forces at work that Hannah knew about and didn't tell them. Soon, they learn about the mansion's dark past, and together they must find a way to put the toys back into the chest before anyone else is killed. 

Is it any good?

Toys of Terror is a cheesy, low-budget holiday horror movie constrained by the formulaic nature of the "haunted house" movie. While parents who were kids of the 1970s and '80s will have plenty of "Oh yeah, I remember..." moments when seeing these possessed toys that look similar to the popular toys of their childhoods, the kitsch of these toys turned psychotic doesn't quite carry the day. If anything, it suggests a missed opportunity for something with the potential to have been much more original than what it ended up being. The twists and turns to the story never break out of the mold, and the result comes across as something seen so many times before. 

On the plus side, there's a welcome diversity to the cast, and one of the subplots concerns a blended family where the parents and kids struggle with making the holidays work. However, like the kitschy toys, this also feels like a missed opportunity as the movie becomes too concerned with hitting plot points than working the blended family dynamic more into the action. Also, there's a caretaker of the kids who seems, in hindsight, to only exist for the purposes of the attempt at a "spooky epilogue." Toys of Terror will be enjoyable for those looking for a break from the standard saccharin holiday fare, but the result is ultimately disappointing and a wasted opportunity. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about horror movies. How does this compare to other horror movies in terms of suspense and violence? 

  • The movie is centered on a blended family. How does it address issues blended families may deal with during the holidays? 

  • While horror movies are often thought to be a part of Halloween, there are quite a few Christmas and holiday-themed horror movies. Why do you think that is?

Movie details

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