Freak Encounters

TV review by
Will Wade, Common Sense Media
Freak Encounters TV Poster Image
Mythical monsters attack real people in mediocre prank show.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 16+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show's purpose is to trick unsuspecting people and scare them.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The people behind these devious pranks put a lot of effort into staging these faux attacks. They are complicated and clever, and generally well-executed. That doesn't necessarily mean pulling these kinds of tricks are good ideas.

Violence

Some sequences feature simulated attacks by mythical monsters where people get genuinely terrified. Other scenes show dead, bloody animals that appear to have been violently mauled by strange creatures.

Sex
Language

Some bleeped language.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality series discusses mythological creatures that are scary in some way -- giant snakes, werewolves, killer worms, devils, etc. On top of the scary subject matter, the show involves pranks where unsuspecting victims are tricked into thinking they are being attacked by one of these monsters. Though the attacks don’t look very realistic, the victims’ fear is palpable (and bleeped language sometimes results from these attacks). Teens will probably like the combination of dark humor and strange creatures.

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What's the story?

Ordinary people volunteer to participate in an ambiguous research project in FREAK ENCOUNTERS, unaware that they are actually about to be duped into thinking their team is being attacked by a mysterious beast. The show introduces a variety of legendary creatures, and includes interviews with experts who explain what these monsters might be like and how much damage they could inflict on a person. Then it’s back to the elaborate practical jokes, where an escalating series of clues -- claw marks, slaughtered raccoons, etc. – ratchet up the tension. Finally comes the fake attack, which usually generates very real terror from the victim.

Is it any good?

Freak Encounters combines two reality genres: the practical joke and the mythical investigation. One of these is done well. The pranks are well-planned and well-executed, and the victims are usually completely fooled. Their real sense of fear is compelling to watch, as is their obvious relief when they realize they are not about to get mauled by a monster. The educational component is less interesting. The experts describe legendary beasts, some less well-known than others, with plenty of guesswork. Sure, that’s to be expected in a show about myths, but this section of the program just feels underdeveloped.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about practical jokes. Do you think these kinds of pranks are funny? How easy is it to stage a good one? Have you ever participated in such a prank? Has anyone ever pulled a prank on you? Can these pranks ever go to far?

  • Talk about fear. How does this show try to make viewers feel scared? Do you believe any of the legendary monsters that are featured on this show might be real? If so, what makes you believe that?

  • Why would someone agree to go on a show like this? Would you ever want to be on a reality show? What if you ended up looking silly on the show? Do you think the people on this show end up looking silly?

TV details

For kids who love to be scared

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