Girl vs. Monster

Common Sense Media says

Fun family Halloween flick has some frightful moments.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

The movie intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive messages

It's hard to avoid the story's message about conquering fears, which are repeated in the dialogue at nearly every turn. Examples of friendship and family bonds are strong as well, and there's a minor subplot that observes the transition of a mean girl into a less snooty, friendlier version of herself. A teen's defiance of her parents' rules has drastic (although hardly likely) consequences, and she has to set things right for everyone's sake. 

Positive role models

Skylar's parents withhold a secret from her that puts her in danger, but they do it for what they consider to be good reasons. She disobeys her parents, but has to deal with the consequences. She and her friends have to face their fears to conquer the monsters and save the day, and they find that once they've done that, their newfound confidence spills over into other parts of their lives as well.

Violence & scariness

Monster hunters use ray guns and containment units to capture monsters, who are seen as clouds of smoke, disembodied heads, and finally fully bodied people. Characters are often in peril as they face down the creatures or are threatened by them. Multiple chase scenes in which monsters trail terrified teens. In some cases they possess people or inanimate objects like trees.

Sexy stuff

A sweet crush develops between two teens who have been friends for a long time, but there's no physical contact.

Language

No cursing, but some name-calling like "idiot" and "stupid," plus "shut up."

Consumerism

The movie makes good use of its musical star, incorporating a few sure-to-please pop songs (which are for sale) into the story.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Girl vs. Monster is a comical, light-hearted Halloween movie that is appropriate for most kids. Save for a few surprises that might get your youngsters' hearts racing, the content isn't apt to frighten kids, and the story is comical enough that yours won't take the monsters too seriously. Watch for examples of the characters challenging their fear and gaining a newfound inner strength by doing so, as well as some heartwarming moments that celebrate friendship and families. If your kids are familiar with other Disney shows, they'll likely recognize the core of Disney alum stars, and they may find a new favorite song in one of the two performed in the movie by Olivia Holt.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

GIRL VS. MONSTER centers on 15-year-old Skylar (Olivia Holt), a typical teen who bemoans her parents' strict rules about curfew. Even worse, they forbid her to leave her house on Halloween night when the greatest party of all time is happening in a decrepit nearby mansion and her dreamy classmate Ryan (Luke Benward) has asked her to sing with his band onstage. But when she rebels and sneaks out to go to the party with her friends Sadie (Kerris Dorsey) and Henry (Brendan Meyer), she inadvertently sets free a collection of monsters her parents had contained in the basement, including the immortal Deimata (Tracy Dawson), who has her sights set on revenge against Skylar's family. Suddenly Skylar must come to terms with the fact that her parents lead a secret life, that she herself is a fifth-generation monster hunter, and that it will take all of her courage to face down fear and recapture Deimata and her gang.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Girl vs. Monster is a fun choice for families who like Halloween thrills without the slasher-style blood spills. Its violence is limited to ray guns that reel in monsters and some sticky situations that are equal parts peril and comedy. Likely the jumpiest moments for kids (and perhaps parents) are the surprises that lurk in the shadows -- trees that spring to life, floating heads that appear out of nowhere, and the maniacal Deimata who possesses Skylar's friends in an effort to get close enough to scare the wits out of her. It might mean you have to snuggle a little closer to your kids on the couch, but they probably won't suffer any sleep deprivation over the light-hearted scares.

More than likely what your kids will get out of the story -- especially with some help from you -- is a fun-filled lesson in the joys of conquering your fears. Skylar and her friends have to do just that to save Skylar's family from Deimata's clutches, and kids will recognize that while it's not an easy thing to do, it has long-lasting benefits for those who manage to see it through. While you're at it, don't miss the opportunity to remind your kids that your family rules exist for a reason, and that breaking them can have serious -- and less humorous -- consequences as well.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about facing fear. What are some of your greatest fears? Have you ever tried to face them down? How do you foresee your life might be better if you could eliminate a few of your fears?

  • Kids: Do you recognize any of the stars of this movie from other Disney shows? If so, which ones? Did your familiarity with them encourage you to watch this movie?

  • How does your family make clear its rules? Are there any that you think are too strict? Parents can use this time to refresh some of their basic house rules and discuss what might be some possible repercussions of breaking them.

This review of Girl vs. Monster was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Educator and Parent Written byPointy-a-parent December 17, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

For skeptical parents, both with positive and negative points

Hi Families, I'm Pointy a parent and teacher, When I first watched Girl vs Monster I a little skeptical, but it turned out pretty good, though that's only my opinion. In my reviews I always put what parents want to know. We all raise our kids differently so here are the reasons why you might want to watch it first, like I did, or watch it with them. Or maybe it won't matter if you let them watch it by themselves. 1) The Language is not terrible, though I would of course never let my child say any of it. Besides most of it is from the villains. Words like idiot, shut up, stupid and dumb are used, but only from the bad guys. 2) Is there any sexy stuff? Well...one of the main characters, Ryan, has had a crush on Skylar (another main character) for a long time and is afraid to ask her out. Finally though he does and she says yes. Though other than that nothing, no physical contact or words really are used, other than a song. 3) Violence, the main characters are in peril most of the movie also the monsters are shot at with laser guns. Also some characters chased, held hostage, and dangle from on top of a roof. Plus there are some scary part, no gore, just startling parts were monsters chase, pop out of no where and fly around making sounds. 4) Skylar is a good role model, she's independent, strong and most of the movie fearless. She keeps her friend's hope up. 5) The message is very good. The whole theme of the movie is too be without fear. To overcome your fear. At the end they all overcome their fears. Another thing you might want to know is how the characters dance. In some parts they are dancing with questionable movements, but nothing really bad. Most of the negative facts I stated are only knowledgeable to parents because kids wouldn't pay attention to them. Over all it's a good movie. Though like I said it has some starling parts and a crush. But not much more. For more reviews like this one check out most of the Disney movies and TV shows, and most children's books. Just look for my name at the top or bottom of a review. ~Pointy
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byEthanCH October 12, 2012
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Well written.

The story tells you to face up to your fears, and it also has great role models to follow. This movie is probably a new hit for Disney Channel.
Kid, 10 years old July 22, 2013
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

ok

personally I like the movie because it teaches you how to fight your fears, for example Skylar had no fears but then she started having fears and she got over them
What other families should know
Educational value

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