Girl vs. Monster

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Girl vs. Monster TV Poster Image
Fun family Halloween flick has some frightful moments.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 13 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

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 & Representations

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.


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


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

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byPointy-a-parent December 17, 2013

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'... Continue reading
Parent of a 2, 9, and 12-year-old Written bycremepie998 February 10, 2013

Great Movie With Few Scary Scenes

Through Disney Channel's original movie, Girl vs Monster, they send positive messages like "Face your fears." The movie itself isn't the lea... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byScreennameGirl November 4, 2012

Girl Vs. Monster, an OK movie

This is a movie about how a girl deals with her fears on Halloween night. The movie might be a bit scary for some children because in this movie monster hunters... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byShowman movie13 July 19, 2021

A bit scary, and a bit of a fun movie

This movie was a fun movie, but really this movie is like a "kid" horror movie. It was scary (like 3/10) at some points -- nothing young ones can... Continue reading

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?

This 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 Girl vs. Monster -- 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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about facing fears in Girl vs. Monster. 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.

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Halloween fun

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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