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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Monsterland is about processing trauma and grief, though things rarely work out well for the characters.
Positive Role Models
Characters in Monsterland are typically persevering through great adversity when we meet them, but don't necessarily make moral or ethical choices throughout each episode.
Violence & Scariness
Monsterland uses violence to shock and upset the audience in a wide variety of ways: a teenage girl is forcefully drowned, a man cuts someone's face off with a knife, a man assaults a small child, a child appears covered in blood, etc.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Monsterland features various forms of sexual content: a woman appears in her underwear, a man and woman shower together, teens attempt a home abortion, etc.
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Profanity includes "f--k," "s--t," bitch," "p---y," etc.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. No drug use is shown.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Monsterland is an eight-part drama anthology series that uses horror tropes and set-ups to explore human struggles and topical issues. It's framed as a "monster-of-the-week" type of show, but monsters actually play a smaller role than expected. Episodes instead focus on people who are struggling with issues like grief, trauma, illness, and poverty. The show features a wide variety of violence and sexual content. A teenage girl is forcefully drowned, a man cuts someone's face off with a knife, a man assaults a small child, teens attempt a home abortion, a woman appears in her underwear, a man and woman shower together, and more. Profanity is frequently used, including the "F" word and misogynisitic uses of "bitch" and "p---y." Episodes often end abruptly, so that consequences of the character's violent or amoral actions are not seen. Monsterland is being promoted as part of Hulu's Halloween programming, but it has very little in common with the horror genre or monster movies. Instead, it's an extremely bleak drama with some mild sci-fi elements.
Is It Any Good?
Modern horror movies often use their monsters as a metaphor for day-to-day struggles, like overcoming grief and trauma. Monsterland takes the opposite approach. Everyday struggles are the main focus of the anthology series, while monsters take on an elusive, metaphorical role. Sometimes you barely see them at all. So, while Monsterland promises a sort of horror anthology version of, say, Black Mirror, it doesn't really deliver any spooky delights, scary creatures, or anything someone would reasonably expect from a Halloween show. Instead, the viewer is mostly left with an incredibly bleak vision of contemporary America, inspiring way more dread than fright.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.