Prank Encounters

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Prank Encounters TV Poster Image
Uneven but fun prank show can be brutal, has cursing.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 8 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The pranks feature lots of made-up stories, but overall the series is designed to scare people for laughs. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Host Matarazzo and the actors have a good laugh after it's over. Most of the victims are good sports about it after the shock wears off. 

Violence

Pranks range from spooks by Bigfoot-like beings to murderers, surgeries gone wrong, and other bloody events. Conversations include references to dead people, including children. Lots of screaming as a result. 

Sex
Language

Cursing ("s--t," "f--k") is sometimes audible. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some pranks feature actors pretending to be nurses and medicating people. References are made to drugs like morphine and fentanyl. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Prank Encounters is a hidden-camera series hosted by Stranger Things' Gaten Matarazzo that features people being terrorized during well-orchestrated pranks. There's lots of violent (albeit fictitious) events, ranging from attacks from monster-type beings to people being murdered or found dead. Blood and gore is often visible, and there's a discussion about the death of a child. When people get pranked, they often respond with lots of screaming and strong cursing including "s--t" and "f--k." Some gags include the simulated administration of narcotics. There's definitely a conversation to be had between parents and kids about pranks in general, and when they can go too far. 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymoviefan12456 November 11, 2019

you cant blame me

if you have a near fearless child watch this and if you have a little shaker let em wait 1 yr or 2
Adult Written byRonnam1 November 3, 2019

Ok, but looks scripted

This is an OK Netflix show. It has some cussing, but nothing that a mature 12 year old can't handle. Not really that funny. The pranks look fake and are ki... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bytien.17 September 18, 2020

Funny, Brutal at some points

I literally love this show!! It is so funny, but has a TON of swearing, and a bit of gore and blood. I'm not too far into the show yet, but I love it so fa... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byMusiclovergig July 24, 2020

Good

Tamer than most hidden camera shows, and possibly the only watchable hidden camera show.

What's the story?

PRANK ENCOUNTERS is a hidden-camera show that places people in their own personal tale of horror. Stranger Things' Gaten Matarazzo sets up elaborate pranks with the help of actors, "hiring" two unsuspecting victims to do jobs at two separate locations. As the events unfold, the two complete strangers cross paths, and find themselves having to deal with some weird and scary circumstances together. Matarazzo follows all the events from a remote location, but reveals himself at the height of the fray. 

Is it any good?

This fun but uneven comedy series gets its laughs by showing how unsuspecting people react to the weird, outlandish, and downright freaky events they are made to face while doing what they believe is their job. The gags are well developed, but a few unfold a bit slowly, and others seem more goofy than scary. While some of the victims of these hijinks seem truly overwhelmed by what is happening, others don't appear as convinced. Nonetheless, Prank Encounters has its share of funny moments and is amusing enough to keep prank lovers entertained. There's definitely a conversation to be had with kids about pranks in general, and when they can go too far. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about pulling pranks on people. How do you know when you're being funny, and when you're taking it too far? 

  • How much time and organization does each gag featured on Prank Encounters require in order for it to go smoothly? What is the hardest part of each prank to pull off? 

TV details

  • Premiere date: October 26, 2019
  • Cast: Gaten Matarazzo
  • Network: Netflix
  • Genre: Comedy
  • TV rating: TV-MA
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: March 13, 2020

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