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The Monster Squad Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

Goofy monster mash with a touch of negative 'tude.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while most of the movie is good Scooby-Doo-style fun, it also has an undercurrent of intolerance. In addition to Dracula and the Wolfman, the movie sets up the boogeymen of the day: gay men, fat people, and girls who want to be included in a boys club. There's also lots of cartoonish violence that, while completely unrealistic, is likely to scare younger kids. Sean's parents are also going to a marriage counselor and fight loudly where Sean can hear them. And while Rudy protects Horace from getting bullied, he's also not someone to look up to -- he drinks and smokes. The kids also swear quite a bit and call their teacher and other kids "faggot."

  • Families can talk about cartoonish violence vs. the real thing. How do you differentiate the two? What makes the cartoonish kind fun to watch in this movie?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Boys call one another "faggot" as a menacing insult. Sean says a teacher was "fully homo-ing out." Horace is bullied for being fat, and several kids call him Fat Kid. Sean tells Phoebe, when she insists on membership in the all-boy monster squad, that she's creating "reverse discrimination."

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Considerable cartoonish violence: vampires are staked in the heart, a mummy comes unraveled, the Wolfman is blown apart repeatedly and puts himself together again, kids get beat up and threatened by bullies and monsters, Gill Man crushes a man's head, people and monsters are shot at, a hearse driver and police officer are killed.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Rudy uses binoculars to stair at a girl through her window. She's shown in various states of undress. It's implied that Frankenstein accidentally snaps a picture of her naked. Lots of talk about whether a girl is a virgin.

  • language false3

    Language: Some swearing, mostly by kids, including "asshole," "son of a bitch," "holy s--t," "hell," "godamn," "tits," "chicken-s--t," and "bitch" (said to a little girl).

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Kids drink Pepsi, talk about Twinkies and Burger King, and visit Fox photos.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Rudy, who is in middle school, is the cool kid who also smokes cigarettes. Sean's dad smokes. Rudy drinks a beer.

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