How about a lighter post today? I allot myself two hours to watch a horror film for this month-long challenge. Usually, the films I watch are rated for adults. However, as a mom of two, I realize that I am raising my children to appreciate scary movies, and I often have to found movies that aren’t too objectionable. So, that often leads me to PG-13 or less fare for myself and my six year-old, with the occasional R-rated film watched by my fourteen year-old.
Thus, we had a family movie night. We watched a film classic that is family-friendly. Yes, I understand that there’s some mild language and some content that is questionable. But, overall, it’s family fare compared to what’s out there now.
I present to you: 1987’s “The Monster Squad”
I watched this film with my family when it premiered, and while I blushed at times, I thoroughly enjoyed it. As an eleven year-old, I must admit that I had sophisticated tastes when it came to horror films. Of course, that taste did not prevent me from having the ultimate consequence of watching said films – nightmares. But, I was willing to watch because I loved them. I think my mom brought this home to appease her parental duties, but to give me a restful night.
“The Monster Squad” is a film that pits the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Monsters against a rag-tag group of kids, hoping to save their small town from the promise of terror with their knowledge of horror films and characters. Club leader, Sean, finds a mysterious diary of Abraham Van Helsing (Do the math!) that describes of an amulet made of pure good. Sean finds out that once every century, the forces of good and evil balance, which makes the amulet fallible to destruction. Sean and his crew have to find the amulet and prevent evil from obtaining it.
Yet, as led by Dracula, rocking the prerequisite pimp suit from Transylvania ‘R Us, the legendary gang of classic horror monsters seeking to control the amulet so they can bring on world destruction. However, Frankenstein goes rogue and joins the kids as an official member when he proves that he’s not a menace to them. The obvious ensues. Terror strikes the town. Parents are up in arms and helpless. The kids are the only ones to save the day.
Honestly, I can say that this film still holds up, even though it’s dated by today’s standards. While there’s some mild cursing and adult content, parents, most of whom watched as kids, should spend one day before Halloween and watch with their families. They will enjoy it together as the parents wax nostalgic. I know I did. My boys laughed and hoped for the kids to reach their goal. I still enjoyed the sweet scenes with Frankenstein and the kids, especially Phoebe as well as seeing the Horace’s bully get his due. But, I still did not like Dracula calling Sean’s little sister, Phoebe a terrible name. I read somewhere that the actor playing him did not like having to say that line and winced when he did. That’s a great fact to know.
Thus, I recommend this film after all these years. So, for the kids, I will give it 8 out 10 . Sorry. There’s no bloody knives for this post. I have to keep it clean for one day!
Fun Fact About “The Monster Squad”: The original actors gathered at the Alamo Drafthouse (a movie theater) for two sold-out screenings in 2010.