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Little Monsters Blu-ray Review

“Little Monsters” is a fun kidventure horror comedy.

Before “Monsters Inc.” delved into a similar subject matter there was 1989’s “Little Monsters.” The Richard Alan Greenberg directed children’s horror comedy movie revolves around a family moving to Boston. The family is having troubles all around as the parents are arguing, their eldest song Brian is lonely, and their young son Eric is seeing monsters. To prove monsters don’t exist (and to make cash off a bet), Brian decides to stay in Eric’s room where he does in fact see a blue monster named Maurice. Moreover, he even befriends him and is eventually taken to another world full of monsters and magic. As Brian gets caught up in hijinks of this new world (and the job of monsters), he discovers that he is turning into a monster himself the longer he stays there. Worse still, the evil monster that runs the place (Boy) ends up having Brian’s bro Eric kidnapped.

Back in 1989, I actually saw “Little Monsters” in the theater as a child so I was curious to revisit it however many years later since I last rewatched it. Despite clearly being influenced by “Beetlejuice,” “Little Monsters” is a flawed but entertaining horror comedy. 

As someone who is always advocating to see more horror aimed at kids, “Little Monsters” really hits all the right notes in that department. It had a fresh take on the age old “monsters under the bed” legend, creative looking monster designs, a relatively edgy script by Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott, some dark and cartoonish humor, and a good dose of creepy moments that aren’t too scary. As an added bonus, you even get some strong messages about responsibilities, friendship, and family thrown in for good measure. It’s no wonder then that the film has become a bit of a cult classic over the years. Yes, that may largely be due to nostalgia, but I’m hoping the movie finds a new audience even today.

“Little Monsters” is certainly not without its problems though as the script does fall apart in the end. The “villain” comes late in the movie and feels shoehorned in. It’s like the writers slapped together a conflict at the last minute to give the movie some dramatic stakes and it shows in the end product. It would have been nice to see more about this fiendish ruler Boy as we barely see him at all. Really, more world building as a whole would have been welcomed.

Speaking of the characters, this movie has quite the cast. Howdie Mandel stars as Maurice, Fred Savage plays Brian while his brother Ben Savage (of “Boy Meets World” fame) actually plays his brother Eric in this too! Rounding out the cast is Daniel Stern as Brian and Eric’s father, Margaret Whitton (best known from “Major League”) as their mother, Frank Whaley as Boy, and Devin Ratray (before he played Buzz in “Home Alone”) as a bully named Ronnie.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? The digitally restored film has been given a quality upgrade that maintains the grit and grain of the original print.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The audio is a bit snowy but adequate enough.
Extras:
* Digital copy
* Theatrical trailer, VHS promo and EPK
* Isolated score selections with audio interviews with composer David Newman.
* Vintage interviews with Fred Savage, Ben Savage, director Richard Alan Greenberg and special make-up effects creator Robert Short.
* Newly recorded interviews with Howie Mandel, producer Andrew Licht, and the aforementioned Robert Short.
* “Making Maurice”- A behind-the-scenes look at Howie Mandel’s make-up work
* “Behind-The-Scenes Footage”- 11 ½ minutes of vintage behind-the-scenes footage
* Still gallery
* Commentary by the editor of the Cult Of Monster website Jarret Gahan.

September 23, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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