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Monster Family (2018) - Movie Review

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Monster Family - Movie Review

1 star

German writer David Safier’s book, Happy Family, serves as the basis for this largely unsuccessful animated kids movie.  Okay, okay, so the team of three bats are sort of funny in a very limited way but, trust me, that’s it.  There’s a high probability that your young one might not even giggle during this flick.  Monster Family is a dud. 

The source material – while brilliant in its book form – is not quite suitable for kids, mind you, but that hasn’t stopped Viva Pictures from trying to restructure its themes and repackage them as kid friendly entertainment in this week’s release of Monster Family.  The genius in the original narrative has been neutered in such a way that the scraps that are left just don’t work.  It comes across as creepy instead of charming.  To say that the filmmakers missed their intended target with this release is an understatement.    

This film has been gutted of what makes the book’s spirited voice so unique.

The animated comedy is forced to an unbearable level as Count Dracula (Jason Isaacs) makes goo-goo eyes at struggling bookstore owner Emma Wishbone (Emily Watson), who already has a dysfunctional family as it is.  First, there is her overworked husband, Frank (Nick Frost) and then there are the kids: Jessica Brown Findlay as their daughter, Fay, and Ethan Rouse as Max, a boy genius. 

No one is able to make the family click.   

That’s about to change when, on their way to a Halloween costume party, Baba (Catherine Tate), an evil (ish) witch curses the family and they become their outfits.  Literally.  Frank gets turned into Frankenstein.  Fay becomes a Mummy.  Max becomes a werewolf.  And Emma becomes a sexy vampire.  And Dracula is immediately smitten.  Talk about love at first bite.

Dracula cares nothing about Emma’s family; he just doesn’t get humans.  He wants to bite the neck of Emma and suck her completely dry.  Join me and live forever, he coos.  And, truly, it is tempting for a bit….

This British-German production is completely lost with half-baked ideas .  While it seems to be aiming for the whole Hotel Transylvania crowd, it completely fails to deliver a product that is wholly its own.  Even the animation seems a bit weak.  Personally, I never cared once about ANY of these characters.  Not even for a few seconds.  And that’s a travesty when you consider the source material. 

Director Holger Tappe settles for cheap gags (Frank farts a lot) instead of giving people a reason to care.  Too much of this tale is flimsy.  We get silly chase sequences that fail to register.  Poor dubbing and a wonky animation style that screams “CHEAP” without any sense of its own style. 

Monster Family is exactly that: one big hairy mess.

Monster Family - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG for some rude humor and thematic elements.
96 mins
: Holger Tappe
David Safier, Catharina Junk
Emily Watson, Jason Isaacs, Nick Frost
: Family | Horror | Animation
Exclusively on DirecTV January 4thy.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Anything on four legs stays on a leash."
Viva Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
February 9, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: Despite the title, the Wishbone family are far from happy. In an attempt to reconnect as a family, Mum and Emma plan a fun night out. However, her plan backfires when an evil witch curses them, and they're all turned into Monsters..

No details available.

Monster Family - Movie Review

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