Monster High: Ghouls Rule (2012)

Rating: *
Review Date: 10/20/12
Cast: Kate Higgins, Laura Bailey

Embarrassingly scripted and disappointingly immature. Mattel's Monster High toy line is essentially a goth variation of Bratz, only much cuter. The characters represent the adolescent daughters of famous monsters, like Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, the Mummy, and the Werewolf, although they range in age from 16 days to 1600 years. They all attend high school at Monster High, where they spend their time pining over boys and trying to look as fabulous as possible. In this adventure, Frankie Stein (Kate Higgins) is experiencing her first Halloween, only the "normies" are making a mess of it. Escalating pranks cause the citizens of New Salem to form an angry mob and hunt the monsters down, and only some fancy party dresses can save the day.

While the animated web episodes are fun and cute, the characters lose all of their charm and cuteness in the move to CGI. Apart from Frankie, the characters are annoying, the voice characterizations are extremely grating, and the writing is offensively puerile. Perhaps a six-year old could appreciate this misguided fantasy perception of teenage life, but I found it socially irresponsible and morally reprehensible. As role models, the girls of Monster High are shallow and vapid, and despite their attempts to promote uniqueness and individuality, they only succeed in perpetuating outdated gender stereotypes. The groan-worthy dialog desperately tries to be clever, but falls completely flat. The art direction fares better, and there are some cute visual flairs that help embellish the underlying monster theme and aesthetic. Unfortunately, the movie as a whole is simply awful and hurts the Monster High brand more than it promotes it.