Throwback Thursday Review: Little Monsters (1989)



Title: Little Monsters
Writer: ,
Actors: , , , ,
Genre: ,
Reviewed By:




Total Score

User Rating
1 total rating


Posted August 4, 2016 by

Full Article


If you ask any kid from the 80’s about “Little Monsters”, they will tell you that it is a classic; one of those movies you have to see. Aside from telling you who is in it and how it scared the hell out of them though, they probably can’t remember too much of what went on in the movie. The reason for that is because it’s so insane, so all over the place, that no one in their right mind should be able to remember what exactly happened. That’s why I’m here: to refresh your memory.  To remind you of how dark kid movies used to be.

This movie is about Brian Stevenson (Fred Savage) meeting and becoming friends with the monster that lives under his brother’s bed, Maurice (Mandel), and becoming friends with him. Maurice’s plan is for Brian to leave his reality behind and live in the under-the-bed-monsterland forever with him where there are no rules, parents, teachers, or homework to take away from all of the fun he could be having. While Brian loves it in monsterland, he can’t commit to leaving everything he knows behind for good and returns to his reality seconds before becoming a monster himself. The two villains in this movie, Snik (Rick Ducommun) and Boy (Frank Whaley), decide that they want Brian in monsterland for good, too, and coax him into returning by kidnapping his younger brother Eric (Ben Savage). Now Brian, with the help of his school friends and his new friend Maurice, must save his younger brother and return to earth before they all become under-the-bed monsters, too.


While the monsters and the adventure of fighting them is the main plot of the film, the underlying theme throughout is that Brian and Eric’s parents’ marriage is on the rocks. It’s the reason they moved to a new town and bought a fixer-upper home; so that they have something to work on together and bond over. They thought it would create quality time between the two of them but instead has driven them further away from one another and caused loud arguments whenever they find themselves in the same room. Brian and Eric hear all of the fighting and begin lashing out: breaking all of the house rules, getting in fights at school, and blaming everything they’re doing on a fictitious monster that lives under the bed. While the kids believe that Maurice is real, I feel that he’s just a figment of their imagination; a shared delusion that both boys are suffering from to protect themselves against the harsh reality of their parents splitting up. Maurice represents the boys’ father when he’s being fun, when he’s not yelling at them or yelling at their mother. That’s the reason they love Maurice and are tempted to live in his world with him — a world where everything is perfect and there are no problems. On the flipside of that, Snik and Boy represent the boys’ father when he’s being mean and angry. They are trying to break everyone up and ruin what is otherwise a good time. They are evil and must be stopped. Keep in mind: this is a kid’s movie.

reminds you of how dark kid movies used to be

The most troubling part of this film is the way Howie Mandel acts through the whole thing. I know it was the 80’s and cocaine was running rampant, but the way he jumps around, doesn’t stop talking, and his overall enthusiasm is off-putting and borderline creepy. He’s also the worst out of everyone in this movie. His main source of entertainment is to pop out from under kids’ beds at night and do things while everyone’s sleeping that will get them in trouble in the morning. He laughs when his actions get a young child sent to boarding school and finds it hilarious to switch out a child’s apple juice with his own urine. Although him and Brian become best friends, it’s only because Brian apparently forgets that the reason his relationship with his father is fractured and getting worse is because Maurice was doing things to cause it.

At the end of the film, Brian ends up saving his brother from Snik’s and Boy’s clutches, yet to get back to the real world they must pop out of a bed on the other side of the country where it’s still night time. While they find themselves in California because of a magical world they just left, I believe the reality is both boys ran away from home in order to scare the hell out of their parents and bring them back together in a joint effort to find them. It works.






Be the first to comment!

Leave a Response