For a title like Girl vs. Monster, there’s a surprising lack of monsters for about half of the film. Talk about false advertising.
Skylar’s parents are both monster hunters, a thing she’s never picked up on despite all of their suggestions that she eats garlic on toast and never ventures into the basement. Just regular parent stuff, right?
Instead of wondering why part of her house is restricted in a definitely-something-going-on kind of way, Skylar spends her time being fearless and adjusting banners with mad acrobatic skills instead of ladders or common sense. Yeah, Skylar doesn’t need common sense, because she’s a sparkly Not Like Other Girls girl. Ooooh! She’s sassy and feisty and has not one sidekick but two! (Notice how the monsters have yet to turn up?) She’s even nice enough to wait until her hunky love interest’s mean girlfriend breaks up with him before she joins the band (you’ve got to remember, in a Disney film the most intimate thing you can do is sing with a floppy haired boy at school). Except she doesn’t, because the mean girlfriend falls down like three flights of stairs in a hilarious comedy mishap which leaves her in a neck brace. I don’t think these people understand slapstick entirely. Still, now she can’t move enough to stop Skylar and the love interest exchanging puppy dog eyes at band practise.
Eventually evil spirits break out (FINALLY) and they’re after Skylar on Halloween of all evenings- which is way annoying because that’s when she wants to sneak out to the cool party on the hill! Skylar’s parents try to spare her the teen angst of an underwhelming house party and…I dunno, eternal damnation I guess, but she’s having none of that because she’s fearless. That and she finds out about her parents’ profession through a flashback with one of the cringeyest wigs I’ve seen.
Donning her pink jacket (another kindred spirit for me and Chelsea) Skylar takes to the party- but weirdly not to take down the spirits with those kick-ass stunts we saw earlier. Instead, she sings a song called Fearless to show that she’s fearless, if you didn’t already get that. For all the petrified faces her friend Henry pulls (channelling Rupert Grint in Chamber of Secrets), it’s not really that spooky. For a cover that looks like a tween Buffy rip-off, you’d expect, I dunno, tension or something. But Skylar’s that fearless you know she’s gonna be fine. It also helps that her big nemesis has smack talk like “who’s your monster now?” What line is that? A shit line is what.
Spoopy Rating: 2/3 More crappy than creppy.