Usually, when an attempt at creating a franchise in the movie industry fails with the first chapter, filmmakers take a backseat and let bygones be bygones, and a sequel never manages to see the light of the day. Rare circumstances also occur where the producers go back to the drawing board, right their wrongs, and the predecessor can overwrite the awful beginnings of the first installment.
In 2017 the movie intended to mark the beginning of a new saga, ‘Monster Family’ was released. Sadly, it was a major flop and bombed terribly at the box office, grossing a disheartening $26.4 million on a $30 million budget.
Due to its failure to impress audiences and critics alike, no one ever demanded or even dared to dream about having a sequel. Interestingly four years later, chapter two premiered on the 4th of November.
The first movie was directed by Holger Tappe, who returns for the second entry. Writer David Safier too, makes a comeback now accompanied by Abraham Katz to pen the script, which is based on his children’s book titled ‘Happy Family.’ The actors who voiced the main characters in the original, Emily Watson, Nick Frost, Ethan Rouse, and Jessica Brown Findley, return for the second installment.
For audiences who didn’t manage to watch the first movie, the storyline was straightforward. A monster named Count Dracula, voiced by Jason Isaacs, becomes infatuated with a married woman who gets cursed with her husband and two kids and the family of four is turned into monsters.
A lot of stuff happens, and as expected, the curse is lifted at some point and at the end of the movie, Dracula’s own weapon, the snowflake, was used to freeze him into an icicle-like cage.
In this new chapter, Dracula is able to free himself though he isn’t as prominent in this title as he was in the first one. ‘Monster Family 2’ focuses more on the title family, which ends up in outer space because of a highly complex story involving a spaceship that is home to a wealthy philanthropic human family that is determined to make the world a better and safe place by capturing the world’s worst monsters.
Compared to the first movie, this second shot is much better. The writers manage to put together an entertaining enough storyline that sadly turns out to be super generic and most probably following in its predecessor. Audiences might never remember anything after watching it.
‘Monster Family 2’ encompasses some weird comedy that unfortunately lands flat on its face and has plenty of body-shaming jokes that are not smart at all. For instance, during an argument between Max voiced by Rouse and Mila voiced by Emily Carey, the latter kisses the former on the lips on a scene that looks absolutely out of place in the movie.
Costume-wise, Max is dressed like a pimp from the 1980s when the family attends a wedding complete with gold chains, brown fur-lined jacket complete with baggy pants and sneakers. It’s pretty odd when his father Frank, voiced by Nick Frost, compliments him telling him that he looks great.
Audiences understand that he might have done it, so he does not hurt his son’s feelings as in the real sense; his outfit is hideous and can easily pass for a Halloween costume rather than wedding attire.
For a movie meant for the kids, some scenes come across as inappropriate. Obviously, Max likes envisioning himself as a pimp and attempts to practice his pimping charms on his mother while inappropriately dressed.
This is all being done by a teenage boy, and his action comes across as a way of encouraging incest full thoughts, which is highly creepy for a family-oriented movie.
A thought that ‘Monster Family 2’ was trying too much to capture the attention of the viewer with awkward situations which are spread throughout the movie.
Max, just like any other teenager, is growing up, and his hormones are going crazy. At some point, he happens to see his crush; however, right at that moment, his pants fall off. The essence of that particular happen doesn’t make sense. One would wonder why the pants would fall off by themselves. But audiences have learned that Max loves dressing like a pimp, so maybe he had sagged them too much, or they were just too baggy.
Some other girl takes photos of him under these circumstances, and the young lad is painfully embarrassed. One can’t help to notice that the way this scene is presented is really awkward.
When it comes to the action scenes in this title, they are inadequately executed. The characters in the film move too slow or just stand around like pillars when they are supposed to be fully engaged in high adrenaline-pumping chase sequences.
The dialogue doesn’t do the shallow story any good as it drags on, making watching this film pretty tedious. The voice actors, too, don’t do this flick any justice either with their performances that come across as mediocre.
Towards the end of the movie, there is an extremely cringe-worthy moment when some characters attempt to sing the 1996 hit ‘Human’ by the iconic pop band Human League in a scene that is supposed to be sentimental.
The only notably enticing thing in ‘Monster Family 2’ is that the visuals are very colorful and well done. But for a movie about monsters, there is barely anything spooky about the characters in any kind of way, which beats the whole sense of using the word monster in the title.
Monster Family 2, just like its predecessor, fails to impress. One would have hoped that giving the potential franchise a second chance would set things on the right path. Sadly, there is nothing unique or spectacular that will linger in the memories of audiences. For the sake of keeping the little munchkins running around the house from wrecking things, Monster Family 2 will serve as a decent distraction. However, for an adult watching with a critical mind, one won’t miss a thing if they skip this one.