Four teens are swept into an adventure of a lifetime when they discover a connection between an urban legend (Big Foot!) and a missing father who uncovered a mysterious reel of “creature” footage. Threatened by shady characters and stalked by a mysterious entity, they go deep into the woods to look for clues to unravel a decades old conspiracy that leads to proof of the unexpected.
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kendall B. comments, “If you want to watch an adventure-filled film with a little bit of drama then Reel Monsters is a great choice for you! It has all those things and more, including a great plot and characters—and some mystery along with that, too.” Ayden P. adds, “Reel Monsters stood out to me because I had an immediate connection with the main character. We both want to make movies. If you’re a teen like me, and you have a love for acting, writing and movies, then you will also relate with the characters.” Anna Clara B. adds, “Reel Monsters is a breathtaking film—full of suspense and big revelations throughout the movie that made me excited wondering how it would end.” Kyla C. wraps it up with, “Reel Monsters has an interesting storyline, awesome props and cinematography that captures everything in a unique way.” See their full reviews below.
By Kendall B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
If you want to watch an adventure-filled film with a little bit of drama then Reel Monsters is a great choice for you! It has all those things and more, including a great plot and characters—and some mystery along with that, too.
Reel Monsters follows four teen sophomores who find a connection between an urban legend and a father and a mystery surrounding both. They get stuck in a situation that leads them into crazy adventures—including a mysterious forest and film footage of a monster—as they search for the truth about what’s really going on.
This film is exciting, especially when the plot seems to be dying down a bit, but even then the characters find things that keep one glued to the screen wondering what they might discover. The cinematography isn’t always the highest quality, but that really doesn’t take away from the movie because the great story makes up for it. I really love how they switch up the timeline in this movie. They go back and forth from the ‘80s to the present day which definitely adds some interest to the plot. My favorite part is when the kids are watching the film strip and discover more about the secret because I love mysteries and the vibe they create.
The theme of this film is friendship and how teamwork helps you reach goals. These kids could never have gone on this amazing adventure apart, but together they could overcome anything—their friendship really makes you feel better. This film does mention drinking and includes some scenes with kids doing risky things.
I give Reel Monsters 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This film releases on February 15, 2022 in theatres and on digital platforms.
By Ayden P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
Reel Monsters stood out to me because I had an immediate connection with the main character. We both want to make movies. If you’re a teen like me, and you have a love for acting, writing and movies, then you will also relate with the characters.
The story’s lead characters are Cory (Dawson Hilfinger), Boone (Nicholas Olson) and Sandra (Sophia Guss). The title Reel Monsters is a funny play on words because the movie is about teens taking a directing class and directors make film “reels,” and the teens end up filming a “real” monster, Big Foot. The main action starts after Cory shows a film his dad made before his mysterious disappearance. The teens decide to find Cory’s dad and, in doing so, they go on a journey that both brings them closer together and changes their lives.
The story is one that has been told before (finding Big Foot in the woods), but this one is different because it is from the perspective of teens. This helps keep the attention of younger audiences. All the kids want to be directors, so it’s not like other movies where only one person has a skill or dream. So it is a nice plot twist to have all the main characters share so much in common. Also, the film manages to be suspenseful and funny. For example, the creative ways Cory, Boone and Sophia deal with the two bullies. Also, the actors are believable as teens dealing with regular teen problems like bullies and major family issues—like the missing dad.
The message of the film is that if you have a goal then stick to it and be prepared for any opportunity. Another message is that it is okay to be nervous and afraid, and to get others to help you accomplish your goal.
I give Reel Monsters 4 out of 5 stars and I recommend it to ages 11 to 18, plus adults who will enjoy it, too. Reel Monsters releases digitally February 15, 2022.
By Anna Clara B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Reel Monsters is a breathtaking film—full of suspense and big revelations throughout the movie that made me excited wondering how it would end.
The storyline follows four teenage friends named Cory (Dawson Hilfiger), Sandra (Sophie Guss), Boone (Nicholas Olson) and Millie (Grace Hines) who get mixed up in an adventure when they find a connection between an urban legend about a monster, some film footage and a missing father. They journey deep into the woods to discover a conspiracy and a mystery from the past.
This film is really terrifying! The script is very well written and the acting is very well done. My favorite part is when the teenagers are in the forest, and they hear something exploding, and they go see what’s happening, and solve the catastrophe. I like it because seeing someone saving and resolving the situation is exciting. The brave teenagers in this story made me feel like we have superheroes to protect us. I also really enjoyed it when Millie looks at Cory with an interested eye when they meet each other—it’s very cute. The costumes are very well done, too. The soundtrack strongly supports the tone and theme of the movie. During the film, because of the soundtrack, there are times that I was very nervous imagining what would happen in the end. The camera angles and shots are really well positioned, and the scene transitions keep the story moving. I am filled with admiration for Reel Monster´s production team overall.
The message of this film is that we don´t need others’ opinions to follow our dreams. And that it’s important to know who your real friends are.
I give Reel Monsters 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults.
Reel Monsters releases digitally February 15, 2022.
By Kyla C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12
Reel Monsters has an interesting storyline, awesome props and cinematography that capture everything in a unique way. However, there is a shortage of important themes and suspenseful elements despite the plot being action-packed. Overall, Reel Monsters is a fine film with some positive and negative aspects.
Reel Monsters follows four teens, members of the film club at school, as they find evidence that a supposedly fake monster, Bigfoot, actually exists. They venture into the woods on a camping trip to find out more and capture the monster on camera. At the same time, we flip back to the past to find out more about the monster. Can the teens survive the monster, two scary hunters and their parents searching for them?
Reel Monsters has a very intriguing plot. The way it flashes back and forth in time allows us to see two different run-ins with the antagonists as well as understand certain characters’ motivations. There are mysteries in the present time period that are gradually solved in the past, and vice versa. The props are also incredibly cool—since even the present time period is a couple decades ago, we get to see what the cameras and film looked then. This is especially cool for kids and teens who are interested in the business and history of movie making. We also get to experience old-fashioned cars. The cinematography in Reel Monsters is done really well. Shots from all different angles highlight the important parts of a scene and show the body language and facial expressions that are vital to understanding the characters. The views from above also make it easier to understand distances between places. The acting, though, isn’t fantastic enough to match the wonderful story, props and camera work. Even the primary protagonists aren’t very developed. Their motivations and strong traits aren’t shown, so it’s hard to make connections to the characters in order to root for them. Millie (Grace Hines), one of the four teenagers, emerges as the most developed character despite her being probably the least important to the story. Grace Hines delivers one of the best performances here. She clearly understands the character and captures the quiet determination and slight shyness of Millie.
The message of Reel Monsters is to be careful where you let hobbies and curiosity lead you. It emphasizes the importance of exploration and love but warns against letting these things put your life in danger. There is some violence including guns and scary monsters, but nothing too scary.
I give Reel Monsters 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 15. If you are interested in Bigfoot or creating movies, this film will be very engaging. You can view Reel Monsters online beginning February 15, 2022.
Keywords: Dawson Hilfiger, Sophie Guss, Nicholas Olson, Grace Hines, Hannah Guss, family, adventure