Kind of a demented Monsters, Inc.
meets Oliver Twist
, the 1989 live-action film Little Monsters
takes every child's nightmare of a monster under the bed and spins it into a dark tale of a secret underworld where children and adults turn into monsters and run wild without rules or any sense of social niceties. Maurice (Howie Mandel), the monster under Brian's (Fred Savage) bed, is not an average monster, but a hyper-talking, mischievous, blue-faced boy who disappears from inside his clothes when exposed to bright light and who says he wants nothing more than to be Brian's friend. As the new kid in town with parents who are constantly fighting, Brian is in desperate need of a friend and is easily lured into the underworld of the Little Monsters. There he learns to spy on his classmates as they sleep and raise havoc around their homes and lives. At first, his escapades make him insanely happy, but soon his exploits take a toll on his performance in school, his interaction with family, and his friendships with other kids. Brian eventually discovers that all is not quite as simple and free in the monster's world as it appears and that perhaps total freedom from societal rules isn't quite as good as it sounds. The pace of pranking is frantic in this film, the images can be disturbing, and some of the jokes, antics, and language are downright crude, so it's definitely not appropriate for children who are easily scared or those under age 10. --Tami Horiuchi