"Mail Order Monster" is a family oriented sci-fi film directed by Paulina Laguidi. The movie is a heartwarming preteen tale of overcoming adversity starring Charisma Carpenter, Josh Hopkins, Madison Horcher, Jeremy Aubrey and Emma Lyle. It is light-hearted, and approaches some heavy subject matter with soft hands.
Sam Pepper loses her mother from a car accident. Her quirky yet reclusive nature makes her an easy target to bullies. Upon realizing that she has had enough, she orders the parts to build a robot monster, allowing her to cope with the bullies at school.
The story is well written, and the cast are superb in their portrayal of such loveable, recognizable characters. It is a soft sci-fi , kid-friendly film with contemporary, and yet timeless concepts. Although the subject matters and heavy material leans a bit dark toward the end, the director never crosses the line from G/PG entertainment. It can, at times, feel a little too sugary, but in away that is part of "Mail Order Monsters" charm.
The special effects are done nicely, blending graphic novel animation with both practical and CGI on a level that inhances the overall family friendly vibe. The creature design and concept is equal to comic con excellence that can even draw in older sci-fi fans. Overall "Mail Order Monsters" is a great kid flick that will hit home with families and especially preteens into some sci-fi fantasy movies. (4.5/5)