This is a multi-part review of the Bratz Kidz movie Sleep-over Adventures. To read all sections in this review, click here.
We pick up back at the sleepover. There is a creak and the door to the living room opens. The girls scramble back into bed and turn off their flashlights. Even though if someone had opened the door at a normal speed, they would have definitely been caught. Anyway, Ginger’s mom enters and sees all of the girls in innocent repose. She blows them a kiss and then leaves. When she does, you can see that her hand is so small that it’s half the size of her mouth. Look at your hand in relation to you mouth. I’ll wait. See how disproportionate that is?
As soon as Ginger’s mom is gone, the girls open their eyes and get back up. Their flashlights go back on and they look around. Cloe then says, “You don’t know what a scary story is until you’ve heard mine.” Which, she already told her scary story, and it wasn’t even that scary. But anyway, the other girls all encourage her to share, but Ginger suggests going to sleep and mentions that she’s afraid of her mom overhearing them.
Yasmin tells her that her mom is so sweet, she wouldn’t get upset at the bunch. I’m not sure what this is saying. Is it saying that her mom seems nice enough to not discipline her child for willfully disobeying her? That parents don’t really need to be listened to because your friends know better? Sometimes the girls in this show really live up to their group’s name.
Moving on, Cloe tells Ginger to get into the “spirit”. Get it? Because it’s a pun and it’s supposed to be funny. Everyone groans. Jade jumps on Cloe with her pillow and smothers the life out of her. Only joking. Jade just hits her with the pillow and doesn’t put all of us out of our misery. Sasha then asks Ginger if she’s scared of her mom. Which, I at first thought was some kind of reference to child abuse.
But then Ginger shakes her head no and Sasha asks her what is it. In response, the girl hides her face in a blanket. She finally says, “Okay, okay, I’m a sissy. I admit it.” She goes on to tell the girls that she’s scared of these stories and right now she is completely petrified. Which might make you think that the girls will realize that they have been completely inconsiderate of her feelings to continue doing something that she has stated over and over again that she’s not comfortable with. But you’d be wrong. Really wrong.
Meygan tells her that it’s just getting good. Besides, Jade hasn’t had her turn yet. And why only listen to four terrible, unimaginative stories when you can listen to five? The girls announce that Jade will have her turn, then they’ll stop. Which is still incredibly shitty to do to their supposed friend. Ginger has been uncomfortable this entire time. Why tell her to just sit there and put up with more of this when she has already made her feelings completely clear? But this is Bratz and they have one more story to tell to pad out this bullshit movie.
Yasmin then threatens tickle torture for Ginger if she doesn’t agree. Which, as cute and innocent as it sounds, is actually considered a thing. Tickle torture has lead to deaths. At this point in the movie, this action is completely problematic.
Ginger has been stating, all goddamn night, that she’s uncomfortable with these scary stories. The Bratz, however, don’t give a shit about her wishes or her comfort. They have been complete assholes to her the entire time. And now that she’s, once again, voicing how she doesn’t want to do this, they threaten to violate her bodily autonomy and personal space until she does agree. This entire sleepover is setting up an emotionally abusive relationship where Ginger, if she remains friends with the girls, will eventually stop trying to make her opinions and needs known (because they will be ignored) and go along with whatever the girls tell her (because they refuse to listen to her).
Anyway, Ginger laughs at the tickling and agrees to hear Jade’s story. Jade starts out, “Some kids were at an amusement park.” Guess where we’re going.
That’s right! It’s the World’s Shittiest Carnival again! Yay for recycling sets! Reduce, recycle, reuse! Do as little work as possible, because when you’re shifting sexualized dolls onto 4-year-olds, who really cares about quality?
There is a close up of the ride, Monster Dungeon. Then there is a shot of the four main Bratz, Cloe, Yasmin, Jade and Sasha. Three of the girls are talking about how scary the ride is and how they’re all freaked out by it. But Jade says that the ride isn’t scary. Yasmin demands to know if she’s been on it. Jade admits that she hasn’t, but says that it’s totally a kiddy ride. Which makes me question if Jade knows how old she is.
Sasha then points out that they’ve all been on the ride and they think that it’s scary, so therefore it’s scary. Jade announces that she’s not scared only for Cloe to tell her that it’s okay to admit that she’s afraid. She says that her friends and there to support her. Jade fires back, “Angel, make you get scared of little things like spiders and black cats and germs, but I’m not!”
She goes on to announce that she’s not scared of anything, particularly those things that aren’t real, like monsters. And god. No wait, just monsters. Anyway, Cloe gets offended and feels that Jade is putting her down, even though she’s really not. She tries to explain to Jade that some things are scary.
But what is and is not scary is entirely a matter of opinion. There is no universal agreement on what is terrifying. Jade has every right to not be intimidated by the ride as Cloe does to be afraid of it. But this is Bratz and who needs all that logic nonsense?
Jade continues to mock the ride and Cloe says, “Shhh! They’ll hear you!” Sasha then says that she heard about a boy that didn’t believe in monsters. He wasn’t afraid to go on the ride at all, but when he did, he never came out.
Which, let’s examine this claim for a second. A child disappearing at a carnival would cause an outcry in the community and the ride would shut down until the child is found or it’s figured out what happened to him. So clearly, since the ride is operational, this story is not true. So the Bratz are telling Jade an obviously untrue story in order to scare her about a ride that she has every right to not be afraid of. And why? Why is it so important that Jade be scared shitless of this ride?
But Jade is still not falling for this carnival ride hysteria. Just then, the Monster’s Dungeon ride attendant speaks up. The teenage boy sounds like he’s been stuck in puberty for several decades now. He adds, “The boy was scared, but he was too embarrassed to admit it.” Jade rolls her eyes and feigns terror. The teenager says that the boy had been saying all of the things that Jade has been saying. The Asian-American girl continues to be sarcastic.
The four children get onto the four-person car for the ride as the attendant explains where he heard the story from, which is about 8th hand by the time he finishes. Cloe tells her friend, “See, Jade? You shouldn’t bad mouth something that you don’t know about.” Which doesn’t even make sense. Jade saying that she is not scared of the ride says nothing about the quality of the ride itself.
Furthermore, if her friends weren’t able to convince her of how terrifying the ride is, they should have done better to scare her other than telling her that it’s scary, without giving detail, and then sharing a story of dubious origins at best. Anyone with an ounce of critical thinking skills would not be scared of this ride. Also, it’s shown when Jade is a teenager that she likes and goes to see horror movies. Perhaps it takes more to scare her than the average child. Why is this a bad thing? She is different from the other girls in that she is not as easily frightened, is that so horrible?
Jade is still unimpressed as they board the ride. Yasmin then tells her that she’s not being nice. Whom she’s not being nice to is anyone’s guess. The monsters, perhaps? Yasmin continues that her friend hurt the ride attendant’s feelings. But trust me, Yasmin. Life broke that young man many years ago.
Jade is less than concerned about the teenage boy’s feelings. Cloe then announces that Jade is ruining the ride with her bad attitude. Which, to be fair, she only started being sarcastic and snippy with the girls after being repeatedly pushed and informed that she wasn’t allowed to have her own feelings. Regardless, Jade is not convinced.
The ride starts and takes the car through a raised track into this cavernous ride. Something that is entirely too large and expansive to be in the World’s Shittiest Carnival. The car goes through tunnels and expanses. Just then, there are bats. Which look was real as Bratz animation could make them. Which would be a health hazard. Jade, still bored, points out that bats aren’t very smart. Which, the ride already scared the bats, does Jade need to shame them, too?
The ride continues. Jade sees a large blubbery looking monster looking at her. She announces that it’s fake. A black cat decoration springs up. “Plastic!” Jade declares. The girls move across some kind of hyponodisc. They cross over an over-sized monster’s closing jaws and the car stops. Suddenly, Cloe’s eyes begin to glow. Probably due to the girls’ radioactive flashlights.
Jade asks Cloe if she’s okay. The ride continues. A shot is then shown of all the girls and the Bratz, apart from Jade, all have glowing eyes. Suddenly, it gets dark. Jade calls out for Cloe. The girl doesn’t respond. Jade helpfully asks the blonde girl if she needs to have her hand held. Jade reaches for her and finds a monster’s three-fingered claw in the dark. Jade calls out to Sasha and Yasmin that something is wrong with Jade. She hears roaring and looks around, desperately.
The girls have all turned into bulbous monsters! Horror! Terror! Shock and awe! Or something. I don’t care. I’m bored with this story already. Anyway, the light is now bright enough for Jade to see that her friends have turned into horrible monsters. She screams and tries to get out of her seatbelt. Which shouldn’t even be possible in a decently safe ride. She manages to unbuckle herself and attempts to escape, but one of the monsters grabs her and holds her up, bringing the little girl uncomfortably close to its jaws.
The car is still moving and is now going through a section with swinging pendulums. Just like in Tomb Raider. Jade continues screaming. Which, at this point, you might be thinking, when is this fucking ride going to end? Carnival rides are hardly this long or this detailed and at a carnival where they can’t even manage to pick up the mountains of trash that are littering the area, it seems unlikely that their rides would be this long. But I’m trying to inject logic into Bratz again, so never mind.
Jade stands up in the car and jumps onto a swinging pendulum. She rides it to a ledge and then goes down a secret passageway. The car continues with the monsters, disappearing around the track. Jade runs down the hallway. Which might make you wonder why there is a tunnel and a secret passageway in this already entirely too-large ride. But logic, Bratz. It doesn’t mix.
As Jade runs she is confronted by four more of the monsters. These are all green for some reason. The monsters surround her just as the Bratz-turned-monsters run up. Jade runs. The chase begins! The chase scene shows the ride’s behind the scenes to be about ten times larger than it should. Finally, Jade runs into a dead end. She turns and sees the monsters closing in on her. But when she freezes, they stop moving.
Jade then discovers that the monsters seem to react to movement. They might not be able to actually see her. So she starts to dance. The monsters dance with her. Jade distracts them with the dancing and then runs off, leaving them still wobbling around on their tiny feet. The monsters, are completely confused as to what just happened and have no idea where she went.
The Asian-American girl runs back to the track and jumps onto a conveniently passing empty car. She cowers in fear. The monsters are then shown closing in. They grab at her as she shakes in terror.
Then, the scene changes and it’s the other girls telling Jade that the ride is over. Jade is screaming like crazy person from sheer horror. The girls try to calm her down and the girl finally opens her eyes and looks around to see that it’s okay. Once they get back to the attendant, the boy tells them that the story must not be true after all. The girls pile off of the car and walk away from the ride.
But Jade is still freaking out about what happened to her. She asks the girls how they did all that. Sasha asks her if the ride was just a little scary. Cloe says that Jade had her eyes closed the entire time. Jade doesn’t understand what they’re saying and the girls mock her for her previous attitude. Yasmin suggests riding the ride again. But Cloe declares that the ride is boring and announces that they should try something scarier.
The other girls grab Jade’s arms as they talk about going on the Martian Mystery ride. As they walk towards it, Cloe hides a blue tail that has popped out of the waistband of her jeans. Leaving only questions about what exactly happened to Jade with no answers offered. While it would be one thing to believe that the writers were trying to make the children watching this movie question what happened and try to figure out what went on with Jade and this adventure, it’s pretty clear that no one working on Bratz media has that much care or consideration of their audience.
My theory as to what really happened is that the stress of the discord amongst her friends as well as the strain of attending this completely shitty carnival, combined with the knowledge that she would be forever boxed into an awful existence of hyper-femininity and shallow behavior that she suffered a complete break with reality. That happened was a hallucination that she only came out of after she processed that the ride was over. Her friends turning into monsters showed how her friendship with these girls will only hamper her ability to think for herself and be a good person. The lessons they learn together as girls just molds her into a dependent teenager that can’t free herself to have her own thoughts.
As soon as Jade gets off the ride, her friends, instead of realizing that she clearly had experienced something traumatic in the last few minutes, insist on taking her to another, even more terrifying ride. The encounter that she has there with her own delusions pushed her further from reality. Jade was hospitalized after that ride and remains in therapy to this day.
Okay, so that didn’t actually happen. But it would have made a better story. Or at least a coherent one. That is all there is to Jade’s tale. The movie then goes back to the sleepover. Meygan tells her friend that it was a great story. Ginger, however, is even more scared than before. She says it was awful and she wants to go to bed. Which, the girls promised would happen, before Jade even started on her story.
But wait! Sasha points out that there’s someone that hasn’t told a scary story yet and it’s now Ginger’s turn to try to scare her friends. Meygan reinforces that she has to go now. The other girls encourage her. Jade says that they’ll all go to bed after she tells her story. Which is what was promised before that, so Ginger has no reason to believe them.
This is just more of the Bratz pushing Ginger into actions that she doesn’t feel comfortable with and using peer pressure to coerce actions from her. No one sees anything wrong with this, and the girls act completely uncaring to the fact that they are making their new friend so completely uncomfortable and scared during what is most of their first meeting with her. Why would Ginger ever want to have another sleep over if this is how her first one went? She is bound for therapy at this rate all due to the Bratz.
The stories are over, but this movie isn’t quite finished. What happens next is even more ridiculous than the rest of the film. Just wait and see how this bullshit is going down.
Screenshot credit to Ask Dylan. Thanks, dude!
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