Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear1988

Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear (1988)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear Photos

Movie Info

An experiment provides a simian aide that has been trained to assist a quadriplegic, but the man feels a strange connection with the mammal, which is exhibiting "feelings."

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Critic Reviews for Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (6)

A befuddled story about a man constrained from the neck down told by a director confused from the neck up.

November 26, 2007 | Full Review…

One of George Romero's most effective and interesting horror thrillers.

November 26, 2007 | Rating: 3/4

Romero's is a formidable talent which others can only hope to ape.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A film that begins in sentimentality and ends in ludicrous melodrama.

August 30, 2004 | Rating: 1.5/5

Somewhere within this movie's two hours or so is hidden an absolutely spellbinding 90-minute thriller.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

There was a time when Romero would have used these elements for pure shock effect, but the horrors in Monkey Shines are more internalized, which make them all the more scary.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear


Disturbing, well executed horror yarn by master director George Romero, Monkey Shines is an accomplished film. With a great cast, and effective scares, this is a must see film for horror fans. What really stood out in this film was the performance of the monkey. That made the film very interesting and memorable. With a great script, and good cast, Monkey Shines is an underrated film that delivers some truly unique chills. This is yet another film that proves that George Romero is a capable director who is able to make other types of horror films. This is an engaging film that is truly entertaining from start to finish. The film does start off slow, but it grabs your attention from the first shot onwards. The film blends Slasher and psychological horror elements into one picture and there's a perfect balance between the two. The result is a film that is quite disturbing and chilling at the same time. This is among Romero's best works that is not a movie dealing with creatures of the undead. Underrated upon release, this is a film that doesn't deserve the flack it has received. This is an effective horror film that induces fear and manages to be an inventive, thrilling and memorable film that is sure to please diehard horror fans. George Romero delivers a truly unique and original film that is really good and deserves much more praise than what it got. If you want to see a different film from Romero, which a totally different change of pace, then give Monkey Shines a watch.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer


Preposterous but, because of a much better cast than this sort of picture usually has, a not unenjoyable scare pic. A few moments of unnecessary violence but mostly overall the tension comes from what is implied rather than shown.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

If you look at Monkey Shines as a horror movie, it's a complete failure. It's not horrific or scary at all. However, if you see it as a goofy monkey movie it's a little better. The music is so inappropriate and the length it takes to go anywhere is unacceptable. It also feels like a second rate Stephen King novel a lot of the time. However, it does have some of the best monkey business i've ever witnessed. The capuchin monkey playing Ella gave the best performance in the movie. I just loved seeing it go crazy and fulfill all these bizarre tasks for its paraplegic master. That being said, it's not enough to take away from the boring story, mediocre acting and uninspiring visuals. When you know this comes from an extremely talented horror director it's even more disappointing. You know this could've been good, but it's like no one knew what they were doing (except for the monkey).

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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