- Alternate Character Interpretation: See the main page.
- Complete Monster: The King.
- Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Many feel this. Firstly, Mikey helps cover up The King's abuse of his brother, because of his promise and to keep their mother happy (which the movie implicitly endorses). Secondly, the idea that kids can expect fantastical solutions to real-life problems like abuse.
- Narm: Some critics thought that The King being The Faceless, having such a ridiculous nickname (for an adult), and having a cord named Old Trusty that he uses to beat Bobby, is this, portraying such a serious issue as child abuse in mythic terms.
- Why Would Anyone Take Him Back?: Sadly played straight here. Except no one is rooting for them to reconcile.