Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
1922 Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Gruesome murder tale with horrific visuals; violence, gore.
  • NR
  • 2017
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 12 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Evil will not go unpunished: "Murder is not just a horrible crime, but an unforgivable mortal sin.... In the end, we all get caught." Innocents, even young people, are corruptible; they, too, pay the ultimate price.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No positive role models.


Graphic violence and bloody mayhem. Spoiler alerts: A murderous frenzy is central to the plot, with horrific throat slashing of woman: screaming, a fight to the death. Dead victim reappears, dripping blood, distorted in numerous flashbacks. Marauding rats are featured in multiple scenes. Gruesome visuals as rats inhabit the body of the victim in multiple shots. Man stomps a rat. A cow falls into a well. Its terrified cries are heard, then it's shot. A severely wounded hand is gangrened. A woman slaps her son.


A young teen gets pregnant. Fathers discuss the crisis. 


"Goddammit," "Christ." A mother coarsely cautions her son against sexual intercourse (i.e., "keep your willy in your pants" and "rub it with your johnny, but stay out of home place"). 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Multiple instances of drinking and drunkenness. Escalating dependence on alcohol. Vomiting. Pills are consumed with alcohol. Main character smokes a pipe.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that 1922 is based on a novella by Stephen King and is a violent, gory tale of murder and insanity. Set in the year 1922 on a farm in Nebraska, intense conflict within a family leads to its destruction. Shot with every intent of shocking and disturbing its audience, the film basks in the macabre, including (spoiler alert) an abundance of rats -- climbing in and over corpses, coming through walls, marching together as a vicious army. Expect plenty of blood and horrific visuals of the undead as well as the dying. Guns and knives wreak havoc on the innocent and on the guilty. Some cursing ("goddammit," "Christ") is heard, along with a mother's coarse cautionary words to her 14-year-old son about not engaging in sexual intercourse (i.e., "keep your willy in your pants"). Central characters drink heavily, which leads to drunkenness in multiple instances. Lead character smokes a pipe. Stephen King's work seems a never-ending source of movie and TV material. Some stories, like The Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me, emphasize the drama rather than the horror. This movie merits a place among his grisly best. No kids.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9-year-old Written byBobby G. September 20, 2019

A bit bloody

This movie really isn’t too bad, save for one scene: a woman is attacked while sleeping, and her throat is slit while she struggles. That may sound horrific, bu... Continue reading
Adult Written bygia123 April 21, 2019

Gory and Disturbing.

I thought that this movie was very gory. Also a little disappointing I did not think that it needed to be that gory.
Kid, 11 years old December 31, 2018

Eh... a few scares and lots of gore

I watched this film with my father on Netflix. I was expecting it to be really scary. When we got into it, it was more of a drama/thriller than a horror. There... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bymovie_addict June 13, 2021

not scary

i liked this movie. The violence is pretty much the thing, its not scary movie, it’s thriller. BTW I LOVED THE BONNIE AND CLYDE REFERENCE

What's the story?

It's 1922 on an isolated farm in Nebraska when Wilfred James (Thomas Jane) determines that he must murder his wife, Arlette (Molly Parker). Arlette has inherited 100 acres of adjoining land from her father and insists on selling it and moving to the big city (Omaha), whether Wilfred wants to join her or not. She's not to be reasoned with. What's more, she promises her husband that Henry (Dylan Schmid), their 14-year-old son, belongs with her. Threatened with losing all he holds dear (the farm and his son), Wilfred manipulates young Henry into being his accomplice. After the deed is done, and Arlette's voluntary absence has been explained away satisfactorily to the locals, the relationship between Wilfred and Henry, complicated by the boy's devotion to a neighbor girl, begins to come apart -- as does Henry's sanity. A series of ghastly misadventures sends both father and son on the road to retribution.

Is it any good?

Terrifyingly demented, with standout performances, this slow-moving but devastating tale of murder and insanity from a Stephen King novella is solid fare for fans of the horror genre. Thomas Jane creates a vivid portrait of a man bound by the limits of the world into which he was born and the constraints of his judgment. The length to which he will go to meet his "needs" is infinite. And he's paid back like a rat in a trap. Supporting players, including the fine Brian d'Arcy James and Neal McDonough, as well as Parker and Schmid, are first-rate. Director Zak Hilditch, working from his own adaptation of King's book, doesn't mind the unhurried pace -- all the better to make his audience squirm and recoil. The "ewww" factor is relentless as the story takes shape. 1922 is definitely not for the squeamish.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the grisly scenes in 1922. Do the gory scenes make you laugh? Disgust you? Make you turn your head away? Why do you think people, including many teens, respond to horror movies like this one? What ages do you think can handle this type of violence? Why?

  • In what ways do the creators of the story and movie effectively show the psychological consequences of murderous behavior? How did both Wilfred's and Henry's lives become forever changed after their evil act? How much of what Wilfred "saw" do you think was real, and how much was in his head? 

  • How did the farm setting contribute to the overall atmosphere of the movie? Think about how the director, Zak Hilditch, moved the camera among the wheat fields and the wide shots of the farm. How did both the photography and music help convey the horror Hilditch was after?

Movie details

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Themes & Topics

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