A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
"Danger is exciting." "There's the devil inside everyone." "Never look in the eyes of those you kill."
Positive Role Models
The decent people in this scary tale are generally presented as weak and the evil one seems admirably strong.
Latino and Black characters are calm, level-headed, resourceful, and brave enough to conquer a White brute and a green snake.
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Violence & Scariness
A snake kills and eats people. Someone is eaten and seen from inside the snake before he gets spit out, covered with goo. A man swallows a wasp and stops breathing. He's saved by a makeshift tracheotomy. Someone slits his windpipe and inserts a straw to fill his lungs with air. A man is stabbed. A woman is strangled between a man's knees. A man tries to escape a huge snake, falls off a waterfall, and is caught mid-air by the pursuing snake, then killed. After a snake kills a man, the snake is seen swimming away with the man's body and face outlined inside the snake. A man shoots a monkey, using it as bait to attract a snake. A man pours monkey blood on a bound pair, using them to attract the snake he wants to entrap. A predatory cat, attacked by a snake, leaves an eyeball behind. The crew blows up a river barrier with TNT, and the explosion rains snakes down on them. A man mentions immersing himself in the river and "picking leeches off my scrotum." Someone fears a small fish that is said to burrow up a man's urethra and sting him from inside with spikes. A man is eaten by a large snake, then vomited out in front of a frightened woman. The man, half dead and covered in digestive slime, winks at her and presumably expires. People shoot at each other and at snakes. A building blows up, sending a woman crashing into a river.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man and woman start to kiss in the jungle but are interrupted by a charging wild animal. A woman tries to seduce a threatening man. A man asks a woman if the jungle is making her "horny."
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Infrequent use of "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "bastard," "hell," "damn," "bitch," "scrotum," and "horny."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults smoke cigarettes and drink and talk about alcohol. Someone says, "Five whiskies? That's breakfast on the river." Someone longingly mentions a quadruple gin and tonic and a six-pack of beer.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Anaconda, a B-horror film from 1997, rose to the number one domestic box office spot and racked up $136 million not for its artistry, but for the menace created by a hungry giant snake with a taste for human. Young viewers should be warned of gruesome 50-foot snake attacks during which victims are squeezed until their bones break and their veins pop, then swallowed whole and either suffocated or digested to death, that is, if the snake doesn't vomit the prey out just for fun. It's campy, but will certainly frighten kids. Language includes infrequent use of "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "bastard," "hell," "damn," "bitch," "scrotum," and "horny." Adults smoke cigarettes and drink and talk about alcohol. Someone says, "Five whiskies? That's breakfast on the river." Someone longingly mentions a quadruple gin and tonic and a six-pack of beer. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Anaconda is a skillful if hokey horror movie that will seem both familiar and campy. Similar stories have been told many times before, but few have the bemused villainy of an unrestrained Jon Voight playing the crazed snake hunter who will stop at nothing to capture a live 50-foot anaconda for a projected $1 million payday. Voight, channeling a pirate-slash-Colombian drug lord vibe, emanates threat as he chews the scenery with an enthusiasm to match the mechanical snake's single-minded pursuit of homo sapiens tartare (hold the shallots and capers). This guy sneers when he sleeps, and he affects a hilarious accent that's no more identifiable than his murky origins.
Kids armed with some facts may find this a little less scary: It's a rare snake that eats humans. And on the rare occasion of ingesting a large mammal -- and Jon Voight is one large mammal -- snakes generally take a couple weeks off to digest rather than look for more humans. It may also be reassuring to some kids that the kind of reptile that tenaciously pursues a human dessert course immediately after an entrée is also not likely to be found under a bed. For further reassurance, young viewers can remind themselves that, as in Steven Spielberg's shark thriller, Jaws, a mechanical creature was used. Snake-vs-man wrestles are mostly computer-generated. Now considered by some to be a "cult classic," Anaconda was nominated for a Worst Screenplay Golden Raspberry Award and for a Best Horror or Thriller film Saturn Award.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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