Grotesque and bizarre
As an 18 year old who just watched this movie for the first time last night, I am shocked that CommonSenseMedia would recommend it for 9 year olds and I feel as though the reviewer did not watch the whole thing. The cult classic seems like the kind of kooky spooky fun you would find on the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney at times, but overall it is filled with heavily disturbing and downright scary concepts that I would not consider appropriate for kids. In fact, I feel this movie could be somewhat traumatizing for many kids, it certainly would have been for me. It's jam packed with disturbing imagery that caused me and adults I watched it with to cringe or cover our eyes (Barbara rips her face off, the two main characters stretch and bend their faces and eyeballs to look more frightening, a ghost is a run-over, flattened corpse, a ghost has slit wrists, a ghost has a slit throat, a giant demented, disturbing clownish/human headed snake attacks a family though no one is harmed, two animated corpses wither and rot and crumble as bodies do after death, etc). Jokes about suicide, a young girl wants to kill herself. Betelgeuse is lewd, curses (there is one f bomb in the film), grabs his crotch, speaks sexually about female characters, and enters a whore house to get some "action". Yes, there are humorous aspects of this film, but for most of the movie I felt sick to my stomach or scared of the gore and peril. It's the most bizarre thing I've ever seen and I can see why some may love it's outrageousness (or darkly inclined children who aren't squeamish may like it?), but I think most jokes will go over kids heads and they will likely just end up frightened and confused. I wouldn't show it to ages under 13 unless you are sure they enjoy gore/gross-out humor. It was hard for me to stomach and I'm a young adult.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing