A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No positive messages in these gory horror tales.
Positive Role Models
Characters commit murder and encourage suicide, among other violent acts. One character struggles with misophonia, a condition marked by extreme sensitivity to certain types of sounds.
Violence & Scariness
Blood and gore throughout. In the opening scene, a character's throat is slit, and the person is left for dead, bleeding profusely and gasping for air. Dead bodies. Corpses and dying victims inside the walls and floors of a house. A girl encourages her boyfriend to jump off of a building and commit suicide (he does, not shown). Character holds a gun pointed upward at his chin and pulls the trigger. The dead carve their stories on the skin of a man. Characters fight with wrenches. Characters attacked by rats. Horror imagery.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
In a dream sequence, woman imagines a man getting on top of her as if they're going to have sex. Kissing. A couple in bed after having sex. Brief nonsexual nudity, male buttocks. A woman who makes herbal tea talks of how one herb makes her husband amorous. A woman walks in on her boyfriend in bed with another woman.
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"F--k" frequently used. Also: "s--thole," "bulls--t," "s--t," "pissed." Middle finger gesture.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Vodka, wine, whiskey drinking. Cigarette smoking. Characters drugged before they're imprisoned in a house. Talk of the meds a woman takes to treat her issues with extreme sound sensitivity.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Books of Blood is a 2020 horror movie with three loosely-connected stories based on Clive Barker's popular book series. Unsurprisingly, there's blood and gore in each of the three stories. Trigger warning: suicide. In one scene, a woman talks her depressed boyfriend into jumping off of a building. In another scene, a man points a gun to his chin and kills himself. Characters killed and/or injured in a variety of gruesome ways. A character's throat is slit, and the person is left for dead, bleeding profusely and gasping for air. Horror imagery, like roaches crawling out of the mouth of one of the characters. Characters are drugged. Profanity throughout, including "f--k." A woman walks in on her boyfriend on the verge of having sex with another woman. Brief nudity, nonsexual (male buttocks). Man and woman wake up next to each other after, presumably, having sex. Fantasy sequence in which a woman imagines a man she just met getting on top of her in bed. Cigarette smoking. Wine, whiskey, and vodka drinking. A mother struggles with the loss of her child due to leukemia. One character struggles with heightened sensitivity to sound, and another struggles with alcoholism. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This series is mostly cheesy, but not always in a bad way, and there's dark melodrama and funereal dialogue that's almost as self parodic as teen goth poetry. There's the occasional foray into indulgent nightmare imagery and jump scares to bridge the plot points. Scumbag characters get their comeuppance, and then some. The seemingly kindest people in Books of Blood are, of course, the most psychotically evil, or, barring that, the most vengeful. There are rats and vermin galore. On the whole, it's entertaining, the kind of movie, for the first 4/5ths of it anyway, teens watch with friends around Halloween to see who gets the most scared or grossed out.
That said, some scenes are just plain dark, and not for everyone. For those who have experienced suicide or depression, the flashback scene of a girl on the phone with her boyfriend encouraging him to commit suicide as he stands on the ledge of a building while unsure about jumping is likely to be downright disturbing. This is especially true because this character, up to that point, seemed to the most sympathetic, as her struggles with heightened sensitivity to noise, her struggles with the prescription medications that help her with this disorder, and her efforts into channeling her traumas into art made her the most accessible and developed character in the movie. That her fate leads to a bad twist ending cheapens these struggles and her guilt over her horrific behavior.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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.