A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
These characters aren't particularly deep, and this downbeat movie does not have a cheerful ending, but it should still give thoughtful teens something to talk about. Can chatrooms be trusted? Should they be avoided? What is the purpose of chatrooms? What are the advantages and disadvantages of chatrooms versus real life?
Positive Role Models
No role models here, and no one to emulate or look up to, but teens may find themselves identifying in some ways with the confused teens in the movie. Adults are rarely shown, and when they are, they simply ignore the teens.
Violence & Scariness
A character flashes to a suicide attempt, sliced wrists with blood shown. An Internet video shows a girl committing suicide by jumping out a window. A boy is shown hanging from a noose. Characters are referred to as pedophiles ("pedo") for short. A strange violent scene is shown with several men yelling at each other, and at a young boy, in a foreign language. We see a playful, but violent animated video of the Black Plague. A gun is shown.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sex is referred to often. A sex chatroom is shown with characters speaking in graphic terms, referring to "touching myself," "rape scenarios," "shag me in the mouth," etc. No nudity is shown, but women wear revealing clothing. A male teen character feels confused and guilty about being attracted to his friend's 11-year-old sister.
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"F--k" is used once. "S--t," "bitch," "ass," "piss," "prick," and "hell" are used and "Jesus Christ" is heard. Some English slang, such as "cheeky bugger" and "taking the piss" are used. The word "bitch" is written on the front of a car in what looks like dog poop.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One of the teens is shown with a glass of wine. Another teen takes pills for depression. The bottle reads "Prolexia." At one point he dumps the bottle in the toilet.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Chatroom is an English movie based on a play. It tells the story of five troubled teens who meet in an online chatroom. The movie fictitiously shows them sitting in a room together, although in "reality," they are at their computers. Teen suicide is an issue, and a few brief but disturbing examples are shown: a hanging, jumping from a window, and wrist-cutting. There are some other violent images, including yelling and an animated depiction of the Black Plague. Sex is referred to in graphic terms, though little is actually shown. Language is fairly strong, with a use of "f--k," several uses of "s--t," and uses of "bitch," "ass," etc. The word "bitch" is shown written on a car in what looks like dog poop. One of the teens takes medication ("Prolexia") for depression, and another teen is shown briefly with a glass of wine. The movie is not very deep, but it should plant some interesting seeds of discussion within thoughtful teen viewers. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Based on a play by Irish writer Enda Walsh and directed by Hideo Nakata, the Japanese director of the original Ring movie (Ringu), CHATROOM looks like it might have been a good idea on paper. But as a movie it quickly falters. The scenes inside the room are brightly colored, more artificial looking than the rest, but the dialogue never sounds realistic; it doesn't replicate the feel of an online environment or of a connection between the users.
The "real-life" sequences are shown in muted, drab colors, but since the movie's 97 minutes are spread across five characters, none of them really comes to life. Their problems are not emotional or organic; they seem created for the story, simplistic and easily described. The movie can't find a connection between love and pain, or need and denial. It's more interested in being shocked by the characters' activities than understanding them. It's a shallow, disappointing effort.
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.