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Parents' Guide to

Down a Dark Hall

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Teen ghost story adaptation is macabre enough to entertain.

Movie PG-13 2018 96 minutes
Down a Dark Hall Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+

Female creativity and madness

This movie isn’t sure what age group it’s necessarily trying to attract but it’s definitely not appropriate for young kids. Non- traumatized pre-teens and up would benefit from watching a serious take on the history of the broken female psyche and how girls are used as vessels for manipulation. In this case, art. *Trigger warnings for scenes of corpses and suicide.
age 14+

Supernatural possession

(slight spoilers ahead) While visually this movie isn't too inappropriate or scary for kids, the psychological scariness is pretty high. Also, the main scary part is being possessed by the dead. Had I known that, I would not have shown this to my almost 13 year old. I think there should be a separate category because while this wasn't technically "violent", it was definitely disturbing. My daughter left the room several times because she couldn't handle it. A lot more death that common sense media let's on. Also, the 2 star sex rating is wrong. I wouldn't have even given it 1/2 star for that but I would have given it 4 stars for violence (lacking a different category for demon possession). Overall I'd say skip this movie for younger teens.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (4 ):

This supernatural thriller is just campy and creepy enough to entertain young teens who are interested in ghost stories. Generation X and older viewers who remember Duncan's book may wonder how the writers managed to maintain the isolation the girls felt when the setting was updated to current (read: phone/internet-heavy) times, but Madame Duret keeps phones under lock and key and requires the girls do old-school library research without computers. Robb and the other young actresses, particularly Moroles as angry Veronica, Russell as Ashley the suddenly unstoppable poet, and Fuhrman as blossoming mathematician Izzy, do a fine job conveying how off-putting the school's eerieness is -- especially in the dark.

The French-accented Thurman is delightfully campy, as is Rebecca Front as Blackwood's housekeeper/cook/disciplinarian Mrs. Olonsky. The frights are surprisingly real in a few scenes, even though the ending is somewhat more tragic -- and less satisfying -- than audiences may be used to in the genre. Spanish director Rodrigo Cortés has a knack for depicting the macabre, and while the subject matter of ghoulish happenings in ominous old estates isn't original, it's still the sort of fright that teens will enjoy experiencing together.

Movie Details

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