A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Casts doubt on those who think they have all the answers and that everything can be explained away. Idea that there are always other possibilities.
Positive Role Models
Characters are mainly victims or oppressors in some way. No one is particularly brave or admirable.
Violence & Scariness
A man shoots himself in the head with a shotgun. Characters die. Bullies pick on a developmentally disabled boy. Jump scares, scary stuff. Car hits something in the woods. Fit of rage, tearing room apart.
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More than one use of "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "bitch," plus "Jesus Christ" and "oh my God" (as exclamations).
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Background smoking and drinking. Young bullies smoke in one scene.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ghost Stories is an English horror anthology that's probably weirder than it is scary, but it might appeal to the more adventurous horror fans among older teens. Language is the biggest issue, with several uses of "f--k," "s--t," and more. There are also plenty of jump scares and scenes of unsettling, scary stuff. A man shoots himself in the head, and there are scenes with fits of rage, death, and a car hitting something in the woods. Bullies pick on a developmentally disabled boy. Background/social drinking and smoking are shown from time to time, and bullies are shown smoking. Sex isn't really an issue. Martin Freeman co-stars. 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 old-fashioned horror anthology isn't terrifying or scream-inducing; instead, it's closer in spirit to the moody, clammy, atmospheric English movies of decades past that lovingly inspired it. Nyman and Jeremy Dyson co-wrote and co-directed Ghost Stories based on their hit stage play, and what the movie lacks in that real-life theatrical connection it makes up for in eerie, clever cinematography and editing. The asylum in the first segment consists of pitch-black corridors running off into infinity, but it's far from neat and tidy; it's littered with decades of sinister refuse. The teen boy's room is decorated with occult drawings of demons and monsters, making a simple doorway seem terribly unsettling.
Weirdly, one of the movie's creepiest sequences takes place in an open field in broad daylight. The filmmakers beautifully use the on-screen and the offscreen, the seen and the unseen, sounds and clever cuts to suggest, rather than show, its horrors. Still, anthology horror movies usually have a weak spot, and here it's the wraparound story. But even though savvy horror fans may groan at how things unfold, Ghost Stories is so stylish and so satisfying that it gets by on spirit alone.
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.