Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Creepy ghost story avoids gore but still scares.

Movie NR 2013 97 minutes
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A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 13+

Wonderful introduction to the scary movie genre!

A well written movie that reminds me of the old Goosebumps books in a way, especially in how it's Definitely Teen friendly, and if you're alright with the 2-3 times both B words are dropped, a kid friendly as well. Perfect introduction to the scary movie genre for the younger crowds, as it's not an outright freakout-fest. Story: It has an extremely interesting plot, which is unfortunately spoiled in the description of the movie. I only came across a couple parts that seemed to not make complete sense, and was left wishing for a little more development of other characters, but other than that, it was a well written story. 9/10 Cast/Characters: The actors were well cast, in my honest opinion, and should not have been done any other way. And I was pleasantly surprised to see Rodney McKay from Stargate Atlantis (I know he has a real name, but that's how I always identify him) in this movie, and wished he had far more screen time. 10/10 Visuals: There was one point in the climax area that they placed an after effect that looks like it was taken from the stock effects in whatever software they used to render the final cut, it was a little headache inducing to me, as it was a very static effect and not dynamic, making it stick out like a sore thumb. I get what they we're trying to do, and I feel they probably ran out of money and had to cut back on it. But that has to be my only visual gripe. 8/10 Sound: The audio was clear as crystal after the first several minutes, it might have just been me, but for those first minutes, I was desperately needing the subtitles (which are poorly implemented on Netflix) as everything seemed to just be in a kind of jumble. Luckily this clears up quick enough, or I at least grew accustom to it so I didn't notice it anymore. The soundtrack blended in well with the movie, so that the immersion was seamless to the point where it gave into the immersion, but wasn't over the top and distracting. 8/10 Overall: It is a good movie, definitely popcorn movie night and sleepover material that parents will be ok with giving their younger teens on up. Nightmares might spawn in the minds of the younger children though. For those parents who want movies with some morals in it, good basic morals and examples are shown by the main character, showing her strong ties to family and doing the good and right thing for those whom she may feel responsible for. I give this movie an overall score of 9/10 or 4/5 stars, and a 13+ age suggestion due to mild language consisting mainly of 2-3 B words dropped.
age 12+


This movie is personally one of my favorites, its not too scary, but it keeps you in. At some scenes you might get a bit jumpy, but other than that you're good. The movie doesn't show any disturbing images. Its a great movie for preteens & teens that like horror movies.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Cult director Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Splice) has come up with an unusual, refreshing take on a typical ghost story. There's no emphasis on gore, blood, language, or sex. Even the scary stuff is muted; instead, the focus is on good, strong characters, an idea, and a mood. The house is kept enshrouded in gray fog, and yet nothing ever seems unnaturally dark. Likewise, the story is cleverly unveiled, getting the biggest "twist" out of the way early so that the characters become more important than plot.

Abigail Breslin's natural sweetness and charisma helps sell the conflicting concepts that, although she's sick of her family, she still loves them. And although she's scared of what's going on, she won't stop investigating. Her rapport with the other characters in the movie suggests a genuine connectedness, and a desire to help (as well as the courage to ask for help). It's as if Natali's supernatural setting stripped away all earthly concerns and arrived at something startlingly pure. Teens looking for a super scary movie without the blood and gore will find what they're looking for here.

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