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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that teens will probably want to see this pitch-black comedy, but it's better for those just exiting high school and up. This film goes to extremes portraying the cruelness of the popular crowd and the rebellion against it. The popular kids are murdered by poisoning and shooting and their suicide notes are forged. There are two more "real" attempted suicides, some self-mutilation, and bulimia. There's lots of gunplay by the main characters and one bloody scene. J.D. attempts to blow up the school and all its students with dynamite. Teens have sex (outdoors and at a college party) and speak crudely about it. Two boys are sexually aggressive. And there's plenty of harsh and homophobic language.
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What's the story?
Three girls, all named Heather (Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk, and Kim Walker), run things from the top of the social food chain at Westburg High. Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) a witty rebel who quickly steals Veronica's heart. J.D. (Christian Slater) supports her hatred of the Heathers and joins her in a vindictive practical joke on the top Heather. But the joke is for keeps when Heather drinks J.D.'s "hangover cure" made of deadly cleaning fluid. A shocked Veronica decides to help J.D. cover up the murder by making it look like suicide. A series of copycat suicides quickly envelops Westburg High. The phenomenon takes on a bizarre life of its own as the student body, faculty, and parents all react to the macabre events in their own clueless and dysfunctional way. Meanwhile, Veronica must admit to herself that J.D. is even more of a monster than the Heathers. Can she foil his plot to administer a student body-wide suicide pact?
Is it any good?
The odd and often uncomfortable world of teen peer pressure is no stranger to any of us, and this dark comedy zooms unhesitatingly into this pressure cooker. It dishes up some grotesque stereotypes, and tosses them into a cleverly campy scenario that threatens the lives of the entire student body of Westburg High.
HEATHERS is a well-acted movie with many memorable lines. It's become a classic of the teenage macabre genre, and with good reason. Older teens and adults will find that there's much dark delight to be found in its silly, biting twist on teen life.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.