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Parents' Guide to

Heavenly Creatures

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Gruesome yet imaginative teen psychosexual drama.

Movie R 1994 99 minutes
Heavenly Creatures Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 18+

Parents need to know that there are triggering themes, including complex sexual themes and adultery

I don't believe this is an appropriate film for children for several reasons. There are three main points that make the film stand out as being especially dark. First, a fourteen year old girl gets herself into a sexual situation which is very unhealthy. A man goes into her room and manipulates her into allowing her into her bed, as he believes he is "in love" with her. Later in the movie the girl returns to the man and they have relations which she does not enjoy and it is painful for her. No nudity is shown. Second, the parents of one of the children has an affair and it is done in a very true to life fashion. Do with that what you will, just be warned. No nudity is shown. Third, the violence goes beyond a shooting or a stabbing. Besides the final murder scene, there is a scene in which one of the girls fantasizes about her mother choking to death at the dinner table and her father accidentally stabbing himself through the heart with a kitchen knife. If you're an adult and these themes are not disturbing for you, go ahead and watch the movie. But if you are trying to decide whether this is appropriate for your children to see, I do not think it is. Overall, it is quite a dark movie.
age 17+

Really good, but insanely intense!!!!

I’m a young teenager, and I saw it when I was thirteen. This movie is very disturbing. It’s sexual in an uncomfortable way, and the two main characters are unhealthily obsessed with each other. In a murder scene, the two girls murder one of the characters mothers in an attempt to not be separated. Leading up to the murder scene are little actions that make the death even more devastating. While the murder is not super gory, you see the daughter killing her own mother with a brick while the mother screams in horrible pain. Overall, the scene is more intense and horrifying than violent. The movie revolves around an obsessive friendship, showing all sides of the story. Originally you think the parents are overbearing and horrible, but you come to realize they are concerned for their children. This movie is very eye opening, and worth the hours of shock you suffer after enduring the movie.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (4 ):

HEAVENLY CREATURES is a frightening film. That's not because of the murder's aftermath shown at the beginning of the film or even the murder itself, but rather because of how innocent and seemingly like any other young teenage girl from any time or place Juliette and Pauline seem to be. Their Justin Bieber is Mario Lanza. They are emotional and overwrought about any and all drama that enters their lives. They argue with their parents. They are moody and mercurial in temperament. All of this makes their murder plot all the more terrifying, and makes Heavenly Creatures such a suspenseful and imaginative film.

Peter Jackson's directing is highly creative, weaving rich montages and sequences highlighting the frenetic imaginations of the two girls and creating a counterpoint to the girls' drab and repressed 1950's surroundings. The under- and overtones of sex and violence throughout don't exactly make this a "family film," but for adults and older teens, Heavenly Creatures is an unforgettable experience.

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