A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
You reap what you sow. The story is a commentary on neo-colonization and how wealthy countries impose their will on vulnerable ones, making them their "servants" and paying them in fractions of their worth.
Positive Role Models
While Christina has an aspirational job as a children's fashion designer, her behavior and decisions undermine her as a role model.
Depicts the struggles of women in economically challenged countries. The film's only notable character of color is a Filipino domestic servant who's shown to have mystic abilities, and it's unclear through most of the film if her intent is good or bad.
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Violence & Scariness
Several scenes of people trying to escape a fire, with lots of peril and distress. Creepy/disturbing images. Charred body. Diseased dog. Animals and people covered in ticks. Death of a child. Pet is accidentally killed. Perilous falls. Suicide. Injury caused to another may feel justified, as perpetrator's point of view is shared.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Young couple dances together, implying the beginning of their love story.
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"Jesus!," "s--t," and a couple uses of "f--king" as an adjective; in all cases, characters get on each other for using "bad language."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Character drinks a glass of scotch nightly. Wine with dinner. Another character is on multiple medications, which becomes a plot point.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Nocebo is a thriller about a woman (Eva Green) whose mysterious ailments are relieved by the mystical healing of her domestic servant (Chai Fonacier). This is a horror movie with substance, one that creates confusing feelings about who, if anyone, to root for. The scares come from creepy images of bugs, diseased dogs, and nightmarish montages. Real-life terror comes in flashbacks to people who are trying to escape a fire, and the peril and danger are intense. A deeply charred dead body is seen, and there are some serious falls (with blood). While there are a few instances of swearing ("Jesus!, "s--t," and "f--king") it's always between a mother and her tween daughter, who lovingly reprimand each other about using those words. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Offering a unique twist on a scary movie, writer Garret Shanley summons a social justice message that's likely to stay with viewers. Thanks to Nocebo's creepy, unpleasant images, a feeling of wanting to flee is part of the experience. Part of the thrill is figuring out what happened to create Christine's (Green) illness, but director Lorcan Finnegan doesn't keep it a secret -- you may catch on where it's going, but you're never going to guess how it ends.
While the film has thought-provoking material, families might find a more immediately pertinent conversation by following the thread of unintended consequences. Nearly every character makes a self-serving choice that in the moment, doesn't seem likely to have a negative outcome but in fact leads to devastating results. The storytelling can be taken on face value, or that message can be extrapolated to the way wealthy countries impose their will on vulnerable ones, making them their "servants" and paying them in fractions of their worth. Nocebo is a statement that what ails the world isn't in our heads.
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.