A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Nocturne (2020) is a horror movie about twin sisters at a prestigious performing-arts school who both dream of becoming famous concert pianists. There are disturbing images, including some bloody ones, and an eerie, tense atmosphere and music. There are depictions of suicide, with teens stepping off high ledges, and the aftermath of one shows a bloody face and mangled body. An accidental fall shows limbs at odd angles. A teacher slaps a student in the face. Several bloody images, some relating to menstruation. Strong language includes "s--t," "f--king," "p---y," and "c--kless." A teen takes what is likely an overdose of prescription medication for anxiety several times. Teens smoke marijuana and exchange a baggie at a party. Teens drink alcohol with adults. Adults briefly shown smoking cigarettes. A student is in a sexual relationship with a teacher. A sex scene shows kissing, taking tops off, a bare male torso, and simulated sex with no sensitive body parts shown. A couple of other kisses, including a teen kissing a teacher. A medieval-style drawing shows a couple having sex, the only body parts shown in the picture are a woman's breasts. The supporting cast is fairly diverse, showing many Asian and Black students and faculty.
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What's the story?
NOCTURNE (2020) is about twin sisters Juliet (Sydney Sweeney) and Vivian (Madison Iseman) who're attending a prestigious performing-arts school, each hoping to become a famous concert pianist. Vivian is more talented than Juliet, and Juliet's jealousy and ambition start to come to the surface. Juliet discovers a strange notebook that belonged to a student who committed suicide recently. The notebook's filled with strange writing and even stranger pictures. As Juliet is drawn more and more to the notebook and the student it belonged to, things shown in the pictures start to happen in real life to Juliet, things that advance her musical career and jeopardize Vivian's. How far will Juliet go to make her dreams come true?
Is it any good?
Despite a solid, if not very original premise, this horror movie never manages to build up much momentum, dread, or excitement. Nocturne (2020) is pretty slow paced, and expect lots of shots of piano playing in between disturbing images. The biggest problem, though, is that almost every twist or event is broadcast well ahead of time, so the only real surprises are the visual ones, and they aren't all that strong, either. Fans of horror movies are likely to be disappointed, and it's unlikely to win anyone over who wasn't already a fan.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Nocturne depicts teen drug and alcohol use. Is it realistic? Does it matter if it is? Is it glamorized, or are there consequences?
What about the sexual content? How much is OK in movies and other media?
Why are horror movies so popular? What do we love about a good scare, or even about being grossed out? What are some of your favorite horror movies?
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