Parents' Guide to

Picnic at Hanging Rock

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Eerie, haunting film hints at violence and sexuality.

Movie PG 1979 107 minutes
Picnic at Hanging Rock Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 14+

Haunting and breathtaking

A film that draws you in and keeps you there from beginning to end. The story of suspense that keeps the audience hooked on a string compels one to continue watching...and watching and watching. The journey takes a lot of turns and it becomes apparent that their fates are all intertwined and that no one will come away unscathed. This film holds you tightly bound to the character's fates and there is no doubt that no one comes through unscathed. Brilliant vision by Weir.
age 13+

Eerie and otherwordly

Atmospheric story set in Australia during the late Victorian era. A suicide and some of the haunting hanging rock sequences make it inappropriate for young children. Any so called sexual undertones that some critics carry on about are well hidden and its more of a science fiction film about the meaning of time and reality.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (1):

PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK is an early film from Peter Weir (Dead Poets Society, The Truman Show), and one of the best films to emerge from the Australian New Wave movement of the 1970s. Based on a novel by Joan Lindsay, it's an ethereal exploration of life and death, reality and dream in 1900 rural Australia -- part mystery, part allegory, and open to any number of interpretations. Even before their disappearances, the girls who vanish don't seem entirely real -- quoting Edgar Allan Poe, dressed in white and moving about like ghosts, dropping hints of what's to come couched in Romantic sentiment. Like the Victorian era in which its set, Picnic at Hanging Rock is not overtly filled with sex and violence, but it's there nonetheless, just beneath the facades these characters present to each other.

While not for everyone -- especially less mature viewers and viewers hoping for a simple "whodunit" mystery where everything's tied up in a nice bow at the end, Picnic at Hanging Rock is an enchanting, enigmatic film experience like no other.

Movie Details

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