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Parents' Guide to

The Bad Seed Returns

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Killer kid keeps getting away with murder; violence.

Movie NR 2022 87 minutes
The Bad Seed Movie

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+

Entertaining Movie.

I saw the first or original movie The Bad Seed. Not a bad movie. It's interesting and entertaining. I'm a big VC Andrews fan but Bad Seed is not a VC Andrews story but it follows like one in similar ways. Robin Cook is another one I enjoy whose stories are a suspense genre. I much enjoy good, entertaining,suspense, thriller type movies. As for violence, well, this movie does have significant violence but so do a lot of movies nowadays. It's that old argument when parents hated rock music and accused rock and roll of being evil and the epitomy if sex, drugs and everything wrong. Well, of course,there is always the so called "school" of individuals who accuse violent movies even if they are intriguing and suspenseful and entertaining as being bad, evil, immoral, and will make someone's kid go out a commit violent crimes,etc. I don't buy nor have I ever bought into any of that BS. That's exactly what that is. It's a lack of parenting, accountability to teach your kids right from wrong and what is real versus not real. I grew up in the 1970's and 1980's with hard rock bands like AC/DC, Metallica, Alice Cooper and all kind of classic rock bands that had many different songs based on killing,murder, violence,drug use, pornography. Look at your country music it's full of everything you don't want your precious kids to know about: adultery, cheating, getting drunk, getting into fights and trouble,violence. And yet people love country, except me. I hate it personally but that's a different story. So, what's the difference? AC/DC had a song entitled The Nightstalker. Metallica had a song about Jeffrey Dahmer. Does this mean that those who heard the song should go out killing or in a serial killer rampage? No! People tried to blame these bands and so many others for their songs and the behavior people might get from them. Well, in no way shape or form were any of these groups accountable for the behavior of others. We could even look at the J. Gisles Band back in the 1970's, Angel in the Centerfold which was about porn. We look at Foreigners song, Blinded by the Light which was about tripping on LSD. If you think the rock music was bad back in the day, listen to the rock and worse, the rap music. I have heard some really offensive rap songs with all kind of bad language, talk of bad treatment of women and I have heard some fairly clean rap without any of the bad. But it's not any different with the movies. Sex,drugs,gore, killing,blood,etc , sells and makes a lot of money. No, Lifetime should not be ashamed of showing movies like The Bad Seed or The Bad Seed Returns, etc. Lifetime is not at all a family oriented movie channel. Look at the movies it shows: Men stalking women, serial killers, teenagers killing adults or other teens, stalking by both men and women, true crime and some horror shows, different types of suspense and drama. None of those topics are kid or family oriented by any stretch. That's fine and good. Lifetime does show some movies that are toned down from time to time but many if not most of them are not. I have been watching Lifetime movies since the 1990's and I have always enjoyed the suspense movies. I think Lifetime is a wonderful movie channel and it should keep up the great work. If you want family oriented then watch Disney. Lifetime has shown many movies and shows that I would venture to say are far worse than the Bad Seed in terms of violence. Well, so what? You have the option to choose not to view them then. Not everything in this world can be or is sugar coated, child proof or made safe. If you feel that everything does have to be to suit your narrative, then maybe @member 1719, you need to go live in a cave or in a bubble and stay there in your bubble, safe place world. Or, just don't watch Lifetime movies and just have your kids watch the Disney channel. Or, you could just grow up, get a grip and get over yourself, be accountable as a parent and teach your kids about reality, fiction, movies and real life. Yes, there are teenagers in real life who are psychopaths, who do commit violence,who do kill but it's rare. Yes, psychopathy exists in children. My husband did an internship at the state mental hospital when he was getting his degree and worked a six year old boy who was a diagnosed psychopath. So, instead of criticizing Lifetime and telling the station what to do, you could just as well educate your kids about teenagers who are psychopaths,who have violent tendencies and the need to help them.

This title has:

Educational value
age 18+

Lifetime should be ashamed of themselves

Awful please if you have kids that are teams that are under the age of 16 please don’t allow them to watch this. I hope they never make another movie like this again it depicts violence, ignorance and manipulation. There’s so much going on in the world today to be showing something like this on TV lifetime should be ashamed of themselves for putting this on TV

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Like a number of other horror movies about deeply evil children, The Bad Seed Returns is maddeningly simplistic. It's impossible to believe that so many grown-ups -- parents, teachers, relatives, friends, therapists, social workers, cops -- can't put it together that people keep accidentally dying around this girl. It's not that she's some genius of murder. It's that everyone in her life repeatedly, stupidly, ignores the obvious danger. It can be argued that a murderous teen is a lot less scary than the inexplicably murderous 8-year-old of the original stage play and movie, and Emma's advanced age here saps the plot of the story's most terrifying aspect.

This version also feels insipid because The Bad Seed was a mid-century response to post-World War II trauma, when the world was seized by startling and incomprehensible murderous evil on a scale that could not be explained. That context is absent now. The source material is a 1954 William March novel, adapted that same year into a long-running Maxwell Anderson play. In the play, as the little girl got away with murder every night, theater audiences were so frustrated that the producers instituted a post-ending ending. An adult actor would come on stage after the curtain calls and give 9-year-old actress Patty McCormack a satisfying mock spanking. Note that McCormack, who later starred in the 1956 movie, plays Emma's therapist here.

Movie Details

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