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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Emily talks about how fragile human life really is, how it depends on a perfect balance and combination of various elements, how easily it can be upset. The sickness that appears comes randomly, without explanation, has things in common with COVID-19 pandemic. Families can talk about what all this means, how resilient humans can be if they learn, act, work together.
Positive Role Models
Emily is a strong female character, takes charge of her situation. She tries to solve the problem as best as she can, using oxygen tank, trying to get out of there. But she has her faults (she smokes, is shown in the first half to be a little too trusting and a little too passive), and (spoiler alert) she doesn't actually make it out alive.
Violence & Scariness
Approaching zombies. Zombies eating flesh. Bloody wound. Beating zombies with blunt objects. Car crash. Creepy worm thing burrows inside a character's skin; she pulls it out with a knife and tongs. Vomiting up icky creature. Stepping in gross goo on beach. Creepy/eerie stuff.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. Couple lies in bed together, presumably after sex and presumably naked under the covers.
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Uses of "f--k," a use of "bulls--t."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters eat strong pot-laced chocolate; they all act high, with drug trip-type sequences. Beer and wine with dinner. Cigarette smoking. Prescription meds shown.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Beach House is a slow-burn zombie horror movie starring Liana Liberato that focuses more on the virus aspect of the scenario than on the resulting zombie attack. That said, it definitely has zombie violence, as well as a car crash, creepy/eerie moments, and gross stuff (stepping in goo, pulling a wormy thing out of a character's flesh, vomiting, etc.). A young couple kisses and presumably has sex; they're shown in bed, with the implication that they're naked under the covers. Language isn't frequent but includes several uses of "f--k," plus "s--t"/"bulls--t." There's some cigarette smoking and social drinking, and characters eat pot-laced chocolate, after which they act high. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Wisely avoiding wordy explanations or long setups, this eerie, timely chiller takes a slow-burn approach, simply observing its characters and springing its shocks naturally, without announcing them. The debut feature of writer-director Jeffrey A. Brown, The Beach House has confidence in its ability to create strange little tensions out of ordinary moments. It takes a while before anything supernatural happens, but the character interactions themselves are enough to make viewers feel on edge right away. What's left unspoken is frequently more powerful than what's said, such as the relationship tensions between Emily and Randall and whatever personal demons Jane appears to be fighting.
When the trouble does actually start, Brown doles it out in a way that makes it feel like it's happening organically. He doesn't play the audience like a piano or ramp up scares with percussive crashes. A character saying "I think I'll go for a swim" turns into a jaw-dropping jolt. A garbled voice on a staticky police radio is mostly inaudible, except for one chill-inducing sentence: "It's not fog." Perhaps most impressive is the fact that The Beach House is technically a zombie movie, but the zombies are rarely shown. This movie understands that zombies in themselves are no longer scary. But what's behind them, what causes them, can be absolutely terrifying.
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.