Parents' Guide to

The Block Island Sound

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Illogical horror movie has violence, language, smoking.

Movie NR 2020 97 minutes
The Block Island Sound Poster Image

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Kids say (1):

It wouldn't be possible to challenge all the many shaky premises this movie hangs its logic on, but it's fair to say that most of The Block Island Sound is slow and dull. It slavishly mimics horror genre conventions, resulting in a knockoff of better horror films, but without the customary satisfying explanation of all the mysteriousness at the end. Even when we hear the big reveal -- which is described rather than shown and which isn't much of a reveal -- it becomes clear that no one associated with this was especially interested in coherent plotting as much as in lecturing viewers on a questionable point of view. This hasn't stopped the title from becoming a popular Netflix selection. The movie does offer a vague indictment of the human race for species-ism, at the same time suggesting an inadequately argued anti-science point of view. More important, by the time the lame excuse for an explanation is offered, we are long past caring.

Older kids and teens may want to discuss the film's simplistic conclusion and the misleading arguments beneath. This feels like a horror movie that is meant to have meaning, the way The Fly (about a man who slowly turns into a fly) was about what it means to love. But with little to recommend in the suspense area, and nothing to back up its logic, the drama here relies on the kind of content-free scenes in which a guy rummages madly through his fridge while ominous music plays. A dead guy with a bruised face keeps showing up, too, uttering one-word commands in an inhuman bark. And something keeps growling, but we never learn what. Teens looking for thrills have many better options.

Movie Details

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