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Parents' Guide to

The Darkness

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Interesting characters but lackluster scares.

Movie PG-13 2016 92 minutes
The Darkness Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 18+

no native amercian actors ?

So this movie gets an asian actress to play a spanish lady who is suppose to have knowledge about native amercians? Ming Na wen - really? When will hollywood start hiring Native Amercian actors??
age 10+

Great for good scare but doesn't send good messages at times

My main concern was there's a teen girl with body image issues and starts to induce vomiting so I had to fast forward on that scene so my daughter wouldn't get any impressions at a young age. There's also a scene where the spririts have the boy (who has autism) start a fire and may, even though it was the spirits doing, may endorse a negative portrayal of autism. But just explain it was the spirits telling him to. Other than that, the movie was great for jump scares and there were many scary scenes so really it just depends on if your kid likes that sort of thing. They might just be sleeping with you that night depending on the age. Lol. There's is swearing but most likely your kid has heard these words before they seem pretty common now.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (5 ):

Oddly, this well-cast horror movie is more interesting for its family drama than for its scares. It might almost be worth seeing, if not for the nonsensical story, jump scares, and other lazy stuff. Bacon and Mitchell lead an able cast, filling out likably human characters who are flawed but not stupid and try hard to fix things. The family's confrontations -- over drinking, infidelity, bulimia, and autism -- are much more engaging than the strangely flat ghost story.

Directed by Greg McLean (known in horror circles for Wolf Creek), THE DARKNESS often feels like things were left out or simply never added. It addresses the existence of other cultures -- Native American ghosts, a Latina ghost hunter (and an Asian woman who believes in her) -- but only as surface dressing. Ultimately, it's never clear what the story actually is, who these ghosts are, or what will make them go away. They can't even manage anything other than making loud noises to get everyone jumping.

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