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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie confronts the condescending ways in which the elderly are often treated by their families and in nursing homes, and the challenges of growing old with dignity under these conditions, particularly when an elderly person suffers (or is assumed to be suffering by those around them) from cognitive decline.
Positive Role Models
Judith struggles to maintain her dignity and independence after suffering a stroke and moving into a nursing home.
Unlike many movies that stereotype the elderly, the characters who live in this nursing home are fully-developed characters, seemingly struggling to maintain dignity and independence in the face of aging and cognitive and physical decline, a rarity in the typically teen-centered world of horror movies.
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Violence & Scariness
Woman has nightmares of being attacked by a monster while in bed. A demon attacks and kills a man. Jump scares throughout. Scenes of elderly characters screaming after nightmares, shown being tied to their beds by orderlies.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Man living in the nursing home enters the room of the lead character and makes advances, is turned away.
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Occasional profanity: "F--k" used a few times. Also: "bulls--t," "dogs--t," "ass," "hell."
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Products & Purchases
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke marijuana. Talk of how lead character used to "smoke grass" when she was younger. Lead character sneaks a flask of alcohol into the common area of the nursing home, shares it with her new friends. Talk of kids having drunken parties in the woods.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Manor is a 2021 horror movie in which a recent arrival to a nursing home has horrific nightmares every night while her sanity is questioned by those around her. Expect some demonic imagery, including a tree demon that appears in the lead character's room and/or nightmares, and later kills one of the residents of the nursing home. Residents of the nursing home are shown screaming in fear as they're being tied down in their bed by orderlies. Jump scares throughout. Some profanity, including "f--k." Lead character passes around a flask as she sits down with her new friends in the nursing home common room. Elderly residents smoke marijuana on the sly in their rooms. Lead character talks of "smoking grass" at "wild parties" when she was younger. On a positive note, the movie centers on people who have traditionally been marginalized and/or stereotyped in movies and especially horror movies -- in this case, the elderly. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The thoughtful commentary on the treatment of senior citizens is outweighed by horror movie cliches and a disappointing ending. It's a shame, because like the other movies in the "Welcome to the Blumhouse" series, The Manor really does try to represent people traditionally underrepresented in horror movies, and, in this case, move past the cliches and stereotypes that have far too often been the lazy go-to when depicting characters living in their proverbial "golden years." The best scenes aren't the scariest, but they do reveal humanity in characters like Judith (played by Barbara Hershey), a free-spirited 70-year-old now contending with ugly condescension from the staff at the assisted living facility she has chosen to move into after suffering a stroke. When the scares, such as they are, begin, the gaslighting she experiences effectively melds into the story, as both staff and family refuse to take her seriously, or act like they don't anyway.
However, the worst aspects of it soon grow tiresome. There are so many shopworn horror movie tropes going on -- "dark and stormy nights," crows, jump scares, and even a black cat that "senses death" -- it's easy to find yourself turning away from the movie not because it's scary, but because your eyes are rolling to the back of your head. The foreshadowing lacks all subtlety, so by the time we get to "the big reveal," it isn't particularly surprising.
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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.