The Messengers Movie Poster Image

The Messengers

(i)

 

Creepy haunted house flick is nothing new.
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 84 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

References to Jess' previous "mistakes" (meaning her drinking and driving, which led to a car accident that injured her brother); murdered previous house owners seek revenge; parents don't believe their daughter's reports of haunting (she worries that she's going crazy).

Violence

Scary movie stuff: ghosts move quickly and make crackly noises, shadows loom, a house has creaky floors (and, in the cellar, a floor that turns into something like quicksand, with hands that reach out at grab at victims); lots of dark places, lots of close-ups with blurry, shawdowy threats in the near background; crows attack people several times, leaving them bloodied; farmer shoots his gun at the crows; family members are attacked by father with a pitchfork; attacks lead to screaming and falling; house sometimes shakes, walls collapse, pitchfork spikes slice through walls, ghosts appear through walls and under floors.

Sex

Parents joke about sex (he says he's going to do "new things" to her, he's been reading the "Farmer Sutra") and kiss and embrace in the kitchen.

Language

Minor language, including "hell," "s--t," "son of a bitch," and several instances of "damn it."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Reference to Jess' drinking and dirving in back in Chicago.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that teens who like ghost stories may well want to see this latest creepy-scary horror film. It includes frequent jump scenes (big noises, sudden movements on screen), and its premise is based on the long-ago murder of a family. Early scenes indicate the killings with spatters of blood, rough camerawork, loud booms, and screaming. Later, gray-faced, long-limbed ghosts grab at the main character's head and ankles, and viewers see glimpses of ghosts in the walls and under floors and repeated scenes of crows flying, perching, and attacking. Violence is usually insinuated by fast editing and close-ups, though the bloody effects are visible. Minor language includes "damn," "s--t," and "hell." The movie's most disturbing theme has the parents disbelieving and distrusting their daughter, although viewers know she's right.

What's the story?

At the center of THE MESSENGERS is Jess (Kristen Stewart), a teenager whose parents can't forget that she was responsible for a car accident that injured her baby brother. The family moves into a rural farmhouse to try to put their lives back together. Their new home is spooky, which increases Jess' feelings of anxiety and isolation. Meanwhile, mom Denise (Penelope Ann Miller), dotes on little Ben while dad Roy (Dylan McDermott), spends his days working outdoors. Only Jess and Ben can see the ghosts in the house, and Jess promises Ben she'll never to let anything happen to him. When their parents go out for a night, the place erupts in supernatural fury. But by the time the cops arrive and the parents get home, the house is set right and the adults think that Jess is seeking attention. Jess' relationship to the house is exacerbated by the arrival of shotgun-toting vagabond John (John Corbett), actually listens to Jess when she describes the creepy goings-on. "I know," he mumbles sagely, "that people sometimes, especially parents, don't know how to listen."

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Another scary house movie, another family in crisis. Directors Oxide and Danny Pang made The Eye, among other films, which helped establish the genre's scratched-looking digital effects and moody haunting – the ghosts' faces are grey and pained, their movements scuttling in the usual J-horror way.

There are repeated opportunities for Jess to look afraid: her face half-obscured by shadows, her eye held in oppressive close-up, her willowy figure silhouetted at the top of the cellar stairs. Windows, doorframes, and cracks in doors and floors create internal frames that confine her, even as she and Ben peer beyond the camera, seeking to know what's watching them and so plainly means to hurt them. "What do you want from me?" she cries out when walking through the especially dark, huge barn. But The Messengers doesn't ever reveal what the house wants from her. In fact, it doesn't say much about anything that's new.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of ghost stories. Why is the idea of supernatural hauntings so popular in movies and other media? Do you believe in ghosts? Do you think they'd behave like the ones in this movie? Families can also talk about Jess' relationship with her parents. How does the movie show that they can't get past her mistake back in Chicago? How does that affect their current relationship? How does Jess cope with their suspicions? Are there better ways that they could deal with their issues?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 2, 2007
DVD/Streaming release date:June 5, 2007
Cast:Dylan McDermott, Kristen Stewart, Penelope Ann Ann Miller
Director:Danny Pang
Studio:Sony Pictures
Genre:Horror
Run time:84 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:mature thematic material, disturbing violence and terror.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byTV-14-DLSV Teen Boy April 2, 2012

The Messengers is Decent

The Messengers is a Decent scary movie. PG-13. I Give The Messengers 2 out of 5 stars and I RATE The Messengers AGE: 14. My Sister likes The Messengers. I Think The Messengers is Decent.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old May 26, 2014

pretty good for horror movie fans

i liked the movie, there is no nudity but there is in messengers 2. there is some jump out parts, some disturbing images. it is dark and spooky kind of but ok for kids
Parent of a 12 year old Written bymoveluver101 September 7, 2009

perfect for mature kids and kids who don't scare easily

I think it is a good movie for mature kids and kids who aren't scared easily it is a thriller/horror that for my daughter just keeps her watching and she loves the mistery in it with the family that lived there before them