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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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Minor language, including "hell," "s--t," "son of a bitch," and several instances of "damn it."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Reference to Jess' drinking and dirving in back in Chicago.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate