Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Family movie night? There's an app for that

Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.

Parents' Guide to

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Suspenseful, creepy British film is nightmare fodder.

Movie NR 1989 88 minutes
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 4+

Based on 1 parent review

age 4+

Misunderstood classic

To say this film is a 12 rating is ridiculous. You can shelter your children all you like but they will see worse things than this delightful epic years before they are 12. After all it is rated a PG. I used to watch this at lunch time.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE has enough disturbing gothic imagery to provide younger children with plenty of material for nightmares. A pack of wolves runs around the countryside trying to maul every human they see, and there are bleak and brutal scenes of an orphan work house straight out of darkest Dickens, to say nothing of rats, intense chase scenes, and cartoonishly evil bad ladies and men. Which isn't to say that this is a bad movie, but it does go out of its way to exaggerate the suspense and general air of bleakness hanging over 19th century England.

Overall, the acting is very good, especially compared to most children's movies. Stephanie Beacham gives the odious Miss Slighcarp the over-the-top performance the character requires, and Mel Smith is comically bumbling as her foolish sidekick Grimshaw. Once the action gets going, the adventures and misadventures draw you in, and even as you're not exactly sure why there are so many wolves running around the lavish estate, the wolves do at least ratchet up the tension.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

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.

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