Parents' Guide to

They Reach

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Horror violence, cursing in Stranger Things wannabe.

Movie NR 2020 87 minutes
They Reach Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

They Reach concerns misfit young teens coming of age about forty years ago who inadvertently stumble upon horrifying supernatural forces that threaten to destroy their small town, if not the world. If that sounds similar to Stranger Things, you're not wrong. The Goonies is also an influence, as well as other influences that are worn on the badges of the police officers, broadcast on television as the movie of the week, or as movie posters hanging on the walls of the lead character's bedroom. There's nothing inherently wrong with this -- lots of artists have fun planting these obvious and not-so-obvious allusions to "the classics" in their work -- but in this case, the different moods and themes don't quite mesh, and what emerges as the ultimate influence on the quality of this movie is a lack of funds.

The low budget, unfortunately, leads to some unintentionally hilarious moments, particularly with the music. The filmmakers clearly couldn't afford the rights to music from 1979 (the closest they can get is a character's gift of a Heart record to his friend/crush while their other friend ironically whispers "Barracuda!"), so while one of the teens is hanging out in her room listening to headphones, the music sounds more like a '90s alternative band trying and not succeeding at sounding like The Velvet Underground instead of the real thing. This musical disconnect is a frequent occurrence in the movie. Also, the acting, across the board, isn't the best. All of this would be okay in the same way other low-budget movies can still work despite low budgets and flat acting, but the uneven story doesn't quite work with the coming-of-age aspects and the supernatural terror, so instead of using Stranger Things as a starting point for an original movie, They Reach comes across as a derivative wannabe.

Movie Details

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