Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Thriller Movie Poster Image
Promising (but gory) slasher flick falls apart, disappoints.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 87 minutes

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Kids say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Perhaps the best takeaway from this movie is: Don't play pranks on people. Whatever "humor" comes from them isn't worth the hurt they cause.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The movie barely has any actual characters, let alone any who might be emulated as role models. That said, it offers atypical representation for the horror genre by featuring a non-white cast.


A young girl falls from a second-story landing and dies. Killer breaks fingers, slices a belly (blood oozes out), bashes victims with a baseball bat, and smashes with a rock. Characters die. Guns drawn. Axe wielded. Shooting cap-gun. Broken leg. Teens fighting, punching. A woman slaps her grown son; he makes a move to strangle her, then stops. Teen falls, sprains ankle. Character hit by car.


Teen girl shown finishing having sex with a man in a car; she asks for "round two." (No nudity.) Kissing. Revealing outfit; adjusting bra. Teen girl grinds her bottom on a man's crotch (fully clothed). Sex-related talk.


Fairly frequent uses of "f--k," "s--t," the "N" word, "bitch," "ass," "retarded," "hell," "damn," "oh my God," and "Jesus" (as an exclamation).


More than one mention of Snapchat.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A teen boy smokes pot; he's said to be a frequent pot smoker. A girl gulps beer from a bottle (and burps). Teens appear to drink alcohol (from red cups) at a house party. An adult woman is staggering drunk, carrying a bottle of booze. Other, minor characters drunk.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Thriller is a scary movie about a childhood prank that went wrong; years later, the person blamed for it appears to be seeking revenge. Expect gory violence: A killer breaks fingers, slices torsos (with oozing blood), and bashes victims with rocks and baseball bats. Guns are drawn, teens punch and fight, a young girl (and other characters) die, etc. Language includes uses of "f--k," "s--t," the "N" word, and more. A teen girl has sex in a car, though nothing graphic is shown. Teens kiss, and there are a few sexual gestures. A teen boy smokes pot, a grown woman is shown staggering drunk, and teens appear to be drinking alcohol out of red party cups. The movie is set in South Central Los Angeles and features a non-white cast (adding welcome diversity to the horror genre), but it's amateurish and riddled with dead ends and abandoned ideas.

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Teen, 17 years old Written byIlovestamon April 23, 2019


The movie is a terrible excuse for a thriller, the acting is suited more to a high school play insted of a movie. The only good thing about this movie is the di... Continue reading

What's the story?

In THRILLER, a group of kids in South Central Los Angeles decides to play a prank on Chauncey, a kindhearted boy with a stutter. They lure him into an abandoned house and scare him with skull masks. In a state of panic, Chauncey pushes a girl from a second-story landing; she falls to her death. The friends agree to blame Chauncey for the crime, and he's locked away. Four years later, the friends are in high school, and it's homecoming weekend. As they prepare for the big game and the dance, Chauncey arrives back in the neighborhood. Soon after, a figure in a black hoodie starts killing everyone who was responsible for the prank. Who will survive homecoming night? Mykelti Williamson co-stars as a police detective; RZA plays the school principal, co-produced the film, and composed the music.

Is it any good?

This amateurish film feels like a bunch of loose ends, which is a shame, since a version of I Know What You Did Last Summer with a non-white cast in South Central Los Angeles sounds like a great idea. But Thriller fails to follow through on any of its themes. Even though it runs less than 90 minutes, it spends a lot of time developing characters and comes up with very little other than the usual high school cliches: the college-bound brain, the football star, the nerd, the celebrity-obsessed girl, the troublemaker, etc. The horror/thriller elements are handled poorly, seemingly inspired by the most bottom-of-the-barrel-slasher films.

Victims run, scream, and hide in the dumbest places, fail to turn around and look behind them, and even fall down while being chased. We even get the typical surprise "nightmare" scene (it was just a bad dream!). Weirdly, the dead girl's twin sister speaks in her voice while looking in the mirror, but nothing comes of it. Perhaps worse, the setting contributes virtually nothing to the story, aside from two little speeches -- one about having to act "hard" to survive in the streets and another about a young man's fate being predetermined by the color of his skin -- that go nowhere. The only thing Thriller really had going for it is sadly squandered in a totally forgettable movie, a surprise dud from Blumhouse and Netflix.

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