Tremors

  • Review Date: May 3, 2009
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1990
  • Running Time: 96 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Modest monster flick is great fun for teens.
  • Review Date: May 3, 2009
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1990
  • Running Time: 96 minutes

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Perhaps the best thing here is the depiction of how a group of disparate individuals comes together to survive an attack by carnivorous underground monsters; the attack also lets our heroes show that they're reliable, responsible people who can come through in a tough spot.

Violence

Bloodless (for the most part) violence is perpetrated against human beings by monsters; gory violence is perpetrated against monsters by human beings. Bombs, bullets, and blunt force are used against creatures; human beings are bitten by tentacles, tugged underground, mangled, etc. A dehydrated dead body is seen. Very mild blood.

Sex

Light flirting; a climactic kiss.

Language

Mild strong language, including "hell," "goddammit," "Jesus Christ," "pisses," "s--t," "bastard," "ass," "a--holes," and one non-sexual use of "f--k."

 

Consumerism

Some brands are seen -- Marlboro, Virginia Slims, Mountain Dew, Pepsi, Caterpillar heavy equipment. Firearms are named by brand.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink beer.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, for the standards of science-fiction action, this is a rousing, well-made monster flick that's high on fun and excitement but low on terror and gore; there's some salty language, yes, and the monsters are dispatched in fairly spectacular, splattery fashion, but there's not a lot of blood, and the human victims of the creatures are dispatched in bloodless fashion. There's a lot of firearms action in the film - courtesy two "survivalist" characters -- but it's all unleashed against huge, scary worm-monsters who clearly have it coming.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In TREMORS, handymen Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward are two semi-employed handymen who make the decision to get out of the sleepy burg of Perfection, Nevada; their decision to leave is complicated by the sudden appearance of hungry, colossal tunneling worm-creatures who hunt prey by vibration -- including humans. As Perfection comes under siege, Ward and Bacon rally the town's handful of residents to try to escape before they become a meal for creatures from the beyond.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Modestly made, Tremors is nonetheless a real crowd-pleaser, in part thanks to the chemistry between Ward and Bacon; while the film's got a modest budget, the script has real polish and integrity, as it hews close to the rules it sets and applies real logic and care to its scenes.

There's some adventure violence and peril in the film, yes, but the movie's so wonderfully aware of what it is, hewing close to the B-movie tradition, that it never overdose the rough stuff; instead, it's simple fun that works remarkably well. There have been several straight-to-video sequels, but the original is clearly the best of the bunch -- and a great modern iteration of an old-fashioned creature feature.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of monster films, as well as the tradition of the B-movie -- low-budget, low-starpower films that nonetheless become cult classics. They can also talk about the communitarian message of Tremors, and how the town of Perfection comes together to survive.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 19, 1990
DVD release date:April 29, 1998
Cast:Fred Ward, Kevin Bacon, Reba McEntire
Director:Ron Underwood
Studio:Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:96 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13

This review of Tremors was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byrandonheaton May 27, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
Very bad language throughout film. Barely even one sentence when out with out a swear word. Kind of stupid movie I like the second tremors better because of less bad language.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byTracyeMay August 13, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

A fun horror movie

I love this movie. A hilarious horror movie. Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward are hilarious together. Then, Reba McIntire's bit part is genius.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent of a 14 year old Written byjacob0929 May 14, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

tremors!!!

good but lots of language
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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