Dystopian fantasy collection has language, violence, trauma.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Undergods is a collection of fantasy stories that all take place across a post-apocalyptic Europe, and has occasional bloody violence and strong language. All the stories feature a variety of different characters who live bleak, difficult lives and who are trying to survive their circumstances in different ways. As a result there are few positive messages, although some characters occasionally show acts of kindness such as inviting stranded strangers into their homes. But the harsh living conditions of their world frequently overtake them as people row, fight, and betray one another. Violence is intermittent, sometimes bloody but never graphic or gory. In one scene, someone is beaten to death with bats during a mugging. There is occasional swearing, including misogynistic language such as "ugly f--king pig" and "stupid f--king bitch." Sex is referred to but never shown, including a wife's infidelity. There is also some male nudity when a captor is stripped by his abductors. Because the setting is so sparse and spare, there is little consumerism, but there are some references to wanting to earn more money. Though there is smoking and drinking, it's mostly in moderation and in adult social settings. But there is one scene in which a male character -- while under the influence -- makes unwanted sexual advances toward a female character.
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What's the Story?
UNDERGODS is an episodic fantasy movie containing stories that are connected by their decaying, dystopian European setting. In each story, various characters try to survive the harsh living conditions and traumatic experiences.
Is It Any Good?
The debut feature from writer-director Chino Moya, this fantasy thriller suffers from a common complaint about music video and commercial directors transitioning into movies. Undergods has plenty of style, but not much substance. While this anthology of stories takes place in a well-shot, visually rich world, its characters rarely talk or behave in believable ways. As a result, each segment groans under the weight of seeming like it is trying to be a metaphor for something -- possibly how the modern world is slowly eroding people's living standards and ability to communicate effectively with one another. But everyone we meet is too cold and distant for us to care about their fates, or what overarching point it feels like the filmmaker is trying to make.
Moya would likely be able to create something dark, mysterious and humorous with a stronger script. But Undergods ends up trapped in the uneventful world it is trying to both warn us about and escape.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the the world in which Undergods is set. In what ways was it recognizable, but also different, to today's world? Did it remind you of any other movies that are set in a world familiar but unlike our own?
Talk about the violence in the movie. Was it shocking or thrilling? Why? Does exposure to violent media desensitize kids to violence?
Discuss some of strong language used. Did it seem necessary or excessive? What did it contribute to the movie?
Discuss the large cast of characters. Did you enjoy watching lots of stories set in one place? Would you have preferred to follow some of them more and others less? What connected the movie's different stories. How were the characters similar despite being from different walks of life?
How was this movie different to other fantasy movies that you've seen? Were you surprised to watch a fantasy movie without more special effects or magic?
- In theaters: May 7, 2021
- On DVD or streaming: May 7, 2021
- Cast: Johann Myers, Geza Rohrig, Michael Gould
- Director: Chino Moya
- Studio: Gravitas Ventures
- Genre: Fantasy
- Run time: 92 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: March 15, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Touching but grim futuristic tale won't appeal to kids.
I Am Legend
Intense, thoughtful thriller has some big scares.
Children of Men
Gripping, violent look at the future. Adults only.
For kids who love fantasy stories
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