Parents' Guide to

Welcome to the Dollhouse

By Hollis Griffin, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

A dark look at adolescence; not for kids.

Movie R 1996 87 minutes
Welcome to the Dollhouse Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

Nice surprise!

I found this movie to be a little strange at first because I was expecting something more tame - targeted towards young teens, but it kept my attention and eventually decided it was pretty good (It is not for kids though!). I like how it's much different than most coming of age movies I've seen, dealing with dysfunctional families. It's definitely quirky which keeps it interesting. It's basically about a girl named Dawn who is disguised as a nerd because of her unique looks. She is bullied through most of the film which I found to be sad because her nature is very simple and caring. She is highly jealous of her little sister because she is beautiful and talented. Dawn has no friends and only wants to be accepted - until she meets an older boy from her brothers' band who draws an interest in Dawn (friend wise), then Dawn thinks she's in love. The only violence I remember is the bullying and verbal abuse (a school boy threatens to rape Dawn and tells her to meet him after school. He also verbally abuses her by calling her crude names.) Dawn and her sister also fight. Some strong language even by tweens. There is a bit of sexual innuendo throughout, some kissing and talking about intercourse. Overall, nice little movie for mature teens 15 and up.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (3):

Viewers will find themselves rooting for Dawn when she mutilates dolls and destroys family property; this is rendered comically in the film, but it is dark stuff. Adults will be able to appreciate the universality of the film's message: adolescence is a tough time that many experience as being alienating and disconcerting. Dawn's trials and tribulations will likely, ring too true to many kids as well. The film is essentially a commentary on overly rosy portraits of adolescence on film. This fact is likely to escape young viewers. Thus, this is a great film for adults, but it is too sinister and gloomy for kids.

Movie Details

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