Lost Tapes

Common Sense Media says

Violent, scary "true stories" aren't for young kids, tweens.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show implies that the (fictitious) video footage it uses is factual evidence of the existence of unknown creatures, which sends negative messages to younger viewers about the reliability of the media’s messages.

Positive role models

The people featured in the supposedly truthful videos play along with the idea that the filmed "encounters" really happened, which doesn't set a stellar example for kids.

Violence

Vicious encounters with mysterious creatures are usually blurred or obscured by objects or darkness, but there’s lots of screaming and obvious fear on the part of the victims, and injuries like cuts, scrapes, and bruises are shown. In many segments, witnesses make assumptions about victims’ violent deaths, and blood spatter or other evidence is shown. Often people use weapons like guns or knives for protection. Fictitious or not, the show’s content is often extremely disturbing, as in cases that replay video filmed by a supposed victim just before his or her death.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Sporadic use of “hell” and “damn,” as well as milder phrases like “oh my God” and “crap.”

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this intense series -- which uses fictitious video footage of violent encounters with cryptozoological creatures like werewolves to imply that they really exist -- definitely isn’t for young kids or tweens. The content is suspenseful and may be disturbing even for sensitive older viewers. Victims are shown bloodied and battered from supposed run-ins with the creatures; some exchanges even end in death -- which isn’t shown but is discussed in detail by the narrator. There's also some sporadic cursing (“hell” and “damn,” mostly).

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Vampires, werewolves, and swamp creatures: They’re the stuff of nightmares, but could they possibly be real? While science says no, eyewitnesses claim otherwise, and LOST TAPES is a collection of video footage inspired by the stories people have told about their encounters with such creatures. Each episode centers on “mockumentary” clips that show or imply the violent clashes; the fictitious tales are then juxtaposed with brief real-life accounts, photos, and other evidence from actual witnesses in a subseries called “Lost Tapes: Revelations.”

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Simultaneously scintillating and bone-chilling, this intense series beckons to thrill-seekers and (yes, even though it’s totally fake) may be too much for anyone with a low tolerance for fright. It’s true that the subpar acting is a dead giveaway of the show’s real nature, but that doesn’t automatically erase every shred of uncertainty when it comes to some people’s fears of things that go bump in the night. What’s more, each episode includes some data -- including photos, video, and brief eyewitness accounts -- that raise legitimate questions about the possibility of mysterious creatures.

As for families, this series is a classic example of a parental judgment call. The ambiguity between fact and fiction, the lasting images of violence, and the implications of death rule it out for kids and tweens, but if your teens can handle some goosebumpy thrills and aren’t prone to nightmares, they’ll probably be fine.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the message this show sends about the reliability of the media. How much of what we see on TV is believable? How can the media skew our perception of celebrities, politicians, and other leaders?  

  • How do scientists go about proving or disproving theories? What steps must they take to gather and analyze evidence? What evidence exists for or against some of the creatures discussed in this show?

  • Did you like this series? Was the concept new to you? What, if any, of the content had an educational aspect?

TV details

Network:Animal Planet
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD

This review of Lost Tapes 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.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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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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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bypen7777 January 11, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Really good!

This show is definatly not for kids, but good for tweens and teens. Lots of violence and scary images,but thats kind of what the show is trying to have.For people who like horror, a definate must!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old November 16, 2009
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
I have heard about this and wow! The description was nothing like it! blood and guts and gore are a huge problem, I am not kidding! This is not for kids or tweens! Trust me, I saw it and I am ten!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byThatRussianYakAttack December 5, 2009
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
It may make some younger children believe these creatures do exist (especially in the manner in which they are portrayed on the show), but watching this as an older teen, it's easy to see how fake and cheap the show actually is. It's like a trainwreck really. You just can't look away no matter how bad you want to.

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