Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks

Swamp Thing

TV review by
Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media
Swamp Thing TV Poster Image
Sci-fi meets Southern Gothic in gory, gross suspense series.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Marais is a town full of secrets and back-biting. Some people, like Abby and Alec, are trying to do the right thing -- but life doesn't make it easy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Many in the town are untrustworthy and violent, with hidden agendas at work. Alec chooses to continue getting to the bottom of what's making everyone in town sick, despite being fired by his duplicitous boss, Avery Sutherland. Several female characters are shown in leadership positions, including Abby -- an intelligent scientist in town on behalf of the CDC -- and Jennifer Beals, who portrays the no-nonsense Sheriff of Marais, Lucilia Cable.

Violence

A man's head is impaled with a large fishing spear. Lots of "body horror" type gross-outs and violence (think Alien and The Thing, but with more mud). People's bodies explode and spray goo everywhere, little kids cough up black swamp ooze. A character is shot and his boat is blown up, he's left for dead.

Sex
Language

Occasional use of swearing and obscenities, including "hell," "damn," "s--t," and "f--k."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

References to a character's past problems with alcohol; scenes of people drinking and smoking at bars. Abby and Alex use bourbon to relax after a stressful experience.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Swamp Thing is a DC comics-based series that blends elements of horror, sci-fi, and suspense. There's a lot of gory, gloopy violence: dead bodies splitting open to reveal guts and vines moving inside; a man's head is impaled with a fishing spear. Someone is shot; a character's boat is blown up with explosives. The titular character (who is technically one of the "good guys" despite his frightening, moss-covered appearance) can do things like rip people apart with his bare hands. Obscenities include a few "f-bombs" thrown in here and there.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

SWAMP THING takes its inspiration from the popular comic book series that first kicked off in the 1970s, and the character has appeared in a variety of TV shows and films (perhaps most memorably, in the 1982 Wes Craven film by the same name). This version of the story stars Crystal Reed (Teen Wolf) as whip-smart CDC doctor Abby Arcane, who has been called back to her hometown of Marais, Louisiana to help investigate and stop the spread of a perplexing new swamp-borne virus affecting its residents. Offbeat biologist Alec Holland (Andy Bean) has been researching some bizarre developments among plantlife in the local waterways, and soon joins Abby in her quest to find what's making everyone ill, despite being recently fired his wealthy benefactor Avery Sutherland (Will Patton). When their probing starts to get dangerously close to the truth, Holland goes missing, his laboratory wiped of all evidence; and an imposing, bear-like mossy figure emerges from the swamp seeking justice -- much to Abby's confused horror.

Is it any good?

Combine a solid cast with a classic "misunderstood monster" storyline, add in a great blend of practical and CGI effects, and you've got a show that proves you can do true horror on a TV budget. Swamp Thing is smart to keep its titular hero from being too overexposed early in the series, which amps up the curiosity factor and makes the creature that much more impressive when you finally see him in all his glory, dripping mud and kicking the butts of evil-doers in a confused and tormented rage. There may be too many slimy tentacles and dismemberments here for kids, but viewers with a stomach for "body horror" who love a good Southern Gothic suspense tale will find much to enjoy.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about reboots. This version of Swamp Thing updates a character and story that's been around since the 1970s, which had previously been made into an animated kid's series as well as two campy 1980s horror films. What are some other examples of movie or TV remakes that put a new spin on the source material? Does this happen often?

  • The creature in Swamp Thing can definitely be scary and imposing, but he can also be seen as a tragic figure. Why do you think there's an appeal for stories where characters turn into supernatural beings? Can you think of any other examples of this phenomenon?

TV details

For kids who love creepy TV

Our editors recommend

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

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate