Parent reviews for The Walking Dead

Common Sense says

Grim zombie drama is artful -- but awfully bloody.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 111 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 399 reviews
Adult Written byHalfBloodPrincess March 13, 2013

Very gory. Some viewers may not be able to handle it, regardless of age.

The Walking Dead is the kind of show you can't really set a specific age-limit for. Characters swear sometimes, including occasional racial slurs such as n****r, but it's not frequent and the character who uses it isn't portrayed in a positive light. Sex is implied a few times, and a man and woman are shown in a sexual position one time, but nothing explicit is shown. Overall, I'd say these factors alone make it appropriate for a thirteen year old. But the main factor is the gore and violence. Although most of the violence is against the "walkers", who are technically already dead, there are a few cases where living people are killed, but it's usually in self defense. Many characters die, some of them becoming walkers themselves. This in itself is not to bad, but the gore is insane. Some young teens may be able to handle it and some adults may not even be able to. I think it's up to the person to decide whether they can handle it or not. Even after all this time, I still have to look away sometimes and there are one or two times I seriously thought I was going to vomit. You see all kinds of organs, sometimes being ripped out of people while they're still alive and being eaten. Gunshots are loud and tend to attract walkers, so a large percentage of them are killed in more graphic ways, such as shooting them through the eye with a crossbow, bludgeoning them with heavy objects, or repeated stabbing them in the head with a knife. There's also some fairly unsettling images. One example that really stands out is an empty car seat covered in a bloody pulp, presumably the remains of an infant that was eaten alive by walkers. Overall, it's a very good show though with an interesting story and complex characters and there's often an interesting twist that you didn't see coming. I was worried when I started watching it that it might be a little scary, something I'm not really into, but so far there have only been two times something has made me jump and I haven't had any nightmares or anything, even when watching it right before bed, so if you're worried about that kind of thing, don't be. Like I said, the main thing is the gore. If you can handle that, I definitely recommend it. It's a fascinating story. Just look at it's rating on Netflix. It's the closest to five stars that I've ever seen.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written bymeganjohnson June 12, 2016

Amazing Show

This show is truly the best. It may contain slight violence but it isn't enough to be worried about your child, I mean the show is about zombies. My thirteen year old twins love the show and watch it all the time, even with me there. The sex scenes are barely anything, they show zero inappropriate body parts and arent even a full minute. They are pretty much not even there. There are no drug/smoking parts and this show represents multiple role models. Leadership, survival, and putting others before themselves. The actors themselves go to something called "Walker Stalker Con" where they meet and interact with fans. It's amazing how they put aside their time for the viewers. They are great role models as well. Overall, other parents should not be the slightest bit concerned when they see their kid watching "The Walking Dead".

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 13-year-old Written byReflexian March 6, 2016

Some parents need to stop over exaggerating.

Some parents are exaggerating quite a bit when it comes to the sexual content in The Walking Dead , there is hardly any of that to be found and the sexual content that is in it is not explicit at all compared to some shows / movies that are rated for a younger audience. Kids from 13 and up should have no problems with the sexual content thats in this show because they have learned enough about it at school or from their parents to be able to deal with the content in the walking dead.
The thing to watch out for most is the other content though, not every 13 year old will be able to handle the gore in the walking dead and there is a LOT of it in the show. My daughter is turning 13 this month and i'm trying to figure out if i should allow her to watch or not because of the violence and gore, not because of the sexual content. She has watched the vampire diaries, teenwolf and the hunger games without any problems so shes not that affected by violence etc, but the walking dead is a step further and it's really up to the parents if they think their kids will be able to handle it or not. Definitely not for kids under the age13 anyway.

It is a great show with great role models, but also shows how low the human race can go from acts of kindness to inhumane acts like using people as a food source (canibalism) and i don't mean the zombies, everyone knows what zombies do. The story is wel written and played by a great cast. The sexual content is non explicit and short, bad language is there but it's not used a lot, hardly any drugs or alcohol abuse. .. The really bad things when it comes to deciding at what age a kid should be able to watch the walking dead is the abundance of violence and gore.

I have watched every episode including Fear the walking dead (spin off) so i do know what i am talking about. If you want to see how your kids react to zombies and such, i would advice to let them watch Fear the walking dead first, the first season doesn't have a whole lot of the violence and gore in it so it wont be as "in the face" as the walking dead which is violence and gore from the start.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written byrdee2 March 19, 2012

Stomach- Turning Violence

I AM a fan of zombie movies but the violence is among the worst I have witnessed and often avert my eyes to certain acts. I am appalled this is deemed suitable for tv as the violence is R-rated. Sorry to see AMC stoop to this level.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byTwdfan September 8, 2019

The best show on television !!!

I think that common sense has everything wrong! It is an amazing show that is a must for action lovers and horror fans like me. There is barely any sex and the language isn’t that bad the only time that it was bad was when I’m season 1 Merle says the n word to an African American person. There isn’t any drugs (because it’s the end of the world lol) and there isn’t that much drinking only some wine and a little bit of beer. The only big problem is the gore I can handle it and if your kid is 11 or up he should be able to handle it. but I think that before u let ur kid watch it u should show them the behind the scenes makeup stuff so they know it’s just fake blood and fake gore. That’s my review it’s honestly an amazing show and if ur still unsure then watch the first episode or two.

This title contains:

Positive role models
Adult Written bybobward June 6, 2016
Excellent, excellent show. Up there with the best.

However, knowing how CSM always tend to exaggerate a hair with their age recommendations, I'm actually surprised they didn't rate this 18+. They obviously didn't make it past season 1 and 2 since after these 2 the show gets way, way, WAY more brutal and bloody. It gets downright disturbing many times. The show really doesn't pull any punches and in that respect, sometimes even surpasses a show like Game of Thrones, namely in the 6th season. Many characters - the ones you root for included - get graphically mutilated, regardless of age or gender, and I do mean that.

Also, it's intriguing to see people on here criticize the sex on a show that has - over 6 seasons - virtually NONE. And yet no mention of the violence.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 9, 12, and 15-year-old Written byJessiRae October 12, 2014

Not a family show!

I read some reviews saying the Walking Dead is appropriate for children 14 or 13 years old. That is way off!! The show is great for adults but I can't see how violence, including murder, sex and other mature matter is something that a young teenager should watch.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 11 and 14-year-old Written bylbwear143 November 2, 2013

Please reconsider if you are letting your child watch Walking Dead

I gave the Walking Dead 1 star, because this is a site to help parents and children select age appropriate media. I wholeheartedly discourage parents from allowing their children to watch Walking Dead. Each episode is filled with intense violence. It may be fantasy, but the repeated incidents of violence make the last incident seem tame compared to the next. And it just increases, episode to episode. As an adult, I have been glued to the back story of people trying to survive. There are many compelling adult moments and debates, but this program is not something that a young mind can understand. The Walking Dead is at least 50% violence. Intense violence. Numbing, stupid violence. Not OK for young adults to view as fun.
Decide for yourself, but I don't want my children or their peers watching this.

This title contains:

Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Parent of a 2, 7, and 10-year-old Written bySpongePeteRosepants April 1, 2013

Not for children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not for children!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byKeepitreal13 July 13, 2012

13 and up

I think that if your thirteen year old doesn't have nightmares about scary things and doesn't repeat bad language unless you allow it I think it would be fine for them to watch it. After all it is all special affects and CGI and fake blood and dummy's, you know that and your kids probably will know that too. There are a few sexual scenes but nothing major. The only terrible bad word is the s word but nothing to bad. Lots of violence, but all special effects makeup of course. If they or you are worried about them watching it just remember that none of its real or remind your kid it's not real. If they start having nightmares about it I would recommend you make them stop watching it because the violence gets worse little by little as the season goes on. I hope this sheds some light on this show and remember to keep an open mind.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written bymoviemaker201 August 19, 2013

The Walking Dead

I love this show, not just for the action and scares, but also for the acting (which most shows on T.V. lack), special effects (another rarity in television), and drama. In other words, it's an all around great show. But all that aside, is this show right for you or your kids? ----- Rick Grimes is a regular guy. He's a sheriff and takes his job seriously. in addition to this he also has some issues with his wife. One day while Rick is on duty with his friend Shane, in a grizzly shootout he gets shot in the back. He wakes up in the hospital a long time afterwards, and nobody's there. The hospital's deserted and it looks as if lots of people got hurt while he was unconscious. Suddenly, he exits the hospital and sees several decayed lifeless bodies in the streets. Not long after, one gets up and attacks him. He is rescued by a single father and his son. He learns that the world has changed. "Walkers," or living dead, roam the earth. Now Rick must find his family, defend against the Walkers, compete for resources, and most importantly, survive at all costs in this new, cruel world. ---------- Violence: 10/10 ----- Lots of gunplay, a shootout, grizzly zombie violence and gore, and a dark, tense tone throughout the show. Guts and blood are spilt and poured. Zombies, humans, and animals are pitifully and slowly torn apart. One character is nearly raped. ---------- Sex: 6/10 ----- Some infrequent kissing. Some characters have sex. A man has an affair with his best friend's wife, telling her that he's dead. In season 3, an episode is rated TV-MA for a near-rape scene. A drunk character attempts to have sex with a woman against her will in episode 6 of season 1. (He fails, but he does reach down her panties.) ---------- Language: 6/10 ----- Language is infrequent and includes B-tch, Sh-t, H-ll, D-mn, Piss, Crap, and C-ck. Surprisingly infrequent and clean considering the situations/conditions they're in.

This title contains:

Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byflyigncrow52 March 30, 2013

Waste of time

ABSOLUTELY NO redeeming value... Unless of course you want your children growing up with these pictures in their minds. Seems we have enough REAL blood and gore in our lives as it is ....

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byHoneyBadgerEthan January 27, 2013

110 out of 100

This is my favorite tv show. All though there is a lot of violence including, zombies ripping people open/apart. A man interrogating a woman and forcing her to take off her shirt and bra. He then gets up, unties his belt and hits her head on a table. ect. It has great role models including a group of people who take care of each other and act as if they are all one family. But There is also a lot of shooting people, and one scene a character hits another with a machete and kills him.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Parent of a 8, 14, and 17-year-old Written bySpecimenB June 22, 2012

The reviewer missed the sex.

I think it's important to note that there are a few moments of sex in the episodes. Even one or two that can be considered graphic. The show as a whole is written and executed very well. However, there is a constant grey line when it comes to morality and no real positive role model in the bunch.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent Written bytarmale October 28, 2011

Love "The Walking Dead"

I'm very picky about what I watch and I love this show. As an adult, it doesn't scare me of course but I would not allow my children to watch it. My daughter is 13 and she gets scared from the commercials so I really think that it's too gory for anyone under 16 and could cause nightmares. For adults however, it's a very well written show. The acting is very good and when the episode is over it leaves you wanting more!!!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Parent of a 14-year-old Written byGamehawk4884 November 28, 2010

Great for kids who know the differance between fiction and reality.

I personally love this show.it haas some good role models. It is fine for 13yr old s and very mature 12yr olds. Kids these days are going to watch violent shows anyway so it is not a really big issue. Anyways, the show is about zombies, if you kids is mature enough to know the differance between reality and fiction then it is fine.

This title contains:

Positive role models
Parent of a 4 and 5-year-old Written byLuvBinAMommy08 October 16, 2013

Violents and gore but has a positive message

Some sexual content, not often, no nudity. Lots of violence and gore, some episode more than others, some language, and drinking.
On a positive note the main character is a father trying to do right and show his child that you can still do good and help people.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byfirstavenger11 February 12, 2012

The walking dead

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Parent Written byPlague November 8, 2010

The Walking Dead

This show delivers an intelligent, well made storyline that the viewers will be drawn right into. This show is intensely gorey and has swearing when the characters are in peril. I would not recommend this show to anyone under the age of 13, but would highly recommend it to those who love zombie-based shows/movies.

This title contains:

Positive role models
Adult Written byBlitzGuy20 April 19, 2021

Incredible post-apocalyptic show has tons of brutal violence

The Walking Dead is a post-apocalyptic series about a group of survivors struggling to find safety under a zombie pandemic. Though the show is a must watch experience, it does include overwhelmingly brutal violence throughout it's episodes. In this detailed review, I will be breaking down all of the mature elements for seasons 1-2 and will be soon updating.

Season 1:

VIOLENCE:

Episode 1: Days Gone Bye
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A man shoots the zombie of a little girl through the head, splattering blood out.

In a police shootout, a car flips and several people are shot with bloody wounds and injury shown.

Many zombies are killed with blunt objects and guns with blood and gore shown.

A small zombie with half of her body torn off with intestines visible crawls on the ground before getting shot in the head and put out of her misery with blood shown.

Many zombies are sniped.

Many zombies devour a horse and tear it to pieces. Quite graphic and distressing.

A man shoots many zombies along with one sitting next to him.

The episode contains plenty of realistic gore and blood shed, with zombies being shot with bloody detail and dismemberment along with a horse and several people. Although this episode is graphic, it doesn't compare to later episodes.

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Episode 2: Guts
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Several zombies are violently smashed with bats.

A fight happens on a roof with minimal detail.

Several people take a dead zombie from outside and take it into the building, and begin chopping it up into pieces and slashing it open to remove its guts. Then, they start sloshing their hands around the open corpse of the zombie and start wearing it's intestines, guts and limbs. This is an extremely bloody and horrific scene to watch not for people with weak stomachs.

Many zombies are stabbed, shot and killed in more ways along with arrows, very bloody.

This episode is much more horrific and graphic than the first.

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Episode 3: Tell It to the Frogs
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Just like previous episodes, zombies are stabbed, shot, arrowed, smashed and brutalized like before showing realistic gore.

A mans cut off hand is found on a rooftop with blood everywhere.

A man is thrown on the floor and brutally beaten in the face until he is bloody and brutalized.

Compared to other episodes, this episode is fairly mild.

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Episode 4: Vatos
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During the invasion of a camp, a zombie bites a man in the neck and jumps onto him, a zombie bites into a girls arm, a zombie is beaten violently with a bat, tons of zombies have their limbs blasted off, a man has his muscle torn off by a zombie, a zombies head is split in two by a bat and a woman is eaten. This scene basically sums up most of the violence in the episode and is very disturbing, upsetting and brutal.

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Episode 5: Wildfire
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A woman drives a pickaxe into a dead mans head repeatedly causing brains to pour out and be exposed along with tons of blood to splash out. Extremely brutal.

A woman puts down her own sister as a walker with blood spurt. The scene is more upsetting than graphic.

Several bloodied corpses are shown.

Many dead zombies have a pickaxe driven into their heads causing extremely graphic imagery.

Multiple moments of zombie killing with arrows, guns etc.

Very disturbing episode.

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Episode 6: TS-19
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The opening scene of the episode shows soldiers murdering unarmed people in a hospital hallway causing some blood to splatter.

A zombies head is chopped clean off.

Some zombie's are blasted in the head.

People are threatened with guns.

A man attempts to rape a woman, but she claws his face and escapes.

A building explodes.

Overall mildest episode of the season.

LANGUAGE:

Some uses of sh*t, damn, hell, ass, a**hole, pr*ck, p*ssy, d*ck.

SEXUAL CONTENT:

A sex scene appears in episode 2 where a man removes a woman's shirt, pulls his pants down before the camera unfocused as we see them in a sexual position in the background with him thrusting.

A man tries to touch a woman inappropriately but she claws him to get away.

A man and woman get under covers implying sex.

Nothing much more.

OVERALL: Season 1 is very mild compared to later seasons including season 2, which is still milder. Although the mildest season, it is still very graphic and violent.

Season 2:

VIOLENCE:


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Episode 1: What Lies Ahead
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Zombie killing such as stabbing (screwdrivers, knives) and shooting with arrows and guns all involving strong gore and detail like earlier episodes.

A man slices his arm nearly open on shrapnel and bleeds everywhere. He is okay.

A man grabs a rock and smashes a zombies head in brutally with it (very gory, violent) and then proceeds to bash the others head in offscreen.

2 men cut open a zombies stomach and search through its intestines and bowels to see if there are human remains inside. They eventually dig far enough to the gut sac which they open up and find animal teeth. This scene is extremely nasty and graphic and it’s all mostly on screen in high detail.

A young boy is suddenly shot through the stomach. Very shocking.


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Episode 2: Bloodletting
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A young boy has a gun wound and during a surgical tiled scene he wakes up and screams in agony. The bullet shrapnel are shown being removed from his stomach as he is awake. Quite bloody.

Many zombies are shot in the heads, stabbed etc. but this episode doesn’t go as far as the others in the season.


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Episode 3: Save the Last One
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Many zombies are shot with shotguns, pistols and rifles causing their heads to spray blood and have pieces fly off as usual.

A man falls from a window and hurts his ankle.

A boy has a severe seizure do to a bullet wound.

In a very graphic scene, a man is suddenly shot in the leg then tackled onto the floor. The man is repeatedly hit and the other has his head yanked and scratched pulling his hair out before and a gun is shot into the air as he struggles for his life until he becomes to impaired to move and zombies come and tear his face apart brutally and eat him alive. This scene is very bloody as disturbing as the man who dies is innocent and trying to help and acts as live bait.


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Episode 4: Cherokee Rose
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Regular infrequent zombie killing similar to previous episodes (but milder).

A massive and fat zombie is pulled up a well and after he reaches the surface he is torn in half by the force of the rope and maggots spray everywhere along with intestines, blood and gore. After that, his head is brutally bludgeoned. The goriest scene of the episode and very disturbing even for season 2.


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Episode 5: Chupacabra
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Zombie killing including gore, and strong injury.

A man falls down a hill impaling himself with an arrow and hurting himself elsewhere. As he is nearly passed out and impaired zombies come and he is forced to surprise them by ripped the arrow out of his stomach and stabbing one with it and killing the other in a brutal way as well.

Overall, the episode isn’t too bloody for the show whatsoever.


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Episode 6: Secrets
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Plently of zombie shooting with blood and gore, disturbing corpses are discovered in a home.

A zombie is brutally slashed in the head and neck with a machete over and over. Graphic and gory.


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Episode 7: Pretty Much Dead Already
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Several zombies are shot towards the end including a zombie of a little girl, showing the same amount of gore as earlier episodes in the season, along with other scenes of violence.


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Episode 8: Nebraska
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The only violence appears at the very end where a man is suddenly shot in the head (blood splatters on the wall behind) and another man is shot in the chest 3 times and finished. A little bloody, but by far a milder episode in the season despite the human violence.

A pregnant woman crashed her car.


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Episode 9: Triggerfinger
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The episode is littered with human shootouts and violence towards the beginning, with a man being shot and falling to the ground screaming in agony for an extended period of time before dying, and others being shot at. Eventually, a boy falls on a spiked fence impaling his leg and it is ripped off of it. Very bloody scene, however it takes place in the dark.

Some zombie violence including stabbing, a pregnant woman in a car crash.


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Episode 10: 18 Miles Out
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2 men fight with punching in the face, throwing of objects. One of the men slam a motorcycle down on another with the shield hitting his face. This scene is also combined with zombie killing made up of mostly knives to the face. Then a car comes and rescues.

A girl slits her wrists with broken glass, is suicidal.


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Episode 11: Judge, Jury, Executioner
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A boy is violently tortured (punched, kicked pulled around) in a cabin and says that his group raped 2 teenage girls and forced their father to watch. This is not told in detail at all.

A mans stomach is ripped open by a zombie. He is alive while this happens and is suffering so the zombie is violently stabbed in the face then the man is out out of his misery. Very bloody and graphic.


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Episode 12: Better Angels
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A boys neck is broken off-screen but we hear a scream.

A man slams his face into a tree causing his face to bleed.

A man is stabbed, and supposedly killed when he comes back from the dead and is shot in the face.


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Episode 13: Beside the Dying Fire
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Gory zombie violence all throughout the beginning of the episode.

A boy had his neck ripped out by zombies and blood sprays all over a windshield.

A woman is eaten alive.

Zombie violence appears frequently throughout.

LANGUAGE:

Use of sh*t, damn, hell, pussy and on one occasion n*gger.

SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY:

A woman removes her top to have sex with a boy and the boy disrobes before the screen cuts away. No nudity and nothing is shown.

Mature adult themes like pregnancy, and condoms.

A woman grabs a mans crotch and it is implied they had sex.

OVERALL: This season is more mature than the first and more gory, although more slow.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness

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