Parents guide to new movie releases:
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Rating: R for violence/terror and language.
What it's about: A quarreling couple face real problems when they are terrorized by motiveless strangers in a house in the country.
The Kid Attractor Factor: Teasing, taunting terror committed by faceless villains wearing Halloween masks.
Good lessons/bad lessons: Leaving your girlfriend alone in the middle of nowhere is no way to show her how much you love her, and it's irresponsible to live in a house with guns and not know how to use them.
Violence: Shotgun blasts to the head, knives to the gut.
Language: Some profanity, as people trapped in a house by maniacs are given to cursing their fate.
Sex: Close, but terror interrupts.
Drugs: Alcohol is consumed, and cigarettes.
Parents' advisory: More intense, a bit more gory and violent than the current run of PG-13 ”teen-friendly“ horror, this is way too much for 12-and-unders.
Rating: R for some violent images.
What it's about: A bed-bound young man in a hospital regales a little girl with an epic, imaginative tale designed to get her to help him do something she shouldn't.
The Kid Attractor Factor: Spectacle the likes of which the movies haven't seen in ages; exotic locales, action and heroes and wild costumes.
Good lessons/bad lessons: Every teller of every tall tale has a motive.
Violence: Some, but not enough to earn the R the MPAA gave this.
Language: Quite clean.
Sex: Flirtations, romance.
Drugs: Medications that can be abused.
Parents' advisory: Fanciful fantasy that isn't really a children's movie, not truly an ”adult“ film either; genuine eye candy. If your kids can watch Pan's Labyrinth without nightmares, they're up for this, which isn't nearly as violent as that.