Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says Iffy for 15+
Bizarre, beautiful French sci-fi with creepy images, themes.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this surreal French film about bad dreams is full of nightmare-inducing imagery include menacing cyborg-like men who have replaced their eyes with old camera lenses, creepy faces distorted by wide-angle lenses and CGI rapid aging, and an opening invasion by nasty Santa Clauses. Children are menaced, with kidnapping, violence, betrayal, and with death -- drowning and strangulation. There is brief showgirl nudity in a nightclub scene and scene of coy sexy talk. Violence includes bloody faces, an impaling, near-shootings and fatal explosions (still, mayhem is minor for an R-rated movie). Characters smoke and drink. Most versions of the film require reading of subtitles (and "bitch" comes up in translated dialogue). A childlke grown man and a precocious little girl are a "romantic" lead couple -- but there's no sexual contact between them.
- Families can talk about the unusual style of the film. Was it off-putting or hard to follow? How does it compare to American movies you've seen?
- Did the surreal style of the movie change your impression of the violence? Did it seem less realistic, or more creepy?
- Talk about some of the themes in the movie -- the search for a soul, the need for human connection, resilience in the face of horror and loneliness.
The good stuff
Positive messages: Surreal take on the Frankenstein theme, of artificial creatures turning on their creator in a commentary on humanity. The importance of human connection -- worth even major risks and sacrifices.
Positive role models: Miette is an exceptionally brave and resilient young heroine, while One is a Hercules-type muscleman good guy (although not terribly smart). Not every monstrosity is evil (such as "Uncle Irvin," the helpful brain), nor do good characters always act righteously. Fanciful setting seems to depict a society in which kids can rely on nobody but each other.
What to watch for
Violence: One villain is bloodily impaled with a speargun. Characters turn homicidal and kill with their bare hands, and the little-girl heroine is shockingly beaten and nearly strangled. Flashback to a mad-science lab fight, with bloody faces and smashed test tubes. One character threatened with a shotgun. Explosions and fires non-explicitly kill people.
Sexy stuff: A distant view of topless showgirls as a panicked nightclub empties. A woman in a low-cut gown tried to seduce a drunken man.
Language: "Bitch" in the subtitles.
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: The strongman One drinks himself insensible in a bar. He and other characters smoke cigarettes.