A true-crime novelist (Ethan Hawke) moves into the house of a murdered family with his wife (Juliet Rylance) and two children (Clare Foley and Michael Hall D'Addario). He writes about the unsolved murders, hoping for a national book award, but the dead family of four apparently had another child who went missing after the murders and may be haunting the house. Also with Fred Thompson, Vincent D'Onofrio and James Ransone. Directed by Scott Derrickson. [1:50]
SEX/NUDITY 3 - A woman wears shorts that reveal most of her legs to the thigh, with a tank top revealing nipples that are visible through the fabric. A pool scene shows boys and men wearing swim trunks while a woman and two young girls wear one-piece swimsuits that reveal the woman's cleavage. A woman wears a low-cut robe that reveals cleavage. In a home scene, a woman wears a short skirt that reveals much of her thighs and lower legs. Three boys sleep wearing long pants and no shirts.
► A husband and his wife kiss briefly a few times. A husband kisses his wife quickly as she lies clothed and covered in bed before he goes to work.
VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - The film opens with full-screen Super 8 footage and we see a family of four standing under a tree with bags over their heads and nooses around their necks: each person is lifted by the nooses and strangled until dead when a large limb on the other side of the tree is sawed off; we see this scene several times and a demonic face with black-triangle eyes and yellowed peeling skin appears.
► We see the throats of a man, a woman and a boy being slit from ear to ear by a large knife, with substantial blood. A girl carrying an axe and a camera begins to film the grisly murders of her father, mother and brother; the camera cuts to the hallway where we see a lot of blood on the walls and floor, with pictures painted in blood of unicorns, cats, dogs and cult symbols and the girl walks down the hall with blood all over her, and especially hands and bare feet, and she draws a cartoon of the bodies of the family cut into thirds.
► A man watches films that he found in his attic and sees families being murdered in various ways, including having their throats slit in bed, bound and gagged and burned with gasoline in a car closed up with chains, drowned when bound and gagged to chaise lounges pulled with ropes into their pool, and by hanging; a lawnmower is shown about to run over a young boy lying on the ground and the camera cuts away as the man watching runs out of the room in horror. We see photos of a man, woman and two children, all dead, and with rope burns around their throats.
► A man watching films of murders sees a strange cult symbol painted near the murder scenes, and a demonic figure several times. A man watches films and the projector catches fire, but he blows out the flames. A projector starts playing by itself several times in a home office even though it had been locked up in an attic or another storeroom.
► A man sees a demon outside in the bushes, he takes a baseball bat and finds his son having a night terror, trembling and staring and a big dog that growls and runs away; in the background, we see outlines of five zombie children. Five white, peeling-faced zombie children stand near or run up to a man that cannot see them, and then run off screen. A dark figure runs across the foreground of a scene and a blurry figure appears at a window for a split second. A small girl is shown swinging from the feet of a hanging man. We see a young zombie girl with peeling skin on her face looking at a drawing and saying, "Shhhhh." A demon in dark clothing and with a yellowed, peeling face stands around the interior of a house, in doorways and windows. A man is startled when a demon appears and causes him to fall out of the attic unharmed; he has a panic attack, shaking and shouting. A man hears a film projector running in his attic; he investigates and finds five zombie children watching a filmed murder, and saying "Shhhhh." A 14-year-old boy slashes the air with a bloody carving knife several times, stabs it into a tabletop, and says "Shhhhh," as if he has a secret. A girl walks over to a projector and we see five zombie children looking at her from the screen.
► A man falls through a weak spot in his attic floor and the camera cuts to an EMT in the kitchen, wrapping the man's left calf with bandages (we see a little blood).
► A family moves into a dark house once inhabited by another family that was murdered; the house is always dark, strange noises are heard including creaking floorboards, slamming doors, footsteps in the attic, growling and roaring of animals, machine noises, scratchy record player noises and a baby babbling. A man carries a baseball bat around the house for protection, but never uses it. A demon picks up a girl and walks into a film with her. A man sees glowing green liquid in his coffee and passes out, foaming at the mouth (please see the Substance Use category for more details); when he wakes up, he finds himself and his wife and son bound and gagged.
► A man argues briefly with a sheriff twice and argues with his wife several times, escalating shouting and cursing until it's very loud. A woman argues with her son and her daughter in different scenes, screaming at them for drawing morbid pictures. We hear of a serial killer and a string of murdered families several times. We hear that a child is missing after a family is murdered. A man becomes obsessed with why a child went missing after a family was murdered. We hear a deputy and a crime researcher discuss a case of murdered families across America and that a serial killer murdered them all from the 1950s to the late 1990s; a college professor says that the murders are part of a cult following initiation that includes blood sacrifice and the cannibalism of children's bodies and souls. A man consults a religion and cult college professor to have him explain symbols in a set of films and learns that the symbols belong to a Babylonian god called Baghuul, the eater of children and their souls. We see a fresco with cult symbols: a snake, a black scorpion, bloody bodies and Baghuul. An envelope is shown with "extended endings" written on it; we see a missing child from several murders appearing at the scene of related crimes. A close-up of a demonic white face with yellowing and peeling areas and black triangle eyes appears abruptly in close-up briefly and then disappears. A girl paints a dead girl swinging from a tire swing on the hallway wall at home and in her bedroom; she also draws four stick people hanging by nooses from a tree with a demonic face on the tree trunk. A man finds a snake that slithers away in his attic and he sees a black scorpion in the corner and smashes it flat with a large box.
► A pre-teen boy has a night terror in which he does not recall that he arises at night from a cardboard packing box, screaming, and we hear that this is a lifetime problem for him and that he tried to urinate in the clothes dryer twice.
► A man burns a movie projector and film in a fire ring and moves his family out of a house after shouting at this wife to hurry and pack.
PROFANITY 4 - 7 scatological terms, 6 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, moron, sick, circus, waste of time, Man of the People), stereotypical references to families, children, zombies, authors, law enforcement officers, college professors, cult researchers, serial killers, 1 religious profanity, 7 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]
SUBSTANCE USE - A man drinks a bottle of beer with dinner and in several other scenes a man drinks a glass of whiskey several times when he is in his home office and once from the whiskey bottle, a man falls asleep in a chair while holding a glass of whiskey, a man drinks a cup of coffee that contains a neon green liquid and collapses while foaming at the mouth, a deputy sheriff tells a man that the man may be imagining horrors because of stress and drinking after moving to a new home.
DISCUSSION TOPICS - Murder, death, ghosts, zombies, children committing murder, curses, superstition, different religions, the occult.
MESSAGE - The unexplained can kill you.