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The Little Stranger | 2018 | R | - 4.6.3

Why is "The Little Stranger" rated R? It is for scenes of frightening events that lead to gory injury and death, some mild nudity and a couple of romantic, near-sexual encounters, some sexual innuendo and a few mild obscenities. Read our parents' review below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


A doctor (Domhnall Gleeson) is called to a crumbling estate where he encounters a servant claiming to be ill although she is actually frightened of odd occurrences in the old house. As he becomes more involved with the family, the activities become more inexplicable, as well as violent. Also with Ruth Wilson, Josh Dylan, Charlotte Rampling, Will Poulter and Lorne MacFadyen. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson. [1:51 - PG-13]

The Little Stranger SEX/NUDITY 4

 - A man driving a car looks at a woman's leg, she touches his hand on the steering wheel and he drives into a secluded area where he touches her thigh, they moan and caress each other and they kiss until she stops abruptly, pushes him away and says she can't. A man kisses a woman on the cheek. Men and women dance at a party. A man holds a woman's hand and proposes marriage. A man and woman walk together holding hands.
 A woman tells a man that another woman, "Thought you and I were at it." A person asks of a doctor, "Who has slept with the most nurses?" A woman refers to a man as "the octopus," and says, "He has hands everywhere." A man admires a woman dancing and says, "She's got hips and she know what to do with them." A doctor talks about a 13-year-old girl being pregnant until her father beat it out of her. A woman breaks off her engagement to a man.
 A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage. A man is shown wearing a tank T-shirt and pajama pants while shaving (we see his bare shoulders and upper chest). A doctor examines a woman and her dress is unfastened in the front (we see cleavage and part of her undergarment).


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The Little Stranger VIOLENCE/GORE 6

 - A man breaks a door open and finds a woman dead on a bed with her wrists slit and a lot of blood soaked onto her bed and her clothing. We hear floors creaking and doors banging in a house and a woman goes upstairs to investigate when she sees something, backs up quickly and falls over a banister crashing onto the stairs below (we see her twisted body and neck with blood pooling on the floor and understand that she is dead).
 A young girl chases a dog behind a heavy curtain where we hear a low growling and a sickening scream; the girl is pulled out from behind the curtain and we see that her face has been badly bitten (there is a lot of blood) and she screams as she is carried to a kitchen table, and a doctor gives her an injection and cleans up the wounds (we see the bloody table and bandages on the table later). A woman stands in an empty room, and a loud whooshing noise is followed by the door slamming; we hear glass break and we see the woman on the floor with blood on her hands and the window sill and a window pane is shattered. A doctor examines a woman and she flinches several times and blood appears on her nightdress each time in different parts of her body (as if she is being stabbed but no one else is seen in the room). A man stands in a room where shelves filled with books go up in flames (he is shown unharmed later). A dog is euthanized and we hear its last breathing.
 A man is taken away from his home by a doctor (we understand he has been taken to an institution and there are discussions of mental instability). A man speeds on a dirt road in a car and nearly hits a dog that runs into the road in front of him. A man yells and we hear bottles breaking (he seems drunk). A man yells and throws a glass. A young boy breaks a piece off a decorative wood trim in a home and his mother slaps him hard in the face then pulls him by the arm out of the house. Many service bells ring in a kitchen, even though the rooms they represent are unoccupied.
 A doctor talks about a 13-year-old girl being pregnant until her father beat it out of her. A man is agitated and says, "I have a bad feeling." A young woman cries and talks about wanting to go home; she implies that she is afraid of frightening occurrences in the house where she is employed. A man enters a house and it is very dark and quiet; he speaks to a maid who is startled and drops a glass and it shatters. A man talks about, "The thing in that house." A man says that his mother, "Worked herself into an early grave." A person asks of a doctor, "Who has killed the most patients," and "Who has slept with the most nurses." A woman talks about odd noises in a house. A woman breaks off her engagement to a man.
 A doctor tells a patient that she has a heart condition which is causing her shortness of breath. A doctor talks about treating an individual for whooping cough. A man talks about his parents having died. A woman talks about her sister having died before she was born. A woman talks about losing her brothers in war. A dog barks at a man.
 We see many repeated lines and squiggles carved in different parts of a home. A doctor sets up a large machine that he uses to help treat a burn victim with badly burned legs. A man is shown to have severe burn scars on his face and head and he has a limp caused by further burns (we see his badly scarred leg in a later scene) and other injuries to his legs. A doctor takes a sick young woman's temperature and she complains of pain and cries. A man shaves his face and we hear the blade scratching against his skin (there's no blood). A man stands over a woman and watches her sleep.
 A remark is made about someone having "a violent stomach thing." A man snores in bed. A woman says, "All the water's gone brown."


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The Little Stranger LANGUAGE 3

 - 1 anatomical term, 9 mild obscenities, name-calling (silly girl, brutes, stupid, brainy, ghastly, foul, back water, idiot, cracked, invalid, fool, mob, nasty, from pirate stock, charity case, fool, fussy), exclamations (rubbish, gosh, pig's ear, oh gosh), 12 religious exclamations (e.g. For Heaven's Sake, Good Lord, Christ, For God's Sake, Oh God). | profanity glossary |


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The Little Stranger SUBSTANCE USE

 - A doctor injects a young girl with a sedative to calm her after a dog bite on the face (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details), a doctor injects a woman with a sedative, and a doctor injects a dog to euthanize it. Two men drink sherry in a study, a man pours two drinks, a man and a woman drink champagne and a man smokes a cigarette, a young girl sips from her mother's glass of wine at a dinner party, a man at a party pours liquor from a flask into two punch glasses and a man and a woman drink from them, people drink beers in a pub, men drink and smoke in a pub, a man drinks whisky, and a man is shown to be inebriated and holds a glass of liquor in his room. A man smokes a cigarette in a study, a man smokes a cigarette while walking, a woman smokes in a parlor, a man smokes in bed, a man smokes in an office in several scenes, a woman lights two cigarettes and she and a man smoke them, a woman smokes in a house, a man smokes outside an operating theater, and a young girl says that she has smoked a cigarette.


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The Little Stranger DISCUSSION TOPICS

 - Aging estates, death of a loved one, small towns and villages, shame, death of a sibling, jealousy, suicide, obsession, possessiveness, supernatural occurrences, curses, poltergeists, pride, grief, neuroses.

The Little Stranger MESSAGE

 - It's hard to walk away from loved ones, but sometimes it's the only way to survive.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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