Movie Ratings That Actually Work    Become a Member

"One of the 50 Coolest Websites...they simply tell it like it is" - TIME

Nightbooks | 2021 | TV-PG | – 0.4.3

content-ratingsWhy is “Nightbooks” rated TV-PG? The TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board rating indicates that “this program contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes children being kidnapped and held by a witch, children killing a witch, witches and magical creatures, children being bullied, child abandonment, we hear scary stories, several arguments, and some moderate language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


A young boy (Winslow Fegley) is captured by a beautiful witch (Krysten Ritter) who forces him to tell her scary stories every night. While he must think of a plan to escape and return home, he encounters several obstacles. Also with Lidya Jewett, Mathieu Bourassa, Jess Brown and Miley Haik. Directed by David Yarovesky. [Running Time: 1:46]

Nightbooks SEX/NUDITY 0

 – None.

Nightbooks VIOLENCE/GORE 4

 – Two young children, a boy and a girl trapped by a witch in a magical apartment, live in constant fear of doing the wrong thing and being killed; the girl, who has been there three years, tells the boy to forget his family and friends. We hear that witches kidnap, threaten to kill, eat some, and freeze other children into tiny statues.
 We see a scary witch in several scenes and she wears long rags, she has stringy hair, crumbly yellowish skin, sharp yellow teeth, a pointed chin, deep wrinkles, and glowing white eyes; her fingers are greenish and gnarled. A witch wears long opera gloves with long sharp fingernails on them.
 Several fruit pods fall and a spider with a screaming skull for a head and blades for legs hatches, a boy and a girl stomp the pods to kill unhatched creatures, spreading slime but a hatched beast (called a Shredder and looks like a small Xenomorph) chases them, jumping on them as they shriek, and poking a hole in the girl’s goggles, near her eye (she is unharmed); it cuts a lighting cable and it falls, sparking but not harming anyone, and a witch levitates them out of the room and along a hallway as they scream. A boy sees his backpack shuddering and finds a Shredder jumping out of it; we see his shadow on the wall as he beats the creature with a book, killing it.
 A girl escapes a candy jail cell and steals a bottle of magic mist, inhales from it, and makes a hidden door appear that she and a boy run through and enter an elevator; a witch climbs on the elevator top and the car gets stuck, and she then opens the top trap door and vomits white and purple slime on the children as they shriek; the children escape and run into a boiler room, followed by the witch, who chokes the boy briefly, and tries unsuccessfully to bite the girl’s nose. A boy starts to read a story and throws a book into a boiler in flames, a witch jumps in after it and the children push her into the boiler; the witch burns quickly as we see a screen full of green bubbles, then black bubbles, and then ashes.
 A room contains a dark forest and a boy and girl enter with a skeleton key made of tiny human arm bones (they could be plastic) and the tree branches contain many dirty old dolls; we hear loud hoof-beats and an angry unicorn with red eyes chases the kids, runs past them and off-screen, as the children see the Hansel and Gretel house and are lured inside by candy, which they eat until it drips from their mouths and they fall unconscious as the house shakes; the boy awakens and walks into a storeroom to find the girl and a cat locked inside a candy jail cell.
 A boy runs away from his apartment and takes an elevator to the basement, but gets stuck on the fourth floor, where a witch kidnaps him to her magic-filled apartment and demands that he tell her a new horror story nightly if he wants to live; the boy meets a young girl there who has been a prisoner for some time and the witch levitates the children several times by pointing her outstretched hands at them, and chokes them briefly in midair before dropping them to the floor (they are unharmed). A woman mocks two children when they cry and she pointedly criticizes a boy’s writing and she yells angrily at him to improve or die in a couple of scenes.
 A glass sleep pod holds a witch in a magic sleep and another witch tells a boy and a girl that she trapped the witch and took her magic, and that the pod converts the sleeper’s essence into a magical mist that she inhales from skull-shaped atomizers to gain powers. We hear that a witch was imprisoned by another witch but escaped by making her sleep and then learned that her parents had left her, so she returned to the witch and took over; she says she extended the magic sleep with recited stories of fear, suffering, and death, and that she now abducts children with storytelling skills to keep the witch asleep. A sleeping witch awakens, breaks out of a cracking coffin and attacks another witch as their eyes glow white and they throw lightning balls at each other while shrieking.
 A girl climbs a ladder, picks an ugly looking fruit pod, and throws it to the floor where a boy stomps it into white slime and the girl falls but is not hurt. In a multilevel library room, a boy drops a book and almost hits a girl 50 floors below and she screams but is unhurt. Screams from a TV show are heard in a hallway and when a boy enters the room, he is surprised by a woman wearing a monster mask and he yelps in fear. In halls and rooms, lights flicker and we hear growling and shrieking off-screen. Several scenes include thunder, rain, and lightning. A billiard ball rolls by itself across a floor and floors squeak, even when no one is walking on them. A boy makes a sandwich, sits down, and sees feces coming out of the air and splatting on the table beside his sandwich plate. An invisible cat becomes visible and a boy looks disgusted. In a scene about a short story, we see a man pouring potions into a large pointed ear of a monster that has nine red eyes and many rows of sharp teeth in a blob-like head and body. Ominous music plays in several scenes.
 A young boy who writes horror stories is sad and then enraged when his peers label him as weird and reject him; he smashes up his bedroom, rips down posters of horror movies like “Lost Boys” and “Wolfman,” and says he will burn his stories in the apartment building boiler room while his parents discuss and worry about his penchant for horror. A boy and a girl hate being held prisoners by a witch and the boy groans and grunts in frustration; they are fearful because of other children’s presumed deaths and because the witch threatens them daily. Two children argue several times. A girl says she wants to change the witch into a centipede and pull all its legs off one by one. We see a closet full of children’s clothing (it is implied that they belong to children that were killed by a witch) and a girl takes a boy to a display case to see several tiny statues of children that were frozen in place while running and screaming in fear. A boy and a girl find a sleeping potion recipe in a book and go to a laboratory room to mix colorful liquids and mists; they put drops of potion into lemonade and it turns green, so they remix the potion after tricking a witch into naming a missing ingredient.
 A hairless cat hisses and jumps on a boy several times, vanishes in the air, and while invisible it climbs into a ceiling light, hisses and jumps onto the boy and runs away as the boy shrieks. An invisible cat knocks many things off a kitchen counter, causing loud noises. A witch inhales a sleeping potion from an atomizer and passes out on the floor, as does her nearby cat. An invisible cat steals a small vial of sleeping potion and pours it into an atomizer of magic mist. A cat is caught in a sticky web and the boy pulls it out safely.
 A preteen girl gives a young boy a container of salve that he rubs on a bruise on his neck and a red scrape on the skin of a cat. A room contains a garden of unusual plants that glow in the dark. A boy looks into his backpack and finds all his short stories shredded. A boy says that he wanted to destroy scary stories he wrote because his best friend was embarrassed by them and teachers did not like them.
 Tiny doll statues are shown on a shelf and we hear cracking, and then see the gloved hand of a witch slam down on a lower shelf as we hear cackling off-screen.

Nightbooks LANGUAGE 3

 – 1 scatological term, 4 mild obscenities, name-calling (stupid, suckers, weird, freak, idiot, twits, fool, foolish, amateur, genius, lame, evil skin-bag, spy-beast, junk, ugly, Creep show, Try-hard, Bloodsucking Brady Bunch, Storyteller), exclamations (shut-up, jeez, wow, whoa, ugh), 13 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Oh God). | profanity glossary |

Nightbooks SUBSTANCE USE

 – Several magic potions and colorful mists cause changes in children and two witches (including falling asleep and having magic powers of throwing bright white light balls), and irresistible drippy candy causes children to fall unconscious.

Nightbooks DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Scary stories, witches, legends, haunted houses, imprisonment, unhappy endings, rejection, threats, fear, anger, self-loathing, nightmares, child kidnapping, cannibalism, helping others, rescuing animals, magic, creativity, embracing one’s talents, friendship.

Nightbooks MESSAGE

 – Children must learn to embrace their talents and shun negative opinions of them.

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.


how to
support us

PLEASE DONATE

We are a totally independent website with no connections to political, religious or other groups & we neither solicit nor choose advertisers. You can help us keep our independence with a donation.

NO MORE ADS!

Become a member of our premium site for just $2/month & access advance reviews, without any ads, not a single one, ever. And you will be helping support our website & our efforts.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

We welcome suggestions & criticisms -- and we accept compliments too. While we read all emails & try to reply we don't always manage to do so; be assured that we will not share your e-mail address.

how to
support us

PLEASE DONATE

We are a totally independent website with no connections to political, religious or other groups & we neither solicit nor choose advertisers. You can help us keep our independence with a donation.

NO MORE ADS!

Become a member of our premium site for just $2/month & access advance reviews, without any ads, not a single one, ever. And you will be helping support our website & our efforts.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

We welcome suggestions & criticisms -- and we will accept compliments too. While we read all emails & try to reply we do not always manage to do so; be assured that we will not share your e-mail address.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter

Know when new reviews are published
We will never sell or share your email address with anybody and you can unsubscribe at any time

You're all set! Please check your email for confirmation.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This