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The Turning | 2020 | PG-13 | – 5.5.5

content-ratingsWhy is “The Turning” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “terror, violence, disturbing images, brief strong language and some suggestive content.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes an implied rape, an attempted kiss between a teen and his nanny, a few cleavage revealing outfits and nudity in a photo; an implied rape and murder, an accidental death, a dead body trapped under water, several scenes of a woman being frightened by ghostly images and occurrences, many jump scares, unexplained noises and voices and dark passageways, several arguments; and at least one F-word and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”


Based on the Henry James novella “The Turn of the Screw”: When a woman (Mackenzie Davis) accepts her first live-in nanny position on an isolated estate, she doesn’t realize how complicated the lives of her young charges (Finn Wolfhard and Brooklynn Prince) are and how many secrets they are hiding. Also with Karen Egan, Mark Huberman, Niall Greig Fulton, Denna Thomsen and Kim Adis. Directed by Floria Sigismondi. [Running Time: 1:34]

The Turning SEX/NUDITY 5

 – A woman hears noises and voices coming from a room and she sees a woman being held on a bed by a man that has his hand on her throat and is apparently raping her (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).
 A large painting of a nude woman is seen in the background of a scene and bare breasts are visible. A photo of a woman’s bare buttocks is shown briefly. A woman sits in a bathtub and we see her bare back, legs and shoulders with flesh tones showing through the water. A woman wears a nightgown that reveals cleavage in a few scenes. A photo of a woman wearing a nightgown is shown with a caption that reads, “You’re even sexy when you sleep.”
 A woman lies in bed sleeping and a teen boy stands next to her and touches her face; she wakes up with a jump and he says he was taking a spider off her face (he’s holding a spider in his hand and crushes it); the boy then sits on the bed next to her and moves to try to kiss her and she pulls away and sends him to bed. A teen boy tells a woman that his special friend thinks the woman’s tattoo is “sexy.”


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The Turning VIOLENCE/GORE 5

 – A woman hears noises and voices coming from a room and she sees a woman being held on a bed by a man (there is also a ghostly being under the bed that seems to be slobbering; please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) and the man holds the woman around the throat and strangles her (it is implied that he is raping her).
 A woman follows another woman to a pond where she sees her standing in the middle of the water, and then she disappears; the woman is shoved into the water by something on the shore and swims under the surface to find a woman’s body trapped by branches (we see the woman’s flesh bloated and discolored). A woman hears a young girl scream and when she looks out of her window she sees the child floating face down in a swimming pool; the woman dives into the water and follows as the child sinks under the water, she is grabbed by something and surfaces quickly, breathing heavily, and the child and a teen boy pop out from behind a wall and tease her. A woman runs out of a house crying and speeds away in a car, stops at a gate, struggles to open it, rushes back to the car and we see that she has blood on her face as she panics because she sees a man inside her car. A woman with a teen boy and a young girl in her car drives toward a gate to go into town and the young girl becomes frightened screaming, “Stop the car or I’ll die,” and the teen yells at the woman to stop or “I’ll kill you.” A woman sitting on a bed is startled when grey-tinged hands crawl up her back and grab her sweater; she screams and falls out of the bed, the doorknob jiggles frantically and a young girl comes in the room asking, “Bad dreams?” A woman lurches back away from the ghost of a man and falls over a railing landing hard on the floor below, dead (we hear a crunch, see her twisted body with no evident blood).
 A woman sinks under bathtub water and sees what she thinks is someone standing over her; she sits up with a start and no one is there. A woman has a nightmare about a teen boy slamming her head against a mirror, breaking the glass. A woman closes a window and sees the reflection of a woman’s tortured face. A woman sees wet footprints walking across a floor then sees a ghostly woman standing outside and walking into a thicket of trees. A mannequin is dressed and has a wig on it and a young girl tells a woman that it is supposed to resemble her grandmother; the woman is later startled by it and moves it into another room where she turns the mannequins head to one side (it creaks) and when the woman leaves the room the head turns back by itself. A sewing machine turns on and runs by itself causing a woman to jump. There are loud thunderclaps as a woman follows the sound of footsteps in a dark hallway; she hears thumping and voices coming from a dark room and finds shutters slamming against the wall; she becomes entangled in drapes, the door slams behind her and a teen boy stands outside the door startling her. A woman sees a ghostly reflection of a man in a mirror a few times. A woman sees a ghostly reflection of a woman in a windowpane and a mirror a few times; one time the woman seems to be saying, “Help me.”
 A fish is shown out of a pond and a bird pecks on it (we see a bloody hole in its side); a teen boy stomps on the fish crushing it and says, “Nothing should suffer.” A teen boy guides a woman riding a horse around a track and whips the animal repeatedly causing the woman to become uncomfortable. A photo of a woman’s bare buttocks is shown briefly and there appears to be a large bruise on one side.
 A woman has a nightmare that she is chasing a teen boy on horseback through a maze, and she pulls the horse back to avoid hitting a young girl and it rears throwing her to the ground. A woman searches for a young girl and a teen boy while playing flashlight tag in the dark; she follows noises down a long flight of stairs and hears creaking as something snatches her flashlight and points it back at her; she runs into a mannequin and ends up with a bloody nose. A woman searches for a child in stables and she hears thumping and fluttering until a horse rears toward her and the child pops out of the shadows startling her. A woman walks through and around a large estate looking for a child and a housekeeper; she finds a birdbath with several dolls’ heads around the rim and one doll standing in the center with a cloth draped over its face and pink dyed water in the basin. A woman finds a mannequin in an old sewing room and we see several red-tipped tailors’ pins poked into the chest area. We see a woman in a psychiatric hospital sitting in an empty swimming pool and painting on a canvas; she seems distracted and unable to interact with her adult daughter when she visits. A woman has a nightmare about being in an empty swimming pool and approaching what she thinks is her mother, but she screams as she sees something (the scene ends).
 A woman tells another woman that a man is dead and that she made sure of it. A woman yells at a teen boy to stop throwing a ball against a wall and he becomes angry and storms off. A woman scolds a teen boy and a young girl for playing a joke on her. Two women argue in a few scenes. We hear that a teen boy was expelled from his school for attacking another student, choking him and slamming his head against a wall. A woman reads another woman’s diary where she describes not being safe and feeling threatened by a man. A young girl walks through a large maze with a woman and tells her that she nearly starved to death when she got lost in it once. A young girl shows a woman a painting of a sailing vessel and says that it was the ship her mother’s brother died on from dysentery. A young girl tells a woman, “I don’t go in that part of the house.” A woman says that a young girl does not leave the property for anything. A woman says, “Cross my heart and hope to die,” and a young girl says, “Stick a needle in your eye.” We hear a news report about Curt Cobain having died from an overdose and there’s a reference to it being suicide. A woman talks about how it feels to grow up without parents. We hear that the parents of two children died in a car accident and that the youngest child witnessed the event. A woman talks about her mother “having a bad spell.” A woman says that it is very quiet in a large house and another woman says, “All the better to hear you when you get lost.” A young girl tells a woman, “Apples have cyanide in them and the seeds are poisonous.” A woman says that a man died from a fall from his horse when he was drunk. A young girl talks about a woman having left without saying goodbye. A teen boy talks about having a special friend that keeps them safe and he talks to him by looking into a mirror. A teen boy slams a car door in a woman’s face and speaks to her in a threatening manner through the window. A teen boy pounds on drums while a woman tries to speak to him. A young girl yells at a woman when she knocks a child’s doll to the floor and the doll’s face breaks. A teen boy tells a woman that a doll is broken “Just like you.”
 Large spiders crawl around on a windowpane. A boy keeps a tarantula in an aquarium and when the boy puts a bug in the encasement, the spider lurches out of a hole and eats it. A boy urinates with the bathroom door open and we hear the stream. A woman’s nailbeds appear bloodied after some frantic encounters.


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The Turning LANGUAGE 5

 – At least 1 F-word, 2 scatological terms, 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (grumpy, slowpoke, sillyhead, creepy, creep, silly, fragile foddy, brute, disgusting, ridiculous, mad), exclamations (jeez), 4 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh God, Oh My God, Jesus). | profanity glossary |


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The Turning SUBSTANCE USE

 – A reference is made to a man taking a teen boy to a bar and that they both got drunk, and a comment is made of a man smelling of liquor.


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The Turning DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Mental illness, death of parents, wealth, privilege, making a difference, fears.

The Turning MESSAGE

 – You can’t escape the inevitable.

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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