Darby and the Dead brings the paranormal to life in a journey of self-acceptance. Is Darby and the Dead too spooky for kids? I’m breaking down all of the thematic elements, including its PG-13 rating, in my Darby and the Dead Parents Guide and Movie Review. Here’s what parents need to know to help YOU decide if it’s kid-friendly. As always, no spoilers!
Darby and the Dead Parents Guide + Movie Review
Spooky season might be behind us, but 20th Century Studios is raising the dead in Darby and the Dead, premiering on Hulu December 2, 2022. This flick is sure to give you major Sixth Sense vibes, as our film’s protagonist, Darby Harper (Riele Downs), acts as a spiritual messenger. She can see dead people and assists them in any unfinished business they may have before they crossover. Sound familiar?
Darby and the Dead‘s story is also reminiscent of Mean Girls and Bring it On. This movie is definitely targeted toward teens and maybe those who enjoyed those previous movies.
Riele Downs co-stars alongside Auli’i Cravalho (Moana), who plays the story’s antagonist, Capri, who is the Queen Bee of the popular girls in school. Unfortunately, Capri meets her untimely death in a freak accident and turns to Darby to help her fulfill her last wishes.
Is Darby and the Dead Kid-Friendly? Here’s Your Parents Guide:
Darby and the Dead is a story about a teenager who can see dead people. Is Darby and the Dead too scary for kids? What ages is it best suited for? Here’s what parents need to know before letting their children watch Darby and the Dead.
Darby and the Dead has an MPAA rating of PG-13 for strong language, suggestive material, and some teen partying. It has a runtime of 1 hour 40 minutes. Let’s break down the thematic elements and take a closer look.
It has already been revealed that Capri dies of an electrocution. Another character makes a hand gesture for shooting a gun at their head. With that being said, there’s isn’t really much to report in terms of violence.
Darby and the Dead has strong language indeed. Much more than necessary in a PG-13 movie. Lookout words include: freak show, moron, weirdos, holy crap, stupid, dummy, damn, Jesus Christ, money maker, bullshit, mother freaking, t!t, idiotic, multiple uses of “b!tch, @ss,$hit, Hell,” and someone says “what the f…” and the ending trails off. My hand was getting tired jotting all of these down.
Darby had a near-death experience as a young girl and briefly died. This enables her ability to see dead people. She also lost her mother in this near-death experience. She still hasn’t fully processed that grief, and she understandably struggles with PTSD as a result.
Other mature topics include a parent not accepting his gay child, and mention of eggplant and water spraying emojis.
Teenagers are seen partying and drinking underage. There is mention of the drug “Molly.” Characters throw insults and show bullying toward others.
A message about social media making us insecure about the way we look is very relevant for today.
Based on the inappropriate language used alone, Darby and the Dead is not intended for children and I wouldn’t consider it to be kid-friendly. I do see teenagers eager to watch this movie, and I think even with the poor language, there is a story worth telling. I’d suggest Darby and the Dead for ages 13 and up, but I’d strongly encourage you to watch along with your child. However, if the above mentioned themes are concerning for your family, consider pre-screening this one.
Although Darby and the Dead has a bit of a predictable story and similar themes of others, I found it to be entertaining and an enjoyable watch. The one thing I couldn’t get past was Darby speaking to “us” as if we were there. It was confusing at times and really unnecessary.
Darby and the Dead reminds us that everybody has imperfections and we’re all flawed. Some people are just better at hiding their insecurities than others. It is also noted that you should always be yourself. Try your best to not let social media shape you into someone you’re not. The only way to achieve true happiness is by being you!
You can stream Darby and the Dead exclusively on Hulu December 2nd.
Darby and the Dead Synopsis
After suffering a near-death experience as a young girl, Darby Harper (Riele Downs) gains the ability to see dead people. As a result, she becomes introverted and shut off from her high school peers and prefers to spend time counseling lonely spirits who have unfinished business on earth. But all that changes when Capri (Auli’i Cravalho), the Queen Bee of the school’s most exclusive clique, unexpectedly dies in a freak hair straightening accident, resulting in the obvious cancellation of her upcoming “Sweet 17.” Capri, however, pleads with Darby from the other side to intervene and convince Capri’s friends to proceed with the party as planned. In order to appease the wrath of the undead diva, Darby must emerge from her self-imposed exile and reinvent herself — which along the way allows her to find new joy back in the land of the living.
I HOPE YOU FOUND THIS DARBY AND THE DEAD PARENTS GUIDE AND MOVIE REVIEW HELPFUL FOR YOUR FAMILY. WILL YOU BE WATCHING?!
Looking for more parent guides and movie reviews? Don’t miss these posts HERE!