Written by Cole the Kid Critic November 20, 2008
PARENT REVIEW: Your and Their Worst Nightmare
THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES is a nightmare making machine and SHOULD NOT BE RATED PG. All those invisible monsters you've been trying to convince your child don't exist come to life in horrific fashion in THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES. The story follows angry 11-year-old Jared Grace (Freddie Highmore), his twin brother Simon (also Freddie Highmore) and older sister Mallory (Sarah Bolger) as they move into a relative's abandoned home.
Jared discovers a book that reveals a secret "fantastical" world of fairies, sprites, and goblins...and their evil leader Morgrath. It turns out Morgrath wants the book because it will help him destroy the world so of course the kids can't give it to him. Seeing how Morgrath is evil and all, he and the goblins come after the kids in sinister fashion.
My first grader sat in my lap cowering with her head buried in my shoulder and hand over her eyes during many of the scenes while I felt like an irresponsible mother for taking my daughter to this PG-rated film. Once you're in it, of course, you have to see it through to the good beats evil end that you know is coming...or do you? If I had, she wouldn't have seen the moment where the parent transforms into an evil monster and the "please PLEASE don't do this at home" way Jared takes care of the problem.
Other than being incredibly scary to younger kids, THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES is clean cut with the only minorly offensive moments with one "What the he**" and a "My G*d!" The moral of the story seems more aimed at parents to remember how their relationship difficulties affect the kids. THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES' message to kids: read and respect warning labels! For kids 9 and older who are not afraid of monsters under the bed.