The Moth Diaries Friday, 10 April 2020

The Moth Diaries

Additional Info

  • Rating:

    MA15+: Strong horror themes.

  • The pitch:

    This is no butterfly.

  • Starring:

    Sarah Bolger, Lily Cole, Sarah Gadon, Melissa Farman, Valerie Tian, Scott Speedman, Gia Sandhu, Laurence Hamelin, Kathleen Fee, Julian Casey, Anne Day-Jones, Judy Parfitt

  • Directed by:

    Mary Harron

  • Running time:

    82 minutes

  • Rated:

    MA15+ (Australia), 18 (UK), R (USA)

  • VIOLENCE/GORE:

    Frequent reference, mention and dramatisation of suicide, especially wrist-slitting. Stolen diamonds, vampire stories, death mentioned. A girl runs a razor blade over her wrist on several occasions. A girl throws a chair through a window, a girl smashes an object. A girl almost slips off a high roof ledge. A girl breaks down a door and finds her dead father in a pool of blood (flashback). A chest is doused in accelerant and set alight; objects and a girl burn. A girl sings a nursery rhyme that mentions butchering, cannibalism and burying bones. Screaming. Blood/gore: Bloody nose, pooling blood, menstrual blood stains on clothing and sheets, high blood splatter, raining blood. Blood on hands, face, arms, ground, objects. Bloody razor blade. Corpses seen beneath window (suicide by jumping implied), in grassland (murder implied), in a coffin, submerged in bath (suicide implied), found in bathroom (suicide implied). Dead bird.

  • SEX/NUDITY:

    Teenage girls discuss sex, sexuality, virginity. A teenage girl meets a teen boy in the woods for first-time sex. A teacher kisses a teen student and begins to unbutton her blouse. Nudity: Teenage girl is naked beneath a boy, her breasts are visible. Girls frequently chat while bathing (no nudity seen). A girl is submerged in a bath with her hands covering her nipples. Drawing of a woman in revealing lingerie. Two nude teenage girls appear locked in a sexual embrace.

  • VICES/DRUG USE:

    Alcohol (wine). Teenage girls share a joint, cannabis pipe. Drug-induced behaviour.

  • LANGUAGE:

    F-words, derogatory terms for females. Name-calling.

  • THEMES:

    Suicide, lesbianism, sexual repression, friendship, boarding school, jealousy, black magic, vampires, vengeance, teenage sexuality, poetry, literature, gothic horror, the supernatural.

  • HIDDEN EXTRAS:

    Dead fathers (suicides), alcoholic mother, anorexia, menstruation cramps mentioned. Church, hospital and funeral settings. Moths, squirrel, full moon, telepathy, levitation, therianthropy, supernatural (mentioned). Black-and-white flashback sequences. Adapted from The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein.

  • CRITICS LIKE:

    Atmospheric. Excellent casting choice in Lily Cole.

  • CRITICS DON'T LIKE:

    TV-movie style production values. Disappointing conclusion, dull performances. Wan, heartless, charmless, suspenseless, underdeveloped, forgettable.

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