IMDb > American Gothic (1988) > Parents Guide
American Gothic
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Parents Guide for
American Gothic (1988) More at IMDbPro »

The content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
Since the beliefs that parents want to instill in their children can vary greatly, we ask that, instead of adding your personal opinions about what is right or wrong in a film, you use this feature to help parents make informed viewing decisions by describing the facts of relevant scenes in the title for each one of the different categories: Sex and Nudity, Violence and Gore, Profanity, Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking, and Frightening/Intense Scenes.
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Pa warns the group "There will be no devil's play in this house" when one couple asks permission to spend the night together.

Incest is implied between two characters during an exchange of words.

A man tries pin down and rape a woman, killing her in the process. He then proceeds by ripping open her jumpsuit, revealing her bra and panties. The man rips off the latter (we see no nudity), starts to smell her breasts, and pulls down his pants (again, no visible nudity). The scene ends here, but necrophilia is later implied.

Ma quips to Cynthia about two people who "thought they could do whatever they wanted on our beach," vaguely implying sex.

A character slips off a rock, hits her head, and falls into the ocean; knocked out. But is later rescued by her friend and survives.

A man is killed when the swing he's riding gets cut from it's ropes and careens off a cliff. Someone later discovers his corpse; beaten and bloodied from the fall.

A woman gets harassed by the "children" who grab at her and force her to jump rope. They then tie her up with the large rope and she's later discovered by someone, dead and hanging from a limb by the rope.

A man is impaled through the eye with a spear of a statue, as he stumbles out a door; blood dripping from his eye, he collapses on the floor and is stabbed (off-screen) by a woman with knitting needles.

Woody and Teddy playfully shoot a toy arrow and cap guns at Cynthia and Terri

A character threatens another with a flare gun

We see a man's corpse inside a boat with a hatchet in its face, with blood dripping down.

A character shoots the flare gun at two men, but misses, however it explodes rather violently upon impact

Two men douse the man in the boat with gasoline and send it off into the ocean, igniting it. The man's body catches fire and eventually, the whole boat explodes

Two characters discover the corpse of the man killed by the fall propped up in a room, one is caught by a man, and during a struggle where he tries to rape her, is killed when the man accidentally grabs her head and breaks her neck.

Pa spanks Teddy with a stick while the family watches.

We see corpses, both fresh and in varying states of decay in a basement.

A character tries to grab a mummified baby from another character, during a struggle, it breaks apart and in rage, the woman bludgeons the other to death with a washbin as we see blood slowly drip down her face until she collapses.

A man discovers the woman's bloody corpse and we see him (off-screen) get speared in the head with a statue by the killer.

The killer grabs knitting needles that a woman is using and stabs her in the neck and chest.

A man discovers the last woman's corpse, still bleeding, and gets stabbed (off-screen) in the neck with a sickle by the killer.

A man slowly discovers all the corpses in the house, and ultimately gets shot in the back by the killer.

Some moderate language: "What the hell?" "damn you," "bullsh*it," "G*ddamn," "Christ's sake," and "Oh my G*d"

Lynn lights a cigarette and starts smoking at the dinner table, much to the disapproval of Ma and Pa who kick her out of the house. She's later seen smoking outside and once again while walking in the woods.

Some scenes under violence can be considered frightening, and the entire theme about a family kept mentally backwards in the 1920s and the parents keeping their adult children mentally adolescent may be disturbing to some.

Cynthia has vivid flashbacks about how her baby died; it is implied she drowned while taking a bath.

A character takes another down to see her baby; revealing a mummified child's corpse and asks her if she wants to kiss it, to which she faints.

We see a brief flashback to one of the murders that occurs in the film which may make some jump.

Fanny grabs a hatchet and raises it, as if she is about to kill Cynthia, but instead buries it in the ground to play ring toss.

Suggested MPAA description: Rated 'R' for Horror Violence, Sexuality, and Language

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