The movie is about a 14-year-old girl who was murdered, and might be too disturbing for children, even teens.
A young boy (about 4 years old) swallows a twig and nearly dies early in the movie. He survives, but the viewers see his lips turn purple as he lies motionless, unable to breathe. However his older sister saves his life by driving him to the hospital
Needless to say, George Harvey (the murderer) is a very creepy character. If younger children are watching this movie, it may be helpful to discuss how actor Stanley Tucci, who played the part, is actually a gentle and caring man in real life. He was reluctant to accept the role because he doesn't like hearing about serial killers and children being harmed. While filming intense scenes with teenage actress Saoirse Ronan, Tucci would often ask if she was all right, and he showed a lot of concern for her. This might put things in perspective a little more if children are afraid of his character.
Later in the movie, we see some unpleasant images of all the little girls/teenagers murdered by the same man. The youngest victim was 6. Their dead bodies are shown, sometimes face down, in water, by the side of the road, etc... The narrator also explains where the killer lured them, how they died, and where he dumped their bodies.
A murderer lures a teenage girl into a hole underground, which is built like a special fort for kids. He quickly makes her uncomfortable as it becomes increasingly obvious that he is going to hurt her.
Susie's parents are distraught when they learn that their daughter was most likely murdered. They are seen crying uncontrollably in some scenes.
When Susie's father has an emotional breakdown in the middle of the night, after her murder, the mother is lying next to their young son upstairs, who is sound asleep. She covers his ears and appears to be near tears herself.
A teenager enters the house of her sister's killer, attempting to find evidence. The killer eventually realizes that someone is in his home, leading to a very intense scene. The girl does end up getting away by opening a window, literally rolling off the roof of the house, and landing in the grass on her back. She coughs and struggles for a moment, but then she gets up and runs, with the killer chasing her. He comes very close to grabbing her, but she ultimately gets away.
Ruth collapses onto a bed and faints after seeing Susie (who is already dead) moving toward her, through a window. As Ray tries to waken her, she opens her eyes, and Ray realizes that Susie has literally entered Ruth's body, and she asks him to kiss her, which she does. It can be considered a creepy moment to some viewers.
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving disturbing violent content and images, and some language.
UK - Rated 12 for Child murder theme, disturbing scenes and moderate violence.
Too intense for children under 13. 13 and up should be OK depending on the maturity.