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High Anxiety Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

Very very funny Hitchcock spoof with some adult humor.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this spoof on Hitchcock movies contains some adult themes, such as mental illness, bondage, and some violence (a fall from a great height and a gunshot wound). But since it's a spoof, the real Hitchcockian suspense and tension is replaced with silliness.

  • Families can talk about fears and phobias. Dr. Thordyke is even afraid to ride an elevator. How does he manage his phobia? Do you have any phobias? How do you cope with them?
  • Comedies like this one can touch on some adult themes that might be over younger viewers' heads. Here are some tips about how to talk with kids about the adult content that they see in movies and television.
  • This movie is a spoof -- a parody of ten of Alfred Hitchcock's movies. Sometimes parodies make fun of things that some people think are too serious to be made fun of, like mental illness. Where do you think the line should be drawn?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Not much of a message to glean from this fun comedy except maybe that imitation is the best form of flattery. Viewers may also notice that the psychiatrists conference doesn't include many people of color or women.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Dr. Thorndyke is a pretty upstanding guy. He even tries to tailor his psychiatrist's convention talk on sexuality appropriate for a pair of young audience members.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Mild Hitchcock-style violence, including gunshot wound and a person falling from great heights.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Comedic references to adult situations, such as bondage. A character is shown tied up and being spanked. Characters kiss passionately. A man in an insane asylum who thinks that he is a dog humps another man's leg.

  • language false2

    Language: Not frequent, but still includes "bulls--t," "hell," "damn," "crap," "son of a bitch," "penis envy," and references to body parts in the name of psychology.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: The Hyatt Regency in San Francisco gets a big send-up.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink wine and brandy with dinner. Drinks at a piano bar lead to a musical solo by Dr. Thorndyke. Adults smoke cigars and cigarettes.

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