The Boathouse parents guide

The Boathouse Parent Guide

Despite decent performances, the characters just don't click, and that's a fatal flaw for this film.

Overall D

CIFF: Anne has a new job as a nanny for two troubled children at a remote cottage. But while the emotionally unstable woman is working, she begins to fall for their father...and realizes she has history with their mother. But she's not the only one with history...

Release date September 23, 2021

Violence C-
Sexual Content D+
Profanity C-
Substance Use C

Why is The Boathouse rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated The Boathouse Not Rated

Run Time: 93 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Anne Wilson (Michaely Kurimsky) is having a rough time. From the disappearance of Natalia (Kelly Martin) who supervises her Masters project, to the loss of the grant money she needs to continue the program, and finally, on to a car accident, she’s badly rattled. She can’t even sleep well, as the anxiety medication she takes causes her to sleepwalk. Thankfully, she’s found some work – Natalia’s husband, Dominic (Alan Van Sprang) needs someone to nanny and tutor his two children over the summer at their remote cabin. But Dominic’s 15-year-old son, Leo (Jack Fulton) is proving to be more than a handful. And Anne only complicates the situation when she and Dominic start sleeping together… but Anne’s mysterious past poses a far greater threat than some ill-advised romantic affair.

I realize I am not the poster child for “likeable”, but this movie really suffers from some irritating characters. Leo stands out, but given that he’s fifteen years old, that’s probably accurate writing. Anne oscillates between sympathetic and aggravatingly self-destructive, and Dominic is a bit of a bully and frequently an inadequate father. I have no issues with Emily (Dominic’s youngest child), but that’s because she has half a dozen lines in the film, most of which involve her complaining about what a bully her brother is.

Barring relatable characters, this movie needs something to keep it in the air. Rather than opt for a gripping and tense story, however, the movie resorted to sex and stereotypes about mental illness. Admittedly, the sex is fairly tame, but still manages to include some brief toplessness. In fact, the film’s largest content issue is violence, which is limited to a few scenes and doesn’t include anything hugely graphic, apart from a rabbit’s bloody corpse.

Overall, I just found the film uninteresting. Despite decent performances, particularly from Michaela Kurimsky and Alan Van Sprang, the characters never quite clicked for me, which in turn held the story back. I suppose if you just love thrillers and need something to kill some time this might work for you, but I’m struggling to think of another good reason to sit through the movie. It’s not even actively bad enough that it’s amusing to mock. For me, it just flops like a dead fish on a dock. Sure, you could do something with it…but it’s probably best not to touch it.

Directed by Hannah Cheesman. Starring Michaela Kurismsky, Alan Van Sprang, and Taylor Belle. Running time: 93 minutes. Theatrical release September 23, 2021. Updated

The Boathouse
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Boathouse rated Not Rated? The Boathouse is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Violence: A dead rabbit is seen, and there is dialogue regarding how it was killed. An individual is nearly killed with a crossbow. There are scenes depicting self-inflicted injuries and dialogue about self-harm. An individual is shown suffering a broken neck and their corpse is seen floating in the water. A person is injured in a car collision. A character deliberately injures themselves by headbutting a blunt object repeatedly. A person is shot through the neck with a crossbow.
Sexual Content: Adults are seen having sex with brief female toplessness. A character is seen from the shoulders up in the shower.
Profanity: There are three uses of scatological profanity, one extreme profanity, and infrequent uses of terms of deity and mild curses.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen smoking tobacco and drinking socially with meals. One character is drugged with sleeping medication.

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The Boathouse Parents' Guide

How are mental illnesses portrayed in media? Are these portrayals accurate? Who suffers as a result of these depictions?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

This movie has a lot in common with The Turn of the Screw, which has been adapted into or inspired films like The Turning, The Others, or the BBC TV adaptation The Turn of the Screw (1999). If you like psychologically unsettled music students, you may also enjoy Whiplash or Nocturne. If you’re more interested in psychological thrillers and horror generally, you might try The Night House, The Lodge, or Prisoners. More arthouse inspired options include The Lighthouse or I’m Thinking of Ending Things.