Zombie Town parents guide

Zombie Town Parent Guide

Absence of negative content is not evidence of a watchable movie.

Overall D

Theaters: Two teens accidentally unleash a curse that turns people into zombies from an old film reel. The only way to stop the spread is to track down an elusive filmmaker.

Release date September 1, 2023

Violence B
Sexual Content A
Profanity B
Substance Use B

Why is Zombie Town rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Zombie Town PG-13 for thematic content, brief bloody images and smoking.

Run Time: 93 minutes

Parent Movie Review

The people of Carvertown are absolutely obsessed with zombie movies, to the point of naming their community in honor of local-boy-done-good, the reclusive and retired horror director Len Carver. The only person who doesn’t seem to gravitate towards the wandering deceased is Mike (Marlon Kazadi), which is especially unfortunate because he works part time at the local theater. And the theater is about to get busy: Len Carver has announced that’s he’s releasing one last movie, and that it will be premiering exclusively in his hometown theater. When he comes by to drop off the film, Carver seems to have a change of heart, instructing Mike not to play the film after all. But Mike’s been trying to impress his long-time crush Amy (Madi Monroe), and he runs a little private early screening for the two of them – only to find out why Carver told him not to play the film. Everyone in town except for Mike, Amy, and Len himself is now a zombie, and they’re going to have to work together to save the town…and the world.

This is one of those productions that seems to understand the basic components of movies – characters, tropes, cliches, some structure – but not how any of them fit together. So instead of figuring that out, the screenwriters just stitch them randomly together and send their freshly minted shambling abomination to wander the countryside, sloughing off plot points and disgusting the locals. The movie is so disjointed that it feels like it was written by an AI program, which would explain a lot of the story issues, as well as another one - dialogue non-sequiturs. The script is full of them. Character responses frequently have nothing to do with anything that’s been said or done around them in the last hour, which does not help with the general nonsense of every other element of the film.

Zombie Town is clearly trying to appeal to old B-horror movie fans, and I guess the kindest thing I can say is that it’s an over-achiever. Director Peter Lepeniotis was far too effective at making a bad movie and made a really terrible movie. Those grungy old horror movies have so much staying power because, beneath all the garbage, there’s some charm. Zombie Town doesn’t have the charm, so it feels like a bad homage to made-for-TV Disney Channel Halloween specials – Halloweentown, to name the big ones, but there are dozens.

In keeping with the moldy Disney Channel milieu, there’s very little negative content of note. Violence is incredibly tame, and there’s little profanity, and no sex or drug use. Absence of issues is not evidence of quality, though, and unless you’re willing to watch anything so long as it’s mild, you’re going to want to leave the theater within 15 minutes. I considered it, but it turns out this is my job, and I can’t just go for a stroll. You’re lucky: you don’t have to go in the first place.

Directed by Peter Lepeniotis. Starring Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Madi Monroe. Running time: 93 minutes. Theatrical release September 1, 2023. Updated

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Zombie Town
Rating & Content Info

Why is Zombie Town rated PG-13? Zombie Town is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for thematic content, brief bloody images and smoking.

Violence: Some individuals are bonked in the head with hard objects. None appear injured.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are infrequent uses of mild profanities and frequent uses of terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: An adult character is briefly seen drinking.

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Related home video titles:

If you want a PG-13 horror comedy starring Dan Aykroyd that doesn’t make you want to frolic in traffic, try Ghostbusters: Afterlife. If you’re looking for more horror and less comedy, try Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Other Halloween options for younger audiences include The House with a Clock in Its Walls, Goosebumps, Hotel Transylvania, Hubie Halloween, or Monster House.