Is 1899 Scary & Can Kids Watch It? Parental Guide to Netflix Show

If you’re a fan of the mystery, then you probably can’t wait for Netflix’s new TV series, 1899, to drop. The show was created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, the people behind the super-successful Netflix show Dark. Seeing that dark was quite a frightening experience for most viewers; people wondered, is 1899 scary? Can you watch it with the kids?

1899 is rated TV-MA, meaning Mature Audiences only. The age limit varies from country to country, but it usually means the show is not recommended for persons under the age of 18. The show is a mystery-horror, with severe violence, brutal murder scenes, etc., clearly not meant for kids.

That’s something you come to expect, however, as soon as you know the genre. I mean, horror isn’t suited for children – ever – so it’s only logical that 1899 isn’t for kids to watch, either. Still, if you want to give it a go with your kids, here’s everything you need to know about the show before you do.

What is 1899 about?

1899 is a German multilingual TV show produced by Netflix and created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, the creators of Dark. 1899 isn’t related to their previous series in any way and likely won’t follow a similar narrative, but it will certainly be bone-chilling.

The story follows a group of migrants from all over Europe, including Germany, Poland, England, Spain, and France, who board the Kerberos – a huge steamship traveling from London to New York, where they want to find a better life for themselves.

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However, on their voyage overseas, they pass through the Bermuda Triangle and stumble across another ship, and things start getting crazy very soon.

The official Netflix synopsis for the show is as follows:

“A migrant steamship heads west to leave the old continent. The passengers, a mixed bag of European origins, were united by their hopes and dreams for the new century and their future abroad. 

But their journey takes an unexpected turn when they discover another migrant ship adrift on the open sea. What they will find on board will turn their passage to the promised land into a horrifying nightmare.”

We don’t know exactly what happens and how the mystery unfolds from there, as the show didn’t premiere yet, but the first two episodes were shown at the 47th Toronto International Film Festival, and the audiences were blown away – hence, the epic 9.2/10 rating on IMDb even before the series aired. It’ll arrive on Netflix on November 17, 2022.

Another special thing about the show is the multilingualč approach the creators took. Instead of having a mix of characters from different countries, all speaking English, the creators decided to stick to every character’s original, native language.

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It’s a double-edged sword, as many people will find it difficult to follow the plot in five or six different languages, but it’s also a move that will certainly add value and authenticity to the show. I mean, we’re talking about 1899 here. It’s not like everyone was learning English left and right. 

The showrunners chose this path to showcase European tradition and heritage and have the characters as authentic to their native countries as possible.

Is 1899 a scary show?

As I’ve already mentioned, we still don’t really know what happens in the show and how the mystery will unfold, but one thing is for certain – 1899 will be a deeply disturbing and scary show.

All you need to do is look at the last two words from the official synopsis – ‘horrifying nightmare’ – and you’ll have your answer about whether 1899 will be scary or not.

Even before you read the synopsis, the genre of the show itself is classified as drama, history, horror, and mystery. The point of any horror show or movie is that it scares the audience. And, if 1899 is anything like Dark, I’m certain it will scare the hell out of us.

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Can kids watch 1899? Here’s the Parental Guide

With all that being said, I would not recommend you to watch 1899 with your kids for numerous reasons. First, the show is a horror flick, so you should be careful about watching it with children, especially younger ones. 

The show is rated TV-MA, meaning for Mature Audiences Only. What that means varies from country to country, but it usually means the show is not recommended for persons under the age of 18.

In the Netherlands, the certificate for 1899 stands at 16+, just like in India or Brazil. In Singapore, however, the age limit is 21+, so take it as you see fit.

What you should know, however, is that the violence and gore in the show are severe. Weapons are used for attacking and killing, and dead bodies are explicitly shown, along with numerous brutal murder scenes.

There’s also moderate profanity and language, but perhaps you won’t even notice due to the multilingual nature of the show (just joking, turn on the subtitles!). Finally, there will be numerous frightening and intense scenes, which you can expect in a horror mystery show.

The bottom line is that 1899 will be scary, and I do not recommend it for children, especially not under the age of 16. However, if you think your teen is mature enough to handle it, nobody can stop you from watching the show with them.

  • Luka loves psychological thrillers, horrors, and mysteries. However, high fantasy and fiction are his primary interest, especially Tolkien's Middle-earth universe, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and Marvel universe. Amateur filmmaker, screenwriter, cinematography, and trivia enthusiast.