Is ‘The Changeling’ Scary? Parents Guide & Age Rating

Is The Changeling Scary Parents Guide Age Rating

‘The Changeling’ is a new Apple TV show based on a book written by Victor LaValle. The series has been marketed as a fairy tale for adults and falls within the genre of fantasy horror. Sometimes, what series is marketed as doesn’t necessarily reflect how many horror elements you can expect to see. This is why we decided to analyze ‘The Changeling’ content and explain whether it is scary and is it at all appropriate for kids? 

‘The Changeling’ is rated as TV-MA, which indicates that its content is suitable for a mature audience and isn’t exactly suitable for children. The show features a lot of horrific and adult themes, such as infanticide, child abduction, child exploitation, and some violence. ‘The Changeling’ is definitely not as scary as most horror shows you can come across nowadays, but still, it’s not suitable for children and younger teens, at least not without parental supervision. 

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Now that we’ve given you a brief answer let’s see what you can expect if you plan on watching ‘The Changeling.’ If you’re interested in our analysis, stay with us and keep reading!

Why is ‘The Changeling’ considered horror fantasy? 

‘The Changeling’ revolves around a man named Apollo Kagwa whose wife, Emma Valentine, becomes convinced that their child is not actually their baby but rather a monster and kills it in cold blood while simultaneously trying to kill Apollo. Following the murder of his son, Apollo finds himself on a quest to locate Emma and, along the way, finds out about the existence of horrific monsters and basically that magic is not as “non-existent” as he has thought his whole life.

Along the way, he will discover everything about centuries-old secrets, horrible monsters, greed, and violence and be forced to face them head-on. As you can see, as long as monsters are involved and they are scary and violent, it’s fantasy horror shows. However, this genre includes everything from even the most mildly scary fairy tales to the most hardcore gore horrors you can imagine. So which is it?

Well, ‘The Changeling’ is certainly softer than most shows regarding horror aspects, but it still features some messed up themes. This is why the show was awarded a TV-MA rating, meaning the content suits mature audiences. Now, let’s analyze why. 


When & Where Does Apple TV’s ‘The Changeling’ Take Place?

Is ‘The Changeling’ violent & gory? 

You should expect a lot of violence in ‘The Changeling’ but a moderate amount of gore. There are a lot of shocking scenes in the series, such as a man being chained and hit with a hammer. Infanticide is also one of the central themes in the series. Over the course of the show, several additional murders will happen, at least if we’re going by the book.

And while ‘The Changeling’ features a lot of violence, the show also isn’t trying to be unnecessarily and excessively gory. This is really not the point of the show at all. Still, if you are bothered by violence and scenes that involve bodily harm, blood, weapons, and disfigured bodies. You should probably skip this show. The show also features enough violence, so children and younger teens should skip it or at least watch it under parental supervision. 

Strong language & ‘The Changeling’: What to expect 

Like most modern shows, ‘The Changeling’ features a lot of strong language and curse words, but on a more positive side, it’s nothing controversial and nothing excessively used. The most common strong words you will run across in the series are f***, s***, d***, a*****, and similar words. 

While those words are not appropriate for anyone’s vocabulary in the series context, they are appropriate since they are used realistically in tense and problematic situations. But, just like with the scary aspect, there are enough curse words in the show that it’s really not that appropriate for kids. 

Does ‘The Changeling’ have adult themes? 

‘The Changeling’ has adult themes, which are inappropriate for children. Just some of the themes that ‘The Changeling’ features are infanticide, child abuse, and child exploitation. While the series also features wholesome themes such as love and family bonds, its other horror themes are disturbing enough that children might be unable to understand them properly. 

The main character loses his son due to infanticide. He discovers that his son was ultimately kidnapped, and later, he finds out that someone close to him was planning on earning money through something tragic happening to his son. As you can see by this short synopsis, maybe it’s not appropriate for younger children to watch content where children are victims of horrific crimes. So, the adult themes are probably the main reasons why ‘The Changeling’ got such a high rating, despite obviously having more fantasy elements than horror elements. 

Sexual content and substance abuse in ‘The Changeling’ 

‘The Changeling’ features minimal levels of sexual content. There is one explicit scene in the first episode while the two main characters are shown having sex on screen. While no body parts were shown, it’s still a decent amount of nudity, but this was probably the most sexually explicit scene that will be featured in the show overall. As far as drugs, smoking, and other harmful habits go, the characters can be seen drinking alcohol in a few scenes, but this is pretty much it. As far as sexual content and substance abuse go, ‘The Changeling’ is lighter than most shows set in modern times. 


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So is ‘The Changeling’ appropriate for kids? 

‘The Changeling’ is definitely not appropriate for kids. It features too many adult, difficult themes and violence to be considered for kids. At least the kids shouldn’t watch it without parents being present to explain the scenes that the kids might be struggling with. 

Even though ‘The Changeling’ is lighter than most horror shows on the market, the fact that it is horror still remains. 

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