Is 'It' Appropriate For Kids Under 5? Here's What Parents Need To Know

The latest adaptation of Stephen King’s It novel, the recently released movie It, is clearly a huge hit. The movie made millions of dollars in its opening weekend, and it's definitely got a lot of buzz at the moment. That means a lot of people are going to want to see it, and some of those people might include kids. But is It appropriate for kids under 5? The rating and many reviews of the film suggest that it might be best to leave the kids at home for this one.

As of Monday, the horror film It made $123.1 million from 4,103 locations, according to Variety. So yeah, it's kind of a big deal. The film made more in its opening weekend than Spider-Man: Homecoming, another much-anticipated movie of 2017. That kind of success often catches the attention of people who haven't yet seen the film, or maybe weren't initially planning to go see it at all. So some parents might be considering whether It is something they can bring their family to the theater for, just to see what all the excitement is about.

The fact that the movie It has an impressive cast of young actors might also appeal to families who are looking for characters their kids will relate to — characters who will keep their kids' attention and help them stay quiet in the movie theater. But the kids in It deal with some pretty adult situations, and it might not be best to bring kids under 5 to see those things, especially on the big screen.

The movie It has an R rating, which would suggest that it's best for the theater to be filled with adults, not kids, for this particular film. But why does it have such an adult rating in the first place?

The website Kids In Mind assigns ratings to movies based on three areas of content — sex/nudity, violence/gore, and profanity — to better analyze the MPAA rating of a movie. It seeks to "provide parents and other adults with objective and complete information about a film's content so that they can decide, based on their own value system, whether they should watch a movie with or without their kids," according to the website.

Because the site doesn't give movies as simplistic a rating as, say, a PG or an R, instead assigning more complex scores based on several areas of critique, parents can decide based on specific criteria whether their own children can handle particular content. Kids In Mind broke down the movie It using this system, and rated it a four out of 10 for sex/nudity, an eight out of 10 for violence/gore, and a nine for profanity. Based on the breakdown Kids In Mind provided, parents can decide what an appropriate age is for kids to see It.

Common Sense Media, another site that looks at whether movies or other media are age-appropriate for kids, concluded that It is appropriate for children aged 15 or older. The site's review also noted that violence and strong language were factors in the movie, and warned parents of the presence of those elements.

However, some reviews that parents wrote that are included on the site found that 14 and older is probably an appropriate age to see It. But that's still nowhere near the same as a kindergartener checking out the movie, and parents should definitely keep that in mind.

While It might not be appropriate for kids under 5, it's up to the discretion of parents whether their kids can handle the popular horror movie, depending on their age. Some might feel that their 12-year-old can handle the gore just fine, while another parent might think the violence is too much for their 14-year-old. Luckily, there are a few resources out there to help people decide whether their kid should see It or not.