Story

Nowhere Boys, the ABC sci-fi/fantasy/drama TV series aimed at ‘tweens’ and teens, follows the adventures of four teen boys: Felix (Dougie Boldwin), Andy (Joel Lok), Sam (Rahart Adams) and Jake (Matt Testro), who find themselves stranded in a parallel universe.

In the film Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows, the four boys have been back in their own reality for over a year having battled demons and discovered the use of magic. However, they have drifted apart, and are on the verge of going their separate ways. Then Felix discovers a book concealed under floorboards in a hidden room. It is a secret book of magic called The Book of Shadows. In their bid to go their separate ways, the boys use magic from The Book of Shadows to help them. But in the process, they unwittingly unleash the forces of Chaos in the form of a teen girl named Tegan (Angourie Rice), who has a chip on her shoulder and a thirst for revenge.

Tegan uses her powers to entangle and endanger family and friends in chaos and disaster, her powers threatening the very existence of the multiverse. In order to defeat chaos and restore order the four boys are forced into a final showdown with Tegan with the fate of the multiverse hanging in the balance.

Themes

Magic; fantasy; the supernatural; demons; friendship; revenge

Violence

Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows contains some low-level action violence and peril related to supernatural and magical events; no blood and gore nor injuries is depicted. For example:

  • Four boys attempt to use magic when a bright light explodes out of a book followed by a floating ball of magical fire that hits a boy in the face, burning off one of his eyebrows. A floating magical ball of water appears and strikes a second teen boy in the face while a third boy twists his ankle.
  • One scene depicts a push and shove match between two boys. In a later scene one boy punches a second boy in the face.
  • In a couple of scenes a girl uses magical powers to create mini earthquakes that knock several teens off their feet.
  • A girl uses magical powers to make a bubble of water appear around a boy’s head and we see the boy struggle to breathe. The bubble bursts with no injury occurring.
  • A girl uses magic to bind a boy in bandages like an Egyptian mummy. He is not hurt.
  • A girl use magical powers to throw a boy backwards, crashing through a brush fence and a second boy is knocked off his feet.
  • A girl uses magical powers to set school lockers on fire.
  • In one scene, a ceiling beam falls on top of a boy, pinning him to the ground.
  • In a schoolyard a girl uses magic to make rubbish fly out of rubbish bins and fall over students.
  • A girl threatens to tear the universe apart. She also threatens to harm a boy by saying Wouldn’t it be more fun if I could just crush him?

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are several scenes in Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows that could scare or disturb children under the age of five. For example:

  • Shadowy, demon-like creatures crawl out of the ground like corpses emerging from a grave.
  • A black, swirling tornado-like shadow erupts from the ground and a girl magically appears.
  • On several occasions throughout the film a girl speaks in a demonic language to invoke magic.
  • Several adults appear to be possessed by evil spirits and have red glowing eyes and behave like zombies.

From 5-8
In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary images, Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows has some scenes that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight. For example:

  • In several scenes a boy is depicted holding a magical ball of fire in his hand.
  • In one scene a bright light explodes from a book of magic. 
  • Several scenes depict shadowy demon-like creatures crawling out of the ground. They chase, threaten and attack the teenage boys.
  • In several scenes a boy steps through a giant magical ring of fire, a portal to an alternate universe.
  • A swarm of (magically conjured) bees attack a group of teens in a schoolyard with students screaming and running away to avoid the swarming bees.  
  • A girl uses magical fire to heat the ground. The ground glows red hot with streaks of molten lava running through it. 
  • A hole magically appears in the ground, which sucks the surrounding ground into it and people are sucked towards the hole. A girl is sucked into the hole and disappears as if vaporised by a field of energy.  

From 8-13
Some children in this age group are likely to be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

Over 13
Nothing of concern

Sexual references

The film contains some very mild/low level sexual references. Examples include:

  • A reference is made to long lost lovers.
  • In reference to two teen boys bonding the comment is made Let’s give them some man time
  • A man tries to give teen boys some advice about girls. The man says Sometimes with women... but is interrupted by a teen boy who says he doesn’t need that talk as he has the Internet.
  • In reference to a teen boy, a teen girl says This bad-boy is the cutest type of crazy.
  • In relation to a teen boy, a teen girl says to a second teen girl should you blow him a kiss?

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Nothing of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

There is no nudity in Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows but the film does contain infrequent very low-level sexual activity. For example a teenage boy and girl attempt to kiss but are stopped before they can do so. In a later scene they kiss each other on the lips.

Product placement

Nothing of concern

Coarse language

Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows contains some occasional name calling and putdowns.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows is a sci-fi, fantasy, action adventure film targeted at tweens, teens and fans of the ABC TV series Nowhere Boys. While the cast may appeal to fans of the series, the lead characters are only mildly convincing as magic wielding superheroes capable of saving the universe. In terms of action and violence Nowhere Boys is on a par with the TV series Power Rangers. Nowhere Boy: The Book of Shadows is more suited to the TV screen than the big screen, but it will still appeal to and entertain younger teens. Older teens are less likely to find it entertaining.

The main messages from Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows are:

  • When you get knocked down you must get straight up and try again.
  • You don’t need to have magical powers to be special.
  • Working together allows you to achieve goals that you couldn’t achieve by working alone.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Self sacrifice: In order to save the universe the film’s four lead characters are required to give up their ability to use magic forever.
  • Teamwork: In order to defeat their enemies, the film’s four very different lead characters had to work together and combine their powers.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences. For example:

  • The film’s lead villain was willing to destroy the universe out of spite for wrongs done to her in the past. How else could the film’s villain have reacted to the wrongs done to her so that she could achieve justice rather than vengeance? 
  • Parents may wish to discuss how spitefulness is a selfish, negative and destructive behaviour.