There's no doubt that teens are super excited about The Hunger Games movie coming out at the end of the week. And so are younger kids -- the novel had a huge following among tweens. But can they handle the violence? After all, this is a movie about a crew of 24 kids who are thrown together for the sole purpose of killing each other! That's kind of a wild premise for a kids' movie.
Whether or not your kids can handle Hunger Games the movie is up to you and them. But we'd like to help you out a little. Here's what you can expect to see. But I can't do this without revealing a few plot points -- so fair warning, parents. Spoiler alert!
Second warning: SPOILER ALERT. Okay, let's move on.
My general impression is that the film is a lot less graphically violent than it could have been. The first big scene where they attack each other was more evocative than explicit. You don't actually see swords going into bodies, more arms swinging, shaky camera work, and bloodied kids falling down. This is going to sound crazy, but the scene was almost poetic. That said, it's still plenty terrifying. You don't have to see blood spurting to be scared.
And that idea pretty much defines much of the violence in the movie -- and, in my opinion, is one of its strengths. You do see teenagers die, but they die quickly, and you usually don't see the fatal impact. What you do get is the emotional impact. Characters viewers emotionally connect with die in this movie. These scenes are intense, and kids (and adults!) will feel it.
There is also one mob scene, where a crowd of people watching the games become enraged and start destroying their surroundings. They clash with guards.
It's quite different from the cartoonishly gory violence we often see in other movies. I think it's a more ethical way to handle violent themes in movies, especially those with large teenage audiences. But it's also way more intense. If you decide to bring your kids, you may want to have a conversation with them before and after the movie.
Otherwise, no sex or nudity (just a bit of kissing) and I did not notice any profanity. There are themes of defying authority, but not parental authority. After all, this is the beginning of a revolution.
For more information, here's The Hunger Games by the numbers.
Do you have younger kids who want to see The Hunger Games?
Image via Hunger Games website