Should you let your children see the new Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movie? It depends.
The movie is rated PG-13 for “some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images”. This is especially troubling since so many kids want to see it. Previous Harry Potter movies were also rated PG-13 but this is a darker and more disturbing movie than the others.
If your child has read the book, they are already familiar with the plot and won’t be surprised when their favorite characters are put in dangerous situations. They may not be prepared for the intensity that comes from seeing it on screen.
Spoiler Alert – START. If you don’t want to know about the plot, jump to the end of the story.
Even if younger children have read the book they won’t be fully prepared for the disturbing images that start in the first few minutes of the movie. A terrified teacher who looks as though she has been beaten is brutally dropped on a table and Voldemort tells his snake, Nagini, to eat her. We don’t see the feast but the imagery is frightening. Several characters including Hedwig, the owl, and Dobby, the elf, are killed. There are other scary scenes where the three main characters are attacked and another scene where Harry almost drowns.
There is also an animation sequence that tells the story of the Deathly Hallows. The characters of Death and the Three Brothers are stylized but the story is gory and Death is scary looking. Just watching that scene could give children nightmares.
Probably the creepiest scene is when Harry goes to Bathilda Bagshot’s house. Hermione finds what looks like blood splatters and Nagini, the snake, comes out of Bathilda. That’s another set of potential nightmare inducing visuals.
Even if children are not scared by the movie, they may be disappointed because Harry, Ron, and Hermione do not go to Hogwarts. They spend most of the movie in danger. In addition, there is not a happy ending since this is just the middle of the book.
Spoiler Alert – END
If your children haven’t read the book, I recommend that you tell them about the scary parts to prepare them. Consider how they’ve handled scary movies in the past. If you’re not sure how they’ll react, you may want to see the movie by yourself first to see if it’s something you feel comfortable having them watch. If you think it’s too frightening, you may want to wait until this movie is available on DVD so they can watch it at home on a smaller screen.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is an excellent movie for adults and teens (and some pre-teens), however, it’s not appropriate for younger children.
Laura Browne normally writes about business topics but is a big Harry Potter fan and she is writing about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this week. She is the author of two business books for women and a fantasy book for girls that has been compared to Harry Potter and Ella Enchanted. For more information about her books, go to www.LauraCBrowne.com. Her regular business articles will return next week.