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HELP! Is Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows ok for kids??

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

 

I need some urgent input please...my 7 yr old really got into HP and we rented all the movies for her. She is dying to see the latest installment. My sister, a teacher, called us up after she saw it and told us not to take her, that it was too intense, scary, dark psychologically...DD still hasn't given up the fight and is in a snit this morning over it. She feels robbed - I don't blame her, as we let her watch the rest of them and there is no resolution...

 

We don't rent horror movies. She doesn't typically watch adult movies but is quite mature. Any advice? Thanks!!

post #2 of 28

I think it's too scary for little kids. On the other hand, if it's a rented movie and she really, really wants to see it, you could always stop/pause/fast forward if anything is too much for her...

post #3 of 28

We have not taken our eight year old who has read the books and seen all of the movies on DVD.  It is too dark for him, and the big screen is a completely different experience than on DVD.  Did she need to have the movies stopped at any points, or did she close her eyes? 

 

The pacing of this one is different than previous movies.  A friend whose children saw it but hadn't read the books said that her kids didn't get parts of it as it doesn't make every plot point or motivation explicit.

 

DS wanted to see it, but we just explained that it was too intense for him and he accepted that (no, not quite that simply, but he was ok with it - he knows he's a sensitive guy).  In your shoes, I wouldn't have a problem saying "Auntie saw it and from what she described, it's a lot darker than the other movies, and it's a different experience seeing it in the theatre than at home.  When it comes out on video, we can do a HP marathon, with popcorn and treats.  In the meantime, let's go to the bookstore and buy the first book (or to the library for the audio book)." If she snits, ah well.  

 

The HP series is unique in that it matures along with the characters.  There is a huge difference between book 1 and book 7.

 

There's a good thread on the movie in this forum if you page back.

post #4 of 28
All of my kids saw it and were fine. They have all read or listened to the books, so they knew what to expect, though. They LOVED it and did not think it was scary. It might be a little surprising or intense in a couple of scenes with Nagini, but if your kids have read the book, it won't be surprising. My kids were 2, 6, 8, and 9 when we watched it.

My kids do NOT watch horror films, though. I consider HP to be very different. We are all very into the series and love it. I think the biggest worry is that if your kid hasn't read the books, it might be boring. It's kind of slow and not too much action (in a good way, IMO). A lot of character development and focus on the psychology of what is happening. I know a lot of kids came out of it bored, but if you're a true fan, it's just like the book and very good.
post #5 of 28

Honestly, if she's already seen the other 6 movies, I don't think there's anything in the 7th that is any worse than what she's already seen. I'll be taking my 5 1/2 y.o. nephew as soon as me and my sis can make plans. There's a kids' movie she and my younger nephew both want to see that her older son has no interest in. We may "divide and conquer" one of these days and have her take younger to the kids' movie while I take older to HP. Personally, I think if your DD handled the basilisk in 2 and the whole cemetery scene in 4, she should  be okay with this. Have you read the book?

post #6 of 28

Well, it would have scared the living daylights out of me at 7, but so would the first 6! The seventh film includes such things as [spoilers!]:

 

- a woman suspended, looking as if she were in pain, above a table of evil guys while they talk. She's then killed with a curse, and it's implied a large snake is going to eat her (you don't see it).

- a very creepy (IMO!) scene where Harry and Hermione follow an old lady to a house; she doesn't speak, it's dark, there's a room full of maggots, flies and what looks like blood, and the woman morphs into a snake and attacks the kids. There's one scary jump shot in the fight scene where the snake suddenly lunges upwards.

- a "ghost" of Dumbledore forms out of dust in a house and runs screaming at the children before vanishing - it's a booby trap

- one non-human character gets stabbed to death by a flung dagger in the chest

- one character carves a word into another's arm, to torture her - we don't see the carving directly, but we hear the screaming and see the word afterwards

- one character splits open another's grave - we see the corpse, but it isn't gory-looking. he just looks asleep

- Dementors chase characters and scrabble to reach them through a grille

- One character nearly drowns (because of magic) in a dark pond under the ice

- Voldemort appears close to Harry and tries to kill him with a spell

- there are several newspaper references to Muggles being killed, witches being captured and so on

-one character gets a disfiguring head wound

 

That's the stuff that leaps out of me, but really, the whole film is about being chased, being in hiding, feeling lost and frightened while evil gains power in a rather blatantly Nazi-like way. It's dark. It's meant to be. Now, compared to the NEXT film, where the trailer shows the bodies of children strewn around? It might be a barrel of roses. So if you're prepared to let her watch this one, remember she'll only fight harder to see the last one (understandably). And if you haven't read the last book... there are some beloved characters who don't make it. JK Rowling wrote the first book for kids older than seven, and the books get darker and more mature as they go along, as if she were writing to the original audience as they grew up. So don't think "children's book".

 

On the other hand, if your DD has already seen the previous six and wasn't traumatised, well, I dunno! I thought some of those were pretty darn dark. So she might be OK. And I can certainly sympathise with her wanting to complete the series!

post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabesmc View Post

Honestly, if she's already seen the other 6 movies, I don't think there's anything in the 7th that is any worse than what she's already seen. I'll be taking my 5 1/2 y.o. nephew as soon as me and my sis can make plans. There's a kids' movie she and my younger nephew both want to see that her older son has no interest in. We may "divide and conquer" one of these days and have her take younger to the kids' movie while I take older to HP. Personally, I think if your DD handled the basilisk in 2 and the whole cemetery scene in 4, she should  be okay with this. Have you read the book?



That's kind of what I was thinking. I just got back from watching Deathly Hallows, and it honestly wasn't as creepy/intense as I was expecting it to be. It was definitely both, but I don't think there was anything that would bother most kids (obviously all kids are different) any more than the basilisk, the giant spiders, the graveyard, etc. The scenes with Nagini (in the opening credits and in Godric's Hollow) and the dementors in the Ministry are probably the most disturbing, imo.

 

Overally, I was impressed with the movie. It didn't have everything I'd have liked (notably Luna's room and a little less rushign in the Ministry, especially once they'd reached the basement courtroom), but it was better than average for the Harry Potter movies...probably the best, so far. Oh - and I loved the revision of Hedwig's death scene.

post #8 of 28

There is no way I would ever even consider letting a seven year old of mine see that movie. I am really surprised at what seems like a cultural difference between the US and Norway, where I live. The movie is allowed for eleven year olds in Norway, but the official advice is that it is suitable for 13 years and older, and that parents should consider whether they think the film is appropriate for their eleven- and twelve year olds. The age limits here are 7, 11, 15 and 18, and normally people can bring a child who is 7 to a film which is recommended for 11 and up, but in this case they have specifically recommended that no one under 11 should see it at the cinema. And I wouldn't let a seven year old child of mine see it at home on DVD, either.

 

There's lots of scary scenes and rather mature content.

post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbitmum View Post

I am really surprised at what seems like a cultural difference between the US and Norway, where I live. The movie is allowed for eleven year olds in Norway, but the official advice is that it is suitable for 13 years and older, and that parents should consider whether they think the film is appropriate for their eleven- and twelve year olds.


It's rated PG-13 in the US, I believe, and "PG" here in Canada. It's definitely not rated as a children's movie. This is a call every parent is going to make for themselves. But, honestly, after seeing it, I'm not sure why it's considered to be so much more hardcore than the first six. The only part that really makes me wonder how my kids would respond is the naked Harry and Hermione.

 

I don't really see these things as being about age so much, anyway. There are movies that ds1 could watch easily at about 10 that I couldn't have handled at 19 (or now, for that matter!). It really depends on the individual.

post #10 of 28

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post


That's kind of what I was thinking. I just got back from watching Deathly Hallows, and it honestly wasn't as creepy/intense as I was expecting it to be. It was definitely both, but I don't think there was anything that would bother most kids (obviously all kids are different) any more than the basilisk, the giant spiders, the graveyard, etc. The scenes with Nagini (in the opening credits and in Godric's Hollow) and the dementors in the Ministry are probably the most disturbing, imo.

 


I was expecting it to be far worse just from all of the debate I've seen.  I'm absolutely certain that my older ones would be just fine at this point.  I think the important thing here is that people pretty much know exactly what they are getting into with this movie, and can make that judgment call based on their own kids with some measure of accuracy.  I recently took my 5 year old to a movie (Legend of the Guardians) that I NEARLY also took my 2 year old to see, since the previews made it seem like just a bunch of animated owls having an adventure.  My 5 year old was fine, but I know many who would have been massively disturbed by the that movie.  My 2 year old would have been a total mess...which would have worked out for the better since we would have been forced to leave before the REALLY disturbing stuff.  Nazi zombie owls with a good dose of death and fighting and getting burned alive are not things my toddler can process considering he freaked out after seeing the whack-a-mole game at Chucky Cheese and tried to stop the kids from hitting the moles.  

 

My 5 year old LOVED it though, and wants me to get the books.  

post #11 of 28

I read the first Ga'Hoole book with ds1 years ago, and I was blown away by how dark and violent the movie is. My sister gave it to the kids for Christmas, and I don't think she realized how vicious it gets, either.

 

I expected Deathly Hallows to be worse from reading the book. I think the director did a good job of capturing the increased maturity and intensity, withhout making it SO much darker for the younger audience members, yk? Kids love Harry Potter, and the gradual change in tone in the books can be problematic from a parenting standpoint, even without the movies.

post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbitmum View Post

I am really surprised at what seems like a cultural difference between the US and Norway, where I live. The movie is allowed for eleven year olds in Norway, but the official advice is that it is suitable for 13 years and older, and that parents should consider whether they think the film is appropriate for their eleven- and twelve year olds.


It's rated PG-13 in the US, I believe, and "PG" here in Canada. It's definitely not rated as a children's movie. This is a call every parent is going to make for themselves. But, honestly, after seeing it, I'm not sure why it's considered to be so much more hardcore than the first six. The only part that really makes me wonder how my kids would respond is the naked Harry and Hermione.

 

I don't really see these things as being about age so much, anyway. There are movies that ds1 could watch easily at about 10 that I couldn't have handled at 19 (or now, for that matter!). It really depends on the individual.



 

post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabesmc View Post

Honestly, if she's already seen the other 6 movies, I don't think there's anything in the 7th that is any worse than what she's already seen. 


not necessarily. watching a movie on DVD at home - whether on TV or a projector is not as scary as a movie theater. so just coz they saw it on DVD is not the same thing. 

 

has she seen other movies in the theater? pg-13s?

 

however i havent watched it.

 

you also have to see what kind of things your child is afraid of. for instance dd can handle violence. however she CANNOT handle suspense. even children's film would freak her out when she was younger. so for her its not so much what is presented but how. for instance she cant bear to see the poster for black swan. freaks her out. 

 

dd got scared by teh last HP. but she said she just closed her eyes for the scary parts but she'd still rather go for it than miss it. 

 

what i do myself is if i feel v. strongly about whether she is ready or not, i make the decision. if i am not sure i give dd the benefit of the doubt. 

 

for instance when she was 7 i made sure she would have nothing to do with coraline. but apparently her dad didnt know and rented the movie for her. here's the part i dont get. she was really freaked out. but she was sitting with her daddy. and she watched the whole movie. TG on DVD. when coraline came out i told dd i very strongly was against her watching it. it would freak her out. it did. she had nightmares for a while. 

post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherAtHome View Post

I think it's too scary for little kids. On the other hand, if it's a rented movie and she really, really wants to see it, you could always stop/pause/fast forward if anything is too much for her...


 

Ok, for some reason, (how embarrassing, I'm a real fan, really!) I thought you were saying it was out on DVD and you had rented it. But yeah, I guess it's still playing in theatres. bag.gif  For a 7 year old, I would wait until it comes out on DVD, and watch it for myself to decide if I thought my own kid could handle it. The whole tone of the movie is much MUCH darker than the last 6, and I agree, part 2 of 7 will be brutal! I would not bring a young kid to a movie theatre to see this movie. So loud, dark and intense, it would be too much. 

post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherAtHome View Post

and I agree, part 2 of 7 will be brutal! 


I'm not sure what we're going to do about that one when it comes out. I'm 99% sure it will be too much for dd1, and maybe even ds2, even on DVD. I know they're going to want to watch the last movie, though. I suspect I'll end up letting them watch most scenes, but skipping some and summarizing them. (And, I'm not even looking forward to the battle of Hogwarts, because of the Acromantula...I'm arachnophobic, and had to look away for a good chunk of the spider-stuff in CoS.)

post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 

 

Oh wow :( This is a hard decision. I thought that the initial movies were really tame and geared with kids in mind, the sort of 'darker side of Disney' type of stuff. They did gett worse but from smokering's description of the most recent (thank you very  much btw - that was excellent)...man, it's a hard call. Torture, murder, etc. all rolled up in a package like that...not the type of far my kids see. No we haven't read the books (I know, I know).

 

In the end, I think I'll wait for the DVD and do the pre-screen then fast forward/mute. I think a 3D large screen might be too much.

 

Thank you ALL for this input. DD is one of those sensitive 'thinker' type kids who might be shaken at some of the stuff. I don't keep my kids in a bubble, but I think she's too young for some of the stuff that was described.

post #17 of 28
Yes, but if your kids have read the book or seen the other movies, none of those things stand out in any way. If they did fine with the other 6, there's nothing that stands out in this one that would be more terrifying in any way. I guess just considering what is out in the media and in kids books nowadays, all this seems really tame. I remember watching Attack of the Killer Tomatoes as a kid and that was a big, scary deal. Nothing compared to what they see nowadays but it's not made a big deal of. If you, as a parent, approach it as this big scary thing and are anxious about it, your kid is going to take that in themselves.
post #18 of 28

I was just thinking... one of the reasons I found Deathly Hallows darker than the other movies - despite finding the basilisk in Chamber of Secrets incredibly creepy! - was that the tension was almost unrelieved. In the earlier movies, the scary scenes are balanced out with a lot of light stuff - Qudiditch, jokes, holidays, buying school stuff in Diagon Alley, squabbling with Draco, dances, snogging. :p So you can come away from the movies remembering a mix of scary stuff and funny or at least light-hearted stuff. As the movies progress, there's less and less of that (kinda like with the LOTR trilogy). Deathly Hallows only has one "major" lightening-the-tension scene - the dance between Harry and Hermione - and the odd joke. Mostly, the film is - as it should be - pretty consistently bleak and edgy and grim. So there's not a lot that stands out more than the scary stuff, you know? (Well, I guess some of the Ministry Polyjuice stuff was pretty funny, even if it ended on a scary note...)

post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

I was just thinking... one of the reasons I found Deathly Hallows darker than the other movies - despite finding the basilisk in Chamber of Secrets incredibly creepy! - was that the tension was almost unrelieved. In the earlier movies, the scary scenes are balanced out with a lot of light stuff - Qudiditch, jokes, holidays, buying school stuff in Diagon Alley, squabbling with Draco, dances, snogging. :p So you can come away from the movies remembering a mix of scary stuff and funny or at least light-hearted stuff. As the movies progress, there's less and less of that (kinda like with the LOTR trilogy). Deathly Hallows only has one "major" lightening-the-tension scene - the dance between Harry and Hermione - and the odd joke. Mostly, the film is - as it should be - pretty consistently bleak and edgy and grim. So there's not a lot that stands out more than the scary stuff, you know? (Well, I guess some of the Ministry Polyjuice stuff was pretty funny, even if it ended on a scary note...)


You know...in some ways, I agree with you. But, I was thinking, in the theater, that I'd never heard so much laughter at a HP movie before. Maybe it's because the crowd was a little older and some of the jokes just hit them right? I'm not sure (people were definitely laughing during Ginny & Harry's kiss - what a letdown, btw - when George was standing there watching them, and some other scenes...esp. all Harry's doubles in their undies). I just remember thinking that this was pretty funny.

post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

I was just thinking... one of the reasons I found Deathly Hallows darker than the other movies - despite finding the basilisk in Chamber of Secrets incredibly creepy! - was that the tension was almost unrelieved. In the earlier movies, the scary scenes are balanced out with a lot of light stuff - Qudiditch, jokes, holidays, buying school stuff in Diagon Alley, squabbling with Draco, dances, snogging. :p So you can come away from the movies remembering a mix of scary stuff and funny or at least light-hearted stuff. As the movies progress, there's less and less of that (kinda like with the LOTR trilogy). Deathly Hallows only has one "major" lightening-the-tension scene - the dance between Harry and Hermione - and the odd joke. Mostly, the film is - as it should be - pretty consistently bleak and edgy and grim. So there's not a lot that stands out more than the scary stuff, you know? (Well, I guess some of the Ministry Polyjuice stuff was pretty funny, even if it ended on a scary note...)


You know...in some ways, I agree with you. But, I was thinking, in the theater, that I'd never heard so much laughter at a HP movie before. Maybe it's because the crowd was a little older and some of the jokes just hit them right? I'm not sure (people were definitely laughing during Ginny & Harry's kiss - what a letdown, btw - when George was standing there watching them, and some other scenes...esp. all Harry's doubles in their undies). I just remember thinking that this was pretty funny.


i did, too. smile.gif
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