HP3 - PG or not? (Spoiler)

Discussion in 'TV Show Forum' started by DavidPeat, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. DavidPeat

    DavidPeat
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    Took my 6 and 7 year old sons to see it on Friday night. Checked the rating first - PG - no problems there then, I thought - won't need the usual Mum and Dad only viewing to check suitability.

    ... spoiler space - scroll down ...

















    Both of them were pretty scared by the dementors and when Lupin transformed into the werewolf and was howling then fought with padfoot. In fact, I had to leave with one of them at that point because he was hysterical. He is quite highly strung but on the other hand he sat through all 3 LOTRs and thought they were brilliant.

    I was slightly surprised, given that LOTR was given 12A, that HP3, which I thought had a stronger horror content was given PG. I suppose it is the level of violence that earns LOTR a 12A - but in my opinion children these days are more exposed (and used) to 'fantasy' violence through their cartoons and video games and so on but the same is not true for 'horror' content.

    Are we in need of a more detailed rating system - such as is on the back of DVDs where it breaks content down into categories - horror, violence, swearing, sexual scenes etc?

    As for the actual film (what I saw of it anyway) - thought it was pretty good. I can understand some peoples confusion (see the other HP thread) about the relationships not being explained properly. I only knew what was going on because I've read the book.
     
  2. figrin_dan

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    Having read the book, did you not feel that the dementors and werewolf would upset a highly strung kid?
     
  3. DavidPeat

    DavidPeat
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    I didn't find anything in the third book that was any worse than the first two (having fire thrown at you by a man with somebody elses head growing out the back of his or being chased round a catacomb by a huge basilisk with bleeding eyes)?
    I've also watched the three LOTR films with them and he didn't bat an eyelid at the Nazgul or the orcs or Shelob.
    He's watched Planet of the Apes, Spiderman and is a big Buffy fan so when I say he's a bit highly strung, I don't mean he's a complete gibbering wreck!

    My original point stands, that I (personally as well as through his experience) thought that the 'horror' content was actually quite strong for a PG whereas in LOTR, because there is some violence on show, it gets a 12A.
     
  4. PoochJD

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    Hi,

    Having not seen any of the HP films (because I hate HP!), I can only presume that the PG certificate was because:-

    1) The characters were of a similar age to the children in the target audience at which the movie is aimed at, and thus, the audience members would be able to identify with the characters, and how they deal with the horrific aspects of the story.

    2) The film is about magic and wizards, and is more fantastical in nature, whereas LOTR is much more aimed at a mature, adult audience, because the film is much darker in nature.

    3) In comparison to the other HP films, the BBFC felt that the darker tone of HP3 was probably not overly extreme to warrant a 12A certificate.

    4) The BBFC may also have concluded that the vast majority of the audience of the film, will be familiar with the books, and be aware of the content (and the conclusion to the monsters in the film).

    5) It may also be worthwhile to note, that the BBFC (as you have suggested) felt that the tone of HP3 wasn't so intense as in LOTR, and because kids nowadays are used to all sorts of real-life and fictional horrors (from the News, to the Nightmare On Elm Street films) that HP3 was unlikely to cause widespread problems.

    I would agree that a more detailed description of content should have been made available. Was this not on the film poster itself - something along the lines of "PG: Contains scenes of mild peril". ?

    Alternatively, you can always e-mail the BBFC direct, ([email protected]) and ask for their reasons why they gave the film a PG and not a 12A. They usually reply within 10 days, and the explanations can often be really helpful. I wrote to them about "Terminator 3" being given a 12A rather than what I would have preferred - a 15. The response was some 2-sides worth of A4. However, they did agree, that they may have been a little overly lenient in that case.

    Give it a shot, and let us all know what they say.

    Lastly, maybe you could talk to your child, and discuss what he/she found scary/upsetting and/or why they found it scary/upsetting. That might also be helpful to you, in pin-pointing whether it was the film that caused the problem or something else they'd seen or heard.

    Pooch
    (BBFC and censorship expert - well, kind of!)
     
  5. DavidPeat

    DavidPeat
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    I did talk to my son and his response was that he was scared of the dementors - pure and simple. He was also terrified by the werefolf and when pressed as to why - because it was so real.

    And I think that is the point - he can easily see the fantasy aspect behind films such as LOTR but this one (the werewolf scene in particular) really put the frighteners up him. Are the orcs and Nasgul more obviously 'make believe'? I don't know. Maybe the fact that it is midgets with hairy feet that are obviously living in a fantastical world that are being pursued? (Ok - I know Hogwarts is fantastical but it is still set in the 'real' world).

    Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying that 'This should never have got PG - my kid is scarred for life!' in an outraged tone. I just thought it raised an interesting point in the different types of material that has to be rated and how different styles of material will upset/shock/frighten different people.

    BTW I thought the Dementors were pretty scary myself and the transformation scene was pretty scary too - and I used to hide behind the sofa when the Cybermen came on - so I can understand how he felt :)
     
  6. CooperUK

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    Perhaps it is because in LOTR the main characters are themselves fantasy characters and also adults, so what happens to them is more easily identifiable with fantasy and has a greater sense of personal distance, whereas in HP the main characters are children who could easily live next door, therefore the violence/actions taken against them seems more 'real'.

    Also, the dementors were pretty damn scary looking and the werewolf as good as any I've seen in other films. The change of director also gave the whole film a darker tone to the previous ones. Perhaps it was just a good build up of tension, which rose to its crescendo at that point, that caused the upset.
     
  7. CarlB

    CarlB
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    I would have thought the fact that it was 'PG - Parental Guidance' would have necessitated a 'mum & dad' only viewing first. I think that's the main thrust of that category. I watched the others first and let my children watch the first but not the second (spiders and large snake), so was already very wary of the third film.
     
  8. figrin_dan

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    I really don't like these comments. I now spend the duration of the film waiting for 'Two uses of strong language' or 'one scene of mild fantasy violence'. Though I can see it may be of use to parents.

    I haven't seen the film yet but cannot imagine the dementors not being terrifying to most 'normal' kids.
     
  9. DavidPeat

    DavidPeat
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    You are probably right CarlB - and we do usually vet films first. Maybe we got a bit complacent this time round and made our choice on the first two films. Sometimes it's easy to forget that he is only 7.
     
  10. Lex

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    I saw it (not with any kids :blush: ) and definitely felt that it warranted a higher rating, there is no way it should have been a PG, the werewolf stuff was much too strong... I wonder what the hell they are doing at the BBFC sometimes :rolleyes:
     
  11. Taz

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    my 2p's worth...

    IMHO the dementors were no where near as scary as the LOTR Ringwraiths... they were very well 'done'

    As I have said on the HP POA thread I thought the dementors were like something from "renta ghost"!

    mind you im 33 not 6 years old. ;)
     
  12. RedBull

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    When I went to see it with about 5 of my mates (Six 21 year olds queuing up to see Harry Potter ;) ) we all came out thinking that it might be a little too "scary" for younger viewers.
     
  13. Matt Horne

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    My 4 yr old was terrified just by the HP3 trailer when you see the dementor's hand on the train (the trailer was shown at looney toons back in action).

    Kids can be funny... hes watched the first 2 star wars a few times.. but when return of the jedi is on hes asks for it to be turned off when the troll guard appears at the beginning at Jabbas palace.

    Matt
     
  14. CarlB

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    The distributor would probably have forced cuts on the film if the BBFC had certified this as a '12' or similar; there was no way they would want to lose such a massive portion of a potential audience.

    We'd then all be complaining about the cuts to the UK release of HP3!

    :D
     
  15. Julie Winston

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    I'm with the PG view - watch it first. You can hardly invoke parental guidance when seeing it with littleuns for the first time.

    Interesting to see Ringraiths mentioned in the same sentence as dementors. I think JK was inspired by JR in more respects than this. I am not suggesting plagiarism (goddness knows I can hardly spell it!) but we are all 'informed' by what we see and read.

    Julie
     
  16. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    Hi David,

    You've certainly raised an interesring thread debate here. It appears that most people are like you - not sure if it really should have been a PG or a 12A.

    However, bear in mind that whilst the 12A is only an advisory note for parents, it's really no different to a PG in that kids can still go to see the film. Both certificates mean that parental advice and guidance is needed, and that the film's content may be unsuitable for some children.

    But I know what you mean. And you certainly didn't come across like some angry parent, who was cheesed-off at the BBFC for giving HP3 a PG. :)

    I guess, ultimately, what one person finds acceptable, another wont. Ditto with children. Some seven year olds are gonig to not find Freddy Krueger disturbing, whilst others would still be shocked at the death of Fievel in the cartoon "An American Tail", which has a U-certificate!

    Maybe people will now see why the BBFC have such a hard time. It's a case of trying to please everyone, all of the time, and that's simply not possible.

    Pooch
     
  17. Steve Bate

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    Fievel's dead!! :(
     

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