Hunger Games the Movie – Should Families Pass?
I recently went with my family to see the movie The Hunger Games. For a movie with so much hype and success at the box office, I was disappointed to say the least.
My oldest has read all the books, and my youngest is underway. They are currently 12 and 10. I like that they are avid readers, enjoy adventure, and get into a good book. I often ask them about the books they read, query them for what they are observing, and see if there isn’t an opportunity to look at things from a different angle. I did this a bit with the Hunger Games series of books. As I imagine many would be, I was a little disturbed with the idea of children killing children… in a children’s book.
My wife and I were glad we were there with our kids at the movie (wouldn’t have done it otherwise). However, I found myself wanting to cover my eyes at various points throughout the movie. There is something about seeing a child die that is disturbing, seeing children kill other children is more disturbing still.
On the heels of a high school shooting in our Ohio home town leaving 3 dead, and a town asking why, movies like this don’t help (more here).
Review of Hunger Games Movie – Violence with Children
Due to the violence and killing of children on children I regret going to the movie, and don’t recommend it as family friendly whatsoever. In my view I found it to be all of the PG-13 for violence.
The Hunger Games is a cultural phenomenon, it may be that few will heed the advice or seriously consider position presented here. Many will disagree. Our culture thrives and rewards trends, and likely this will be no different. For my wife and I, we are sorry we went.
Hunger Games Movie – What to Expect
As for the movie itself, for someone who has read all the books, they will be able to pickup things from the very beginning, for the rest of us, not so much. It would seem appropriate that the scriptwriters would have included some context at the very beginning to clue those unfamiliar with the fictional world this exists in…12 districts, rebellion, etc. (detailed breakdown here). Fortunately, my son helped clarify some things prior to going into the movie, others may not be that fortunate.
The movie had no memoriable special effects to speak of. It did have a Hunger Games control center which served to maximize entertainment for those of the 12 districts watching the games. They also sent out some man eating attack dogs, which feasted on the final ‘loser’, a young character 16-17 years old whose last words were bitter angry ones.
Talking to the Kids After Watching the Hunger Games Movie
We ended up having a nice discussion on the way home from the theater. I was biting my tongue a bit, because they had been looking forward to this movie for some time. We asked them what they thought of the movie. If the content in the movie was in keeping with blessing or cursing of life itself. We also discussed the pulse of our culture, the trends that are negative, and the importance of understanding the long-term potential impacts of a movie like this on the hearts of men, women, and children. The value of a human life, the preciousness and innocence of a child.
Living in a Hunger Games Culture
With isolationsism, lonliness, and the suicide rate what it is among young people today, I would much rather talk with them about the value of human life including theirs. Discuss with them the opportunities before them and how they might make the lives of those around them better. That they might discover their maker, His plan for their life, and challenge them to pursue what that is. Teenagers have so much to offer!
Instead, this movie took on a fictional challenge of young people wanting to do something significant, and that significance is tied to outlasting peers by killing them.
Bottom-line on the Hunger Games Movie
In the end, it wasn’t all bad for us. It did create an opportunity for meaningful discussion afterwards. Parents, if your kids have seen the Hunger Games, ask them about it. Ask them what they thought of the story. As them if they found it odd that a movie about kids killing kids for a prize strikes them in some way? If they haven’t seen it, consider suggesting a night out, or a night in, playing board games instead.
Feedback? Thoughts? Chime in below.