Ss the stars and their starry-eyed fans gathered for the premiere of the latest Star Wars movie , there were fears that the £2bn blockbuster may be too frightening for the young audience its 12A rating will target.
With villagers slaughtered, characters tortured and an entire planet obliterated in one shot, The Force Awakens paints a picture of a very violent universe. Experts say the film looks to be far more graphic than the original trilogy from the
1970s and 1980s which was billed as a fairy tale style adventure
As the on-screen body count mounts, parents have been urged to consider whether they should take young children to see it.
And by 'experts' the Daily Mail is referring to the likes of Vivienne Pattison, director of Mediawatch UK, who wailed:
Many parents will remember the original Star Wars films of the 1970s and 1980s, which were lower ratings. Of course, what made a PG then is very different to what makes a PG now and I think that's part of the problem actually.
They would have been under a lot of pressure actually to get a 12A because it means they will be able to sell more tickets. It means that as a parent you are expected to go a see a film first to decide whether it's suitable for your child.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 is a 2015 USA Sci-Fi adventure by Francis Lawrence.
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth.
The BBFC rated the cinema release as 12A uncut for moderate violence, threat.
The Daily Mail has a rather half-hearted knock at this 12A certificate:
With a bombing of families, monsters eating people alive and a public execution, it hardly seems ideal viewing for children.
But film censors appear to think otherwise, giving the latest instalment of The Hunger Games a 12A classification, meaning it can be seen by children of primary school age accompanied by an adult.
In one scene, the main characters are involved in a gruesome fight with monsters with no eyes and razor-sharp teeth during which one man is eaten alive.
In another, young families are targeted by bombs, disguised as gifts, causing mass death and destruction. Such scenes have fuelled the debate about whether 12A classifications give enough protection to young people.
The Daily Mail dragged up a few trivial sound bites from censorial campaigners, including a rare comment from Mediawatch-UK.
Claude Knights, of the charity Kidscape, said of the latest film:
I wonder why it wasn't given a more robust rating. Many parents wouldn't take their children to something like this, but because it's a 12A they might not be expecting it to be this way.
The danger is that these scenes become normal. They become desensitised and the level of gore and violence becomes normalised.
Vivienne Pattison, director of lobby group Mediawatch UK, said:
The industry is terribly keen to get things through as a 12A, as suddenly you've doubled your market potentially.
There have been quite a few 12A films recently that I just don't think you'd want to take an eight-year-old to see, although it's perfectly legal to do so.