'The Hunger Games' too violent for teens?

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by Chris Daniels / KING5.com

KING 5 News

Posted on March 28, 2012 at 7:43 AM

REDMOND –  It is marketed to teens, rated PG-13, and had one of the biggest openings in movie history.
 
But is “The Hunger Games” suitable for young people?
 
Critics have heaped praise on the film, adapted from the popular book, but also questioned whether the violent story line is too much.  The plot focuses on a fictional, post-apocalyptic, game which forces teenagers to fight one another to the death.
 
“It’s a lot of action, all kids in my grade were reading it,” says Matthew Hobbs, a 13-year-old from Woodinville, who had read the book, and saw the movie Monday night. “It was pretty violent, but I think most kids my age would be able to cope with it.”
 
His mother, Nicki Donovan, was by his side.  “He told me the books were quite violent, a fight to death among young people,” she said.  “I can make a judgment on knowing him and coping with him.  He reads a lot of books, you think about movies like Twilight, and Harry Potter, and those kind of books.  There are a lot of death and violence in those.”
 
But not all moviegoers agree.
 
“I wouldn’t want my 13-year-old to see it.  It was pretty violent,” says Julie Mason, after she left a Redmond movie theater.  “I read the first book and I wouldn’t want my 13-year-old to read that book.”
 
Her husband Jack echoed the concern.   “I thought it was well done.  I don’t think it glorified violence for violence sake.  But definitely the PG-13 is accurate.”
 
“The (rating) should be taken seriously for sure,” said Emily Mason, who watched “Games” for a second time.  “(But) I think they did a really good job of taming it down.”
 
Donovan offered parents her own advice, “There is a certain amount of violence in the film.  Make a judgment on your own child.  What kinds of things have they seen before.  Have you discussed it with them? Some 13-year-olds may have more difficulty than others.”

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