Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the scariest film in the franchise – is it too much for young children? The sequel takes us back to Isla Nublar, three years after the island theme park was abandoned and the dinosaurs left to roam free. With a volcanic eruption now imminent, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) make one last trip to rescue the creatures which are on the brink of going extinct for a second time.
From the release of Jurassic Park 25 years ago to the newest offering, the Jurassic movies are renowned for their incredibly realistic portrayal of dinosaurs; the moment the T-Rex first appeared on screen in Jurassic Park and took a whole generation’s breath away. It was equal parts terrifying and enthralling. That same wonder is there in Jurassic World 2, but so is the terror.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, is rated PG-13 in the US and 12A in the UK. That means children under the age of 12 can see the movie if accompanied by an adult. The BBFC warns of “moderate threat, occasional bloody moments, and action violence,” but that can mean all manner of things. For Fallen Kingdom, it’s worth knowing that the movie is exceptionally scary in places for young children.
From the very start, the looming threat of death in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is very real, and remains there throughout. In terms of actual violence, there are multiple times dinosaurs eat people and tear off limbs, and in one instance the shot lingers on a dinosaur’s teeth after he’s severed a human arm. Some of the threat is implied but not seen, however, obscured by scene changes right before a terrible fate befalls the characters. Depending on the age of the small person in your care, they may or may not work out what’s happened.
The dinosaurs themselves are, for the most part, more imposing than before, accentuated by a large part of the movie taking place in a gothic house. That makes the threat of the dinosaurs much more real to young, impressionable children. Under threat themselves, the dinosaurs fight back, and they’re not so much presented as magnificent creatures, but as fearsome predators. In particular, there is one scene that has already been seen in Jurassic World 2‘s trailers where the Indoraptor opens the door of a little girl’s bedroom and scrapes his claw over the covers as she hides beneath.
Then there’s the converse threat the humans pose to the dinosaurs. The creatures are repeatedly shown being hurt with tasers or tranquilizer darts, and there are several dinosaur deaths when leaving Isla Nublar, including one that’s protracted to an upsetting degree. Violence aside, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom contains no scenes of a sexual nature or any bad cursing.
Although the movie’s rating implies that it’s okay to take younger children, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is actually quite scary for those under 12. The sound effects and score only serve to add to the terror, especially in a movie theater where the speakers are loud. If your kids startle easily, you may be better to wait until the movie is on home release. For anyone older, the film should be fine but, as always, it varies from child to child.
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