The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has decided that ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ has the potential to frighten some children and hence was awarded with a 12A certificate. Children under twelve can watch the film only if they are accompanied by an adult.
The three Harry Potter films released till now were given only a PG rating which allowed children of any age to watch them unaccompanied. BBFC felt that the movie was darker and more intense than its predecessors.
In America, the film received a PG-13 rating which indicates that it may be considered inappropriate for pre-teens, but children under 13 are not barred from admission.
As per the guidelines for a 12A film, “moderate threat and menace with occasional gory moments only” along with infrequent swearing, which includes the “f” word, and “discreet” nudity are only allowed.
Concerned that the directive could disappoint thousands of children who are fans of Harry Potter series, which has become a legend for the children of this generation, David Cooke, the BBFC director, watched the film in person and permitted the 12A classification.
BBFC was also reportedly worried that the film could affect children with sensitive natures. In fact, before Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released, J.K.Rowling warned that the book might have some unpleasant instances which would include murder of a character.
Mike Newell, maker of the movie, is said to have recreated that atmosphere present in the book quite accurately in the film. Scenes which were of concern to the BBFC included “a gang of hooded Death Eaters”. Slated for release on November 18, the film also has quite a few scenes of spiders which mighty be considered too cruel for certain pre-teen children. The language has also matured with the ageing of characters who do not hesitate anymore to use aggressive language. The censor’s advice for parents is that the film contains “moderate fantasy violence, threat and horror”.
The BBFC said: “The tone of the film is much scarier and darker than its predecessors. We expect most parents will still take their children but they should be aware that youngsters of a nervous disposition might be upset.”