I really wanted to start with the first Sam Raimi spider-man movie, but I honestly feel that this second one would give me more to talk about due to the fact that it has slightly more adult themes than the more kid-friendly first one. To start with, I would like to acknowledge that, while there are a few themes that may spark anxiety for certain viewers, it is definitely an early-2000s Superhero movie. This means that it’s going to fall on the line between awkwardly kid-friendly, and awkwardly angsty. Regarding themes that may cause anxiety in this movie, I should probably start with the obvious. Early in the film, a woman is killed by hundreds of shards of glass flying into her body at once. The movie keeps it’s PG-13 rating by not showing the glass hitting her, and only showing her body slump over from the back, but it can still be rather jarring once you’ve put together what happens. Throughout the movie, there are several moments where people’s lives are put in danger, including someone being tossed off a building, cars being thrown at people, people being thrown off a train, and said train nearly being thrown off a track. While the CG is very visible, many of the fight scenes are very fast-paced, which can be hard to keep track of if you have difficulty with large scenes. The end of the movie also has a character choosing to commit suicide onscreen. The scene can be very sad, and it may catch a viewer off-guard. Also, there are several moments of a character falling into alcoholism, which eventually leads them to almost murder their friend, before beginning to hallucinate their dead relative. It can be a little concerning for viewers who aren’t expecting it. Overall, Spider-man 2 is a little more mature than the first movie, and introduces some new concepts. I wouldn’t recommend watching it without seeing the first one, but I do recommend it, if only for the wonderful performance by Alfred Molina.
The Host, based on the Stephanie Meyer book of the same name, is a good deal less annoying than her other works, but it still possesses a few scenes worthy of note that could raise a few red flags for certain viewers. To begin with, the concept of the aliens in the movie itself can be very scary. The way they take over humanity is possessing their minds and bodies, essentially replacing them until the original mind inside them dies. This can be very anxiety-inducing for a large number of people. Not to mention, there are quite a few choices in the film that can be a little jarring at times. There is a scene early on where, through flashback, we hear a character commit suicide so he doesn’t get taken over by the aliens. In fact, the theme of suicide is used a few more times in the beginning, namely by having the main character attempt suicide as well to evade capture, and two humans killing themselves via car wreck so they don’t get taken. Not to mention, at the end, the alien main character wants to commit suicide as well so she doesn’t have to ruin any more lives. I don’t quite understand why so many movies see it as badass to kill yourself, but it’s become a staple, and viewers need to be aware that it’s going to happen. There are also a few moments that show blood, which, while not unexpected exactly, are still a little disturbing if you aren’t expecting it. There’s a scene in the opening where, after the main character tries to kill herself, we see a large extent of her injuries. Later on, we get to see another scene where a young boy cuts his leg open by mistake, and another a little later that shows a girl purposefully slice open her arm and forehead with a knife. Not to mention, around the middle of the movie, we get a lovely post-surgery scene with a bunch of sliced-up alien creatures. I’m not entirely sure whether or not I can truly recommend this movie, as I wasn’t the biggest fan of it, especially considering the cop-out ending. But, if you’re a Stephanie Meyer fan, and have more patience for some cliches, why not go for it?
Hellboy, directed by the visual genius Guillermo Del Toro, is adapted from the Dark Horse comic book series of the same name. Due to the fact that it’s from the early 2000s, the cgi isn’t as fantastic as it could be, and we’ll see how the reboot of the series goes, but it still has a lot of Del Toro’s personal style when it comes to monster designs. To begin with, the introductory scene where the Allied forces try to stop the portal from opening, there are a few genuinely uncomfortable moments. For example, one of the characters is pulled into the portal, which is too small for his body at the time. Unfortunately, this means that his body is agonizingly compressed to fit into this tiny space. Throughout the movie, the various creatures, in spite of the early and imperfect cgi, do look genuinely frightening, and the idea of them harming a crowd at one point could be quite frightening. There’s also a bit of fridge horror at some points, such as the backstory of the main love interest involving her potentially burning a playground filled with children alive by mistake. Over all, many of the characters could be very troubling for younger or anxious viewers as well. For example, one of the followers of the main villain is a sawdust-filled, nazi samurai of sorts, who is near impossible to defeat. Most of the fear of the character comes with what we don’t see, as it’s implied most of his body has been completely altered by unknown and unseen experiments. The climax involves an eldritch being of a sort being summoned to earth, potentially destroying millions of lives in the process. Not to mention, the religious imagery, and the appearance of the main character may cause some severe discomfort for some. On the other hand, this is one of the best-looking superhero movies I’ve ever watched. Del Toro, as usual, has his own unique style that it’s very easy to admire. If you’re already a fan of the original comic series, or are interested in seeing a pretty cool-looking movie, I highly recommend it.
The Kingsman movie, based on the comic series by the same name, has more than earned it’s R rating. The movie is extremely violent, involving many gory deaths ranging from being sliced in half, to head explosions, all of which is onscreen. The opening involves a very violent fight scene, followed by the earlier mentioned scene of a man getting sliced in half with a very distinct and gut-wrenching sound. A man has his head blown up, which later escalates into an entire montage of various people dying in such a way to classical music. The plot of the movie, without revealing too much, involves a ‘rage-virus’ of sorts through technology, that causes people to fall into a frothing rage, and indiscriminately attack anyone and everyone close by. The first time this happens, it’s inside a church which, though it’s filled with religious bigots, is still alarming in it’s gore and can be very overwhelming. The second time this happens, a mother tries to rip her way through a bathroom door to murder her infant child. Alongside all the carnage that’s already happening in the film, it can be a little much for people who have trouble with violence. The movie is extremely violent, and seems to take great relish in their well-earned R rating. I don’t recommend this movie, unless you’re prepared for the level of violence that’s to be expected. But, if you are, it can be genuinely enjoyable for the viewer, with a lot of clever jokes and downright enjoyable characters.
As would be expected of a movie based on a show about people running around in spandex, the 2017 reboot of the Power Rangers series is pretty painless for people with anxiety. Most of the movie is pretty much nonviolent, with a few moments here and there that may catch the attention of concerned parents and anxious viewers. For example, the update of Rita Repulsa is distinctly more aggressive in this version. While it isn’t actually visible onscreen, there is a scene where she rips open a hobo’s mouth to get to the gold inside his mouth. It’s only shown in shadow, but the noises and graphic thoughts that would likely accompany it would be concerning to many. She also attacks a jewelry store, destroying the place in a very alarming and concerning way. Not to mention, a nightmare scene occurs that would definitely scare a younger child. Finally, the climax could be extremely scary to those who feel anxiety about crowd scenes. It’s a lot of carnage all happening at once. While the action is meant to be funny, it can be stressful trying to focus on everything that’s happening all at once. Overall, the Power Rangers movie takes a few more chances than what would be expected with a series like this, and there are quite a few moments that would cause alarm, but I overall feel it’s worth a view to see the new take on an old classic.
TMNT 2014 is surprisingly easy to view, in spite of the childhood-scarring cgi that makes up most of it. Now, while I can pick on the cgi for the turtles all I want, that’s not what I’m here for. But, in all respects, TMNT is very easy to watch for when it comes to most anxiety triggers. The violence that does happen onscreen is almost entirely happening to cgi creatures, which are very easy to distinguish from the human characters. While there are one or two scenes that involve humans not covered by outrageously pointy armor being injured. During a scene where the Shredder is training, he snaps the hand of someone fighting against him, and does beat the crap out of him, but still in a way that seems very PG-13, as the movie is rated. A later scene involves a random mook being poisoned by mutagen. The mook’s skin then proceeds to be melted off his body as he dies, in a way that makes me wonder how on Earth that managed to be included in a Nickelodeon movie. The scene would probably scare a young child considerably, as well as anyone with anxieties about gore. As far as the rest of the movie, there’s a lot of blood that gets medically drained out of the bodies of the turtles, but the rest is mostly bloodless and without needless gore. However, I do recommend skipping past the gas-testing scene if you have a young child, or get queasy by that kind of thing.
Fury Road, as expected of a Mad Max movie, can often have very jarring and violent moments. Some of the most prominent ones include several jarring scenes of dying people, the death of a pregnant woman, and the enslavement of women. While not shown onscreen, there is implied rape of the female characters. Most of the movie is made up of characters dying, and the bloodiness varies depending on the scene. Due to the fact that a lot of the intense scenes are done without the use of CGI, it’s possible that one may find them more intense than when done with special effects. For the most part, the blood isn’t focused on, but there is a shocking amount of cruelty and abuse towards women in this film that may trigger unfortunate thoughts or memories for some people. Overall, there’s a lot going on in this movie, and it’s difficult to tell exactly what scenes would be objectionable for certain viewers, as everyone is completely different in what makes them uncomfortable. Suffice it to say, there is a lot of violence towards women, blood, and intense scenes of violence.