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.
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.
As what is to be expected of a Disney movie, even one covering something as historically bloody as piracy, is relatively safe for younger viewers, and those suffering from anxiety. The deaths in this film are generally not gory, but there is quite a bit of blood and creepy imagery. The villainous pirates of the film suffer from a curse that makes them appear as rotted zombies. It’s not as bad as it could be, considering the fact that they use early 2000s cgi instead of makeup, which would have been more jarring. However, it should be noted that the skeletal images could probably still scare younger viewers, or those who are not expecting it. The theme of the movie revolves around blood, and, as such, there are a few scenes where blood is present, but it’s not shown with excessive gore. Most of the skeleton characters who suffer from violence recover as cartoon characters would, simply by falling apart, or by cartoonishly losing their limbs. Overall, for a film about some of the bloodier members of history, Disney chose to take it in a very safe direction. Provided you’re expecting it, it could be a very enjoyable viewing experience.
Catwoman, in spite of the fact that it’s supposedly based on a DC comic book character, and it’s pg-13 rating, is about as bloodless as a comic book movie could get. There is absolutely no gory violence in the movie, and the deaths are either offscreen, or shown with very little attention and fanfare. Two of the four character deaths involve simple gunshot wounds and scratch-marks, one involves drowning, and the fourth involves a very unrealistic look at falling off a great height. In fact, the main villain’s ability is that her skin can’t be cut, which would suggest a lack of blood or gore for her character. The death scene involving falling off a building is as most movies do it, with the character’s body just dropping and going still, and is barely reflected on. In the beginning of the movie, a brief moment where a woman supposedly with severe burn scars appears, but the CG isn’t quite good enough to make it look as disturbingly realistic as it was probably supposed to be. There are a few mentions of satanism in the opening credits, and quickly flashed by during a web search, but these have absolutely nothing to do with the plot, and are only there to show the impact of cats throughout history. I would wonder exactly how a comic book film like this got a PG-13 rating with absolutely no violence, but something tells me that Catwoman’s outfit may have had something to do with it. Overall, Catwoman is very safe to watch for anyone with anxieties, but I honestly can’t recommend it as a good movie.