Fantastic 4 (2015)

Well, as strange as the original movie from the early 2000s was, this one somehow managed to be even stranger. The thing about modern superhero movies, which can sometimes be an issue, is that Fox seems very concerned with making their movies as dark as physically possible, both literally and figuratively. As far as potential triggers in this movie, I’d just like to start by saying, it never looks normal for Mr. Fantastic to have stretching powers, and it looks just as disconcerting in this movie as it always does. The cgi isn’t quite good enough to make it look normal, pushing it squarely into the uncanny valley. The stretching may make certain viewers very uncomfortable, as it reeks of body horror, and wouldn’t look out of place in a monster movie. Aside from that, due to how overly dull the movie is for the most part, there’s very little in the way of excitement up until the climax, where the villain of the movie, Dr. Doom, finally appears. He does kill several people using telekinesis onscreen, which can be a little jarring for some viewers, especially when you’ve been lulled into a false sense of boredom by everything else going on in the film. As far as I can tell, fortunately, the movie has very little in the way of anxiety-inducing moments, save for the extremely uncomfortable cgi stretching, and Dr. Doom’s introduction. However, I can’t exactly bring myself to recommend the movie either, as, in my opinion, it’s not really all that good. Which, honestly, is kind of a shame, since I remember really liking Fantastic 4 when I was a kid. I suppose it’s fine to watch if you want to give it a try, but it really lacks substance, and isn’t even worth seeing just to get freaked out by the rubber doll animation.

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Coraline

Coraline, the stop motion movie adaptation of the classic Neil Gaiman book, is one of the single most horrifying PG movies I’ve ever seen. The film, following a young girl slowly becoming trapped in a magical world determined to destroy her. This film is filled with scary imagery which, depending on the type of child, may scare younger viewers. The movie doesn’t have any blood or gore, in it, but the themes of abduction and abuse prevalent throughout most of the movie may raise some uncomfortable feelings or memories for certain viewers. Not only that, but it also has quite a bit of body horror, including a character midway through a transformation into a pumpkin, a child character with their mouth stitched open into a forced smile, and two characters turned into putty and being mushed together. There is also a scene involving the ghosts of murdered children, which ramps up the intensity by including themes of child death to the story. Coraline is meant for children, but it is by far one of the most intense children films I’ve seen since Secret of Nimh. And at least that one didn’t actually kill any kids. However, while there are several scenes with uncomfortable situations and disturbing situations, the animation and story are both fantastic, with a compelling style. If you’re able to handle the darkness, I strongly recommend the film, especially if you want to see more from Nightmare before Christmas’ director, Henry Selick.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

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.

Power Rangers (2017)

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.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

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.

Green Lantern (2011)

Green Lantern is an attempt by DC to be more like Marvel’s formula of films. This means that, for a DC film, it tries to be more humorous than other DC movies would usually be. However, there are several parts of this film I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. For one thing, the character of Hector Hammond is incredibly creepy for younger children. Throughout the movie, his head swells in a disgusting mass, and he slowly loses his sanity. I remember being in the movie theater, and hearing several children crying because of how unsettling the character was. As for deaths, a man is burned to death onscreen following a very distressing scene featuring Hector Hammond, following several men being impaled with glass, and a doctor being stabbed in the eye with a syringe. Also, the main cause of death in this movie appears to be a form of essence-draining that leaves the corpse drained and skeletal, as if they’ve been dead for centuries. This happens to a massive crowd of people at the climax. If the viewer is easily overwhelmed by violent crowd scenes, it can be very difficult to watch. As for blood, there’s very little actual bleeding in this film, and the blood that is shown is alien blood, and may not be as concerning for some viewers.