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14 May 2020
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Including updates on the latest research carried out by the Office of Film & Literature Classification, media releases and other breaking news.
18 April 2020
Read our latest research report, Growing up with Porn - Insights from young New Zealanders Read more
05 December 2019
This page contains frequently asked questions and advice for parents who want to talk with their young people about pornography. Read more
19/03/2020 - R13: Violence, offensive language and sex scenes Read more about Queen and Slim
What is it? Queen and Slim is a crime drama and unlikely romance. After an unexceptional first date a young black couple are pulled over by a racist white cop. When the encounter goes badly wrong, Slim ends up shooting the cop and the two almost-strangers go on the run, travelling cross-country in an attempt to keep their freedom.
What to expect? Queen and Slim is a nuanced exploration of the effect of police brutality in the wake of the “black lives matter” movement. Both a love story and a road movie, it blends genre and characterisation to create a narrative which manages to voice anger at injustice without being didactic.
While the film’s portrayal of police brutality and gun violence is well-contextualised and of low extent, children are still likely to be shocked by it. The moral ambiguity of the crime presented requires some maturity to appreciate. Children are also unlikely to have the maturity to process the relatively frank sex scene and associated nudity. Furthermore, the extent of offensive language is likely to inure younger viewers to such language, increasing the likelihood of imitation, to the detriment of their socialisation.
16/03/2020 - R13: Contains violence and horror scenes Read more about Nioh 2
What is it? Nioh 2 is an action role playing game set in a mythic version of feudal Japan. Players assume the role of a warrior imbued with the power of a supernatural spirit – whose prowess at demon slaying calls him to battle with a growing horde of supernatural foes. Amidst this burgeoning threat, the warlords of the day battle for supremacy. Played from a third person perspective, players explore each level – battling demons of various shapes and sizes, until they culminate in a more challenging opponent and the level is complete. Dialogue that bookends the missions gives players context for their task, and there are cinematic cutscenes to propel more dramatic moments forward. Along the way, players will be able to find and upgrade new weapons, armours and skills to help them tackle ever more difficult foes.
What to expect? The combat in Nioh 2 is fast paced and bloody but somewhat mitigated by the mythic-historic setting. Most of the opponents the player faces off against are either supernatural creatures from Japanese folklore, or humans influenced by demonic spirits. During the game's frequent martial combat there is blood spray, as well as some decapitation. Whether the necks spurt blood or gas depends on the creature being fought. Ultimately, while this is a frequently bloody game, the mythic-historical setting considerably lessens the realism of the physical harm depicted. Nonetheless, the bloody violence and persistent but limited horror themes are likely to prove disturbing to younger audiences. Therefore Nioh 2 is best classified as restricted to those aged 13 and over, as teenagers have the maturity to properly contextualise this violence and horror in its supernatural setting.
05/03/2020 - R16: Contains graphic violence, drug use and offensive language Read more about Guns Akimbo
What is it? Guns Akimbo is an American action film about ‘Skizm’ an illegal-but-popular game of kill or be killed, which is broadcast on the internet. Set in contemporary times, it follows office worker Miles Harris as he spends an evening trolling the watchers of the Skizm stream, baiting them in chat for his entertainment. Unfortunately for Miles, a Skizm admin takes an interest in his online exploits and sends a team around to sort him out. Knocked out and taken away, Miles wakes the next day to discover he has had pistols bolted onto his hands, and he must face a fight to the death against Skzim’s reigning champion, Nix.
What to expect? Prepare for an entertaining mix of kinetic violence and dark comedy. Guns Akimbo is both ludicrous and bloody, stylishly shot with a high energy soundtrack. However there is a high extent of strong, and at times cruel, violence which is likely to disturb younger audiences. Alongside the frequent use of highly offensive language, and some drug use and sexual content, this strong violence ensures Guns Akimbo is best restricted to those aged 16 and over.
21/02/2020 - R13: Violence, horror scenes and offensive language Read more about Bhoot Part One: The Haunted Ship
What is it? Bhoot Part one: The Haunted Ship is a Bollywood supernatural horror film about a deserted container ship that strands on a Mumbai beach. Customs officer Prithvi discovers that the ship is haunted by Meera, a girl who has been stuck on the ship for 11 years and is possessed by a tormented spirit. With the help of his friends, Professor Joshi and agent Riaz, Prithvi must find out what the spirit wants before the ship is towed out to sea.
What to expect? The film is a slick, well-paced supernatural horror, which creates a low-level atmosphere of fear and a sympathetic hero. While none of the horror-violence is gratuitous or gory, the consistent use of sound to enhance jump scares and the imagery of possession mean that the film is not suitable for young children, especially in a cinematic setting with surround sound. More importantly, it is the scenes of domestic violence, implied torture and a bloody murder, while brief, are likely to shock and disturb younger audiences.
21/02/2020 - R16: Violence, cruelty, sexual material and content may disturb Read more about The Lighthouse
What is it? The Lighthouse is a psychological thriller feature about two men keeping a lighthouse in the 19th century. It is set on a small, rocky, isolated island in rough seas. A taciturn former lumberjack (Ephraim) arrives on the island to help the salty, grizzled lighthouse keeper (Thom). Ephraim begrudges Thom’s garrulous and bossy tendencies, unhappily submitting to the hard physical chores his boss sets for him. Thom is steeped in the folklore and ways of seamen, and finds Ephraim lazy, entitled and mean-spirited. A storm arrives, resulting in the two being stranded together without relief.
What to expect? The dominant effect is of a boutique psychological horror about the nautical mystique and mythos of lighthouse keeping in a bygone era. The style and subject matter will appeal to mature audiences. Children and younger teenagers will be shocked and disturbed by the level and nature of the horror, violence and cruelty. The sexual content supports a restricted classification, as it is likely to disturb children.
21/02/2020 - R16: Contains graphic violence and horror Read more about Doom Eternal
What is it? Doom Eternal is a first person shooter that presents an adrenaline rush of brutal-but-slapstick violence set to a ripping metal soundtrack. With Earth in the grip of a demonic invasion, Doom Guy – an angry man in an armoured suit – works on wiping the demons out. Through destroyed cities, huge space ships and the sanctums of ancient civilisations, the player tears through the demonic horde, guns blazing and chainsaw revving. As players progress through a story that is both self-serious and self-aware, they can explore the various levels to find secret items which grant lore details, weapon and ability upgrades. In this way the game encourages exploration and repeat play. Alongside the single-player campaign, Doom Eternal has a challenge system, and a three-player adversarial multiplayer mode.
What to expect? Doom Eternal presents one of the more detailed gore systems in video games, mitigated by its use on fantastical creatures. Under the sustained gunfire of Doom Guy’s sci-fi arsenal, demon flesh gives way to muscle, meat, and bone, blasted away in lurid chunks. This is a fast way to recognise damaged enemies, and also results in a mechanic where players can target enemy weapons to destroy them and limit their available attacks. In further examples of the game’s over-the-top tone, players can execute finishing moves, where the Doom Guy punches, pulls and stomps on his victims in an exaggeratedly amusing fashion. One of the highlights is where the Doom Guy pulls out the large green eyeball of a floating cacodemon – the accompanying stretch-and-pop sound effect turns what could have been a more gruesome act into a sequence of amusing but violent slapstick. In this way, despite the scattered corpses and bloody violence found throughout the game, Doom Eternal clearly veers away from the inherent cruelty which can easily accompany depictions of graphic violence. This is violence against exaggerated, almost-cartoonish demons, with the piñata-like bursts of health, armour and ammunition pickups which herald the demise of each opponent further adding to the arcade-like tone. As a result, Doom Eternal deals with its frequently gory violence in a manner which remains likely to shock younger audiences, but which can be properly contextualised by older teenagers and adults.