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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

M: violence and horror scenes. Content may disturb.

Spoiler alert

This page outlines how the classification criteria were applied. We do our best to discuss the content while avoiding spoilers, but please avoid reading this information if you do not want to learn anything about the content of this movie.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 poster

Date registered: 13/11/2015

About the film

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is a science fiction war film, and is the second of two cinematic parts based on the novel Mockingjay, the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy.

The Hunger Games books and films are set in Panem, an authoritarian society which has risen out of the ravaged ruins of North America. The plot in this final instalment concludes the epic story of the protagonist Katniss Everdeen - a young woman who is the face of a rising revolution due to her rebellious spirit during her time as Tribute during two Hunger Games. Part of the revolution involves unifying the enslaved Districts that are controlled by the Capitol, and Katniss is used as a spokesperson and symbol to encourage this alliance. Katniss resolves to kill the tyrant President Snow, and teams up with her friends to liberate Panem.

A still image from the film - Katniss draws her bow and prepares to kill

Classification criteria: Horror

The film has elements of horror. The atmosphere is tense and foreboding throughout and there is an extensive soundtrack with loud sound effects which tend to foreshadow dangerous situations and intensify jump scares.

In one scene Katniss and her unit of soldiers are being chased through a sewer network by a mob of monsters. The lighting is very dim, and they are attacked off-guard. The monsters are identical humanoid mutants with pale and fishlike skin. They have large mouths that are equipped with rows of sharp teeth. They do not have weapons, and attack by launching their bodies at the group and gnashing their teeth. This scene is frenzied and violent. The group fight the monsters using weapons such as bows, flares and guns, and engage in hand-to-hand combat.

Although these monsters would frighten and startle younger viewers, their appearance in the film is relatively brief. The brevity also helps to mitigate the impact of these monsters on the film as a whole.

A still image from the film - scary monster from the sewer

Classification criteria: Cruelty and violence

One scene of cruelty involves a general being publicly humiliated in front of his peers and then being murdered by poison. The man gasps briefly, and then his head drops to the table. He is bleeding from his nose and appears lifeless.

In another scene Katniss and her unit of soldiers are shown moving through a city, aware that it has been studded with invisible booby traps called "pods". The traps include flame throwers, machine guns, bombs and a flash flood of oil. One soldier dies from a bomb blast, it is suggested that his legs have been blown off but this is not depicted and there is no blood. Other soldiers are killed by the oil, with one body briefly shown strung up in a grotesque pose. This is not a detailed or lingering shot.

In another scene a group of civilians, including children, are attacked in a bombing raid. A man is shown cradling a lifeless child and other bodies are very briefly depicted scattered over the ground.

A still image from the film - Katniss on the run through the sewers, with flames behind her

Classification criteria: The intended or likely audience

This film is intended for fans of the book and film franchise. Those unfamiliar with the storyline may find the plot and large cast of characters difficult to follow. Although the books were aimed generally for an audience of young adults (the protagonist and main characters are all young people) the appeal of the film is broad. The political complexities and relationships in the film suggest an intended audience of mature viewers.

A still image from the film - Katniss and her unit of soldiers in the bombed-out city, posed around and atop a fallen statue

Decision summary

The film contains some horror, violence, cruelty and scenes of war. In particular, scenes that depict a horde of frightening monsters and a bombing involving civilians with children may be briefly frightening to younger viewers but are not likely to cause long-term harm such as disquieting thoughts. While these elements are likely to have a considerable impact on the viewer they are limited in extent and degree and do not dominate or overwhelm the story.

The majority of viewers will come with expectations formed from seeing the previous films or reading the books and are therefore less likely to be taken unawares by the relatively limited number of scenes of frightening violence. The degree of violence depicted is generally consistent with that of previous films, which have also carried an M rating.

The emotionally charged and at times very intense scenes are more suitable, and are likely intended for, older audiences who are able to put the complex political themes and messages of the film into context. The issues of war and the vulnerabilities of the characters require discussion and thought, which requires maturity to process.

The film is classified as unrestricted, but more suitable for mature audiences 16 years of age and over due to its treatment of horror, cruelty and violence. This classification does not limit the right to freedom of expression contained in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

Contact the Information Unit if you require further information on a classification decision.

M label
M: violence and horror scenes. Content may disturb.