Violence & Gore: 6
Of course, we know from the plot that we will likely see a man brutally assaulted. But just how intense are we talking here?
Kids In Mind says there are five flashbacks to that life-altering night, showing the five men violently beating Hogancamp on the ground.
“Three scenes show multiple kicks to the body and two scenes add kicks and punches to the head and arms as we see the victim’s face streaming rivulets of blood while he groans and grimaces.”
We see a man’s severely bruised and beaten face after waking up in the hospital with bandages.
Several “action scenes” see lots of shooting, gun violence and warfare.
The dolls see even more violence as armed Nazi dolls shoot one another to pieces, a doll is impaled by a wrought iron fence, and there’s a stabbing with a high heel—because again, the theme is consistent. There are several violent Nazi references, and a witch doll, who continuously tries to lure Hogancamp into taking more pills than needed for his PTSD, among other schemes.
It would seem that there is more action than drama based on several reviews, but with WWII action, comes violence. And whether it’s the real-life violence of humans or the paint-filled gore of life-like dolls, the violence and gore in Welcome to Marwen is inescapable.
It’s best to know how much violence you’re okay with your kids seeing before entering this movie. Though much of the violence and gore happens among dolls, I think it’s important to remember that the dolls are representations of their human characters. So while the majority of it may only be plastic and paint, there is an underlying human-to-human violence that is worth noting.
Other than the expected amount of curse words for a PG-13 film, Kids in Mind notes that there are mild obscenities and several derogatory references to gays, Germans, and Russians, as well as some name-calling.
The biggest red flag to me as far as language goes really ties in with the maturity of the film. Whether it’s pornography playing in the background, sexual innuendos, or heavy references to drugs and alcohol, language is a major factor in whether or not you take your kids to see this film.
One mom on Facebook had an enlightening point saying that the movie could pose a good conversation that’s worth having with the kids. Having found herself in the position before of seeing things in a movie that she didn’t expect has given her the opportunity to speak into something before culture, society, or someone else is able to.
The WWII violence depicted in this film doesn’t strike me as anything worse than what many of our teens are experiencing in video games they play on the daily.
For me, the greater factor is how I want to go about speaking into my kids’ lives when it comes to sexuality, pornography, and how we see/treat women. What do I show them, and what do I allow them to see that is still God-Glorifying and aims to raise respectful men of God.
Probably not this.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that rating guides are your best bet in making sure there aren’t too many surprises once you get your kiddos settled with overpriced popcorn and ICEEs at the theater.
Based on the information provided, I think it’s safe to say that PG-13 for Welcome to Marwen is fair. I wouldn’t recommend taking any child younger than 13, and for those over 13, I think it’s a judgement call that rests on parents who know their kids, and can approach the touchy subject matter in a way they’re comfortable with.
The one thing I think all parents can do to redeem any surprises or uncertainties that come with any film, is address them head on. You may not be expecting what comes on the screen, but it’s important that we as parents are intentional with our conversations, and we communicate well with our kids about the subject matter of any film.