A big, new, exciting Marvel movie is coming to theaters soon and everyone will be talking about it in the schoolyard. But should they be?
the 2016 sequel to Doctor Strange has the same rating as . Still, the flick from notable horror director Sam Raimi is arguably Marvel’s version of a horror film. From jump scares to multiple characters meeting their end to the awkward presence of skeletal souls of the damned flying around, the flick might be scarier for the less desensitized of us. Is it basically suitable for eager young viewers? Let’s discuss below.
What is the actual rating of Doctor Strange 2?
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has a PG-13 rating in the US. According to the Motion Picture Association’s film rating system, a film with a PG-13 rating means that “Some materials may be unsuitable for children under 13… Parents are urged to exercise caution.”
Parents are also occasionally “strongly cautioned” about this assessment, according to a recent MPA bulletin.
In the UK, the British Board of Film Classification gives the film a 12A for “moderate horror, violence, menace, detail of injury”. The BBFC adds these details:
“The scare scenes include demonic beings attacking humans, a decomposing corpse being reanimated, humans being burned by magical powers leaving charred remains, and several ‘leap scares’…sequences involve superhuman beings fighting with fantastic powers, as well as the use of weapons and fist fights. Stronger moments include a person being impaled, magical powers ravaging a man’s head, and the implication of someone being cut in half.
Where the recent Spider-Man: No Way Home also had its violent moments, Doctor Strange 2 differs stylistically. Its macabre horror elements and the number of people killed are far greater than the former, including some death scenes that border on the poignant and vicious.
Is Doctor Strange 2 scarier than other Marvel movies?
Raimi is known for directing Sony’s original Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire, but he’s also a notable horror filmmaker, mostly for the Evil Dead franchise.
Raimi brings some of those horror styles to the Doctor Strange sequel (another horror filmmaker, Scott Derrickson, edited the original). Just read this excerpt from our:
The film’s early sections could have been taken from a 1960s comic strip in which a monster threatens a woman pushing a stroller down a colorful New York street. But as the film progresses, he ramps up the horror. The villain’s monstrous power is signaled through jump scares and sinister horror-movie flourishes, building into the most macabre final battle you’re likely to see in a family-friendly blockbuster.
It’s also worth noting that well-known “good guys” characters also appear in the film in evil forms, which might unsettle some kids.
Despite this, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is still a Marvel film. It sticks to the entertaining brand of superhero fare, only with cursed books no scarier than a math test.
So should you let your child see it?
The MPA’s grading system is administered by an independent department called Classifications and Grading Administration through a board composed of an independent group of parents. If you are happy with their rating, children aged 13 and over should be able to watch the film. If you’re still on the fence, you can leave @FilmRatings on Twitter for daily updates and more information on how the film rating system works on the CARA website.
Ultimately it depends on your child and what they are used to. The action in Multiverse of Madness is definitely more intense than in other Marvel films. If you are unsure how your child will cope in the noisy and dark theater environment, remember that you can always do itwith full control of the pause and volume buttons.
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