With a public execution, a violent beating and frenzied animals, it hardly sounds like ideal entertainment for children. But film censors appear to think otherwise -- granting The Hunger Games: Catching Fire a 12A rating,
which means it can be seen by under-12s if they are with an adult.
In one scene viewers witness a man being flogged and whipped by soldiers and are shown his wounded and bloodied back. Later, an elderly man is clubbed by two soldiers and publicly executed by a gunshot to the head.
The BBFC passed the film 12A for moderate violence and threat and infrequent strong language .
Vivienne Pattison, of the morality campaign group Mediawatch-UK spouted:
The problem with this particular film is that it originates from a book designed for children. Success: The blockbuster has made Miss Lawrence a household name. But critics blast the appeal to children
And there is a very big difference between reading a gory image on the page than burning it into the retinas of young children watching it on the big screen in the cinema.
Although the rating suggests there may be some adult scenes there is still little guidance, and there is nothing in place to stop parents or guardians from taking children as young as six or seven to the cinema to see the film.
The story environment at times is quite realistic and therefore the horrific violence is glamorised.
In a society in which children are exposed to so much violence and adult imagery we should be working to protect youngsters from further exposure in films and games. We don't need to terrify children to entertain them.
Pippa Smith of the religious morality campaign group, Safer Media said:
The film industry puts too much responsibility on parents. It isn't fair they should have to make the decision whether they take their child or not when the guidelines are so vague. Classification on films needs to be much stricter.