Roald Dahl is one of the most celebrated children's authors of all time. The man behind beloved classics like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda is no stranger to Hollywood either, with a number of his books having been turned into blockbuster movies over the years. The latest of his works to get this treatment is The BFG, which tells the tale of a big friendly giant who befriends a young girl. But given the dark side that shows up so often in Dahl's stories, many parents are wondering if The BFG is scary for little ones.
The movie is at least a little scary. Anyone familiar with Dahl shouldn't be too surprised, really. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is full of horrifying moments that depict children probably getting killed, Matilda's terrifying Principal Trunchbull throws a kid like an Olympic hammer, and The Witches scarred a generation with the most frightening creatures ever put to film. The BFG is no exception, and will continue Dahl's legacy as the brains behind the most twisted children's movies of all time. The movie is rated PG for action and peril, some scary moments, and brief rude humor. Scary moments are literally one of the reasons the movie received a PG rating, so obviously it has some frights. But what's so scary about it?
While the focus of the film revolves around the relationship between an orphan and a friendly giant, there are other giants in the film who aren't so friendly. They're big, they're loud, they look scary, and here's the kicker — they eat children. Any little kid will likely be afraid of this prospect, and the movie doesn't really dance around the subject either. Probably the most frightening scene of the film involves a nightmare sequence where the evil giants go on a terrifying rampage in the dark.
But just because the movie has a few scary moments, that doesn't mean it's a horror film. Common Sense Media, which rates films on their appropriateness for children, rates The BFG as being OK for kids age 7 and up. They rate it a three out of five on their scariness and violence scale, and give it their "Great For Families" seal of approval. For comparative purposes, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory also ranks a three out of five on the scary scale, but is rated for slightly older kids, age 8 and up.
So if your kids are OK with children being turned into blueberries, then odds are they won't be too scared of a few unfriendly giants.