Dark Knight Isn’t For Kids
MINOR SPOILER WARNING
Parents seeking a harmless afternoon’s entertainment for their children at the new Batman movie may need to think twice.
Child psychologists are warning that exposure to the movie, which stars the late Heath Ledger as the Joker, could leave children seriously disturbed.
They are worried not just by the level of violence in The Dark Knight in one scene the Joker kills a man by impaling his head on a pencil and, in another, a hanged body wearing a clown mask is slammed against an office window but also about the impact of watching someone like the Joker who glories in evil, loves cruelty and is palpably immoral.
As in Australia, The Dark Knight, which opened here last week, has been given an M classification. That means anyone can see it but it is recommended for people 16 and over.
Auckland psychologist Sara Chatwin said parents who had grown up with the comic-book hero and who had seen the early Batman movies should be aware this latest offering was a totally different genre and not a “kiddie flick”.
Because of Ledger’s show-stealing performance the emphasis of the movie was more on the evil of the Joker rather than on Batman.
“The characteristics the Joker embodies are fairly serious stuff,” Chatwin said.
Chatwin said although it was up to parents to decide whether the movie was suitable for their children, she would not be taking her own children. [stuff]