Australian Council on Children and the Media

Home

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Short takes

Parental guidance under 8 due to tense and scary scenes

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Home
  • a review of Home completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 23 March 2015.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Parental guidance recommended due to tense and scary scenes
Children 8 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Home
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild threat
Length 94 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Home is a story about an alien race that invades Earth, shipping human beings into a vacuum and relocating them to a desert planet millions of miles away. Under the leadership of Captain Smek (Steve Martin), the aliens known as the Boov plan to make Earth their new home, hiding from their mortal enemy in the process and believing that they are doing human beings a favour.

One of the small purple aliens named Oh (Jim Parsons) is someone who doesn’t quite fit in, and has actually been banished from his own people. During his solo adventures on Earth, he comes across a human girl named Tip (Rihanna) who evaded the relocation. When they first meet, both Oh and Tip present as outsiders of their own species. They are sceptical and distrustful, but both are willing to take a chance on each other.

Tip wishes to track down her mother after the disappearance of the humans, and Oh offers to help her. As time goes by, the pair realise that they have more in common than they once thought. Together, they attempt to save the world and eventually discover a new meaning of the concept of ‘home’.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Adventure and exploration; loss of a parent: friendship, love and relationships; identity and personal growth

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is very limited violence in the film but there are scenes that involve chase and evasion by a range of characters – these scenes are tense and dramatic and possibly scary for young children.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Some children may be scared by the aliens in the film but they are quite small and unimposing in appearance. They are not presented in a frightening way, despite being extra-terrestrial.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may be concerned about Tip’s feelings of loss at the disappearance of her mother after the Boov relocate all of humanity to another planet.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Nothing of concern

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

None of concern

In a nutshell

Home is an inspiring film about friendship and the gradual development of trust. It highlights the unfortunate nature of contemporary society where being different can cause a person to be isolated from others. However, the film also emphasises that there is strength in difference, and that the individuals who are willing to take a chance and to step outside their comfort zone are often the ones who enact positive changes. The film demonstrates that even the most unlikely of individuals can become close friends, as well as making clear that the nature of a ‘home’ is not a finite concept – home is a place where people feel that they are loved and cared about, and in turn, where they care for and love others.

There are some tense and scary scenes involving chase and evasion which may make the film disturbing for younger children, so parental guidance is recommended for children under 8.

The film raises some interesting issues that parents may wish to discuss with their children, such as:

  • the struggles that people may face when separated from their family, friends or community.
  • the egoism of humans in presuming that they know what is best for the other species living on Earth (as reflected in the behaviours and actions of the Boov).
  • the dangers of being given what we believe we want – for instance, the ‘Happy Humans Town’ that the Boov builds for humans is appealing initially, but it is not an adequate home for them.

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