A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Starving Games is from the same team that brought us the Scary Movie franchise and spoofs such as Meet the Spartans, and they're trodding some well-worn paths here as they send up The Hunger Games. There's lots of cartoon-y violence and some gore, but there are a couple of gratuitous gross-out moments, with one involving blood and the other an infected injury. Speaking of gratuitous, there's also plenty of sexual content involving men getting hit in the genitalia, some depictions of women as sexual objects, and a couple of sex scenes played for laughs. "S--t" is used, as is other profanity such as "whore" and "ass" and a rude finger gesture. Teens and older kids no doubt will find the spoofs funny, as the movie touches on many of the most popular, recent pop-culture phenomena. But there's nothing else going on here beyond a gratuitous effort to pander to the juvenile mind.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
THE STARVING GAMES is a straightforward spoof of The Hunger Games and follows its plot pretty closely. Heroine Kantmiss Evershot (Maiara Walsh) volunteers to take part in a reality-show-style survival contest. One by one, all the other contestants are killed until only she and Peter, who has a big crush on her, are left. Most aspects of the original story are here, including the dystopian government and the conflicting love interests between the boy back home and fellow contestant, although the ending's different in service to the parody.
Is it any good?
As uninspiring as its title, The Starving Games serves up crass, juvenile humor in a vehicle for little else than gratuitous violence, sexuality, and pop-culture references. Some kids and teens may find a lot of humor in it, until the popularity of Taylor Swift and Angry Birds fades, but even so they won't enjoy sitting through a movie that strikes the same note over and over again. If you have a bunch of older kids and teens who want big laughs on a Friday night, see our handpicked alternatives below to show them how spoofing should be done.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes a good spoof. Does this movie make you think about The Hunger Games any differently? Can you tell what the filmmakers think of Hunger Games? Why do you think they made this movie?
How funny do you think the movie will be in a few years, when the pop culture and products spoofed in the movie aren't popular anymore? Do you think this movie has any lasting qualities?
If you could spoof a current pop-culture trend, what would it be, and why?
- In theaters: November 8, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: January 21, 2014
- Cast: Maiara Walsh, Brant Daugherty, Cody Christian
- Directors: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
- Studios: Louisiana Production Consultants, The Safran Company
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures
- Run time: 83 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: Crude and sexual content, comic violence, language and partial nudity
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.