Daniel Radcliffe’s first film since the Harry Potter series has received more complaints than any other movie this year, after parents complained that it was “too scary” for their children.
Children more used to seeing Radcliffe at Hogwarts instead found themselves watching The Woman In Black, a 12A-rated horror film in which a ghost manipulates children into killing themselves.
The horror film has already been reported to the British Board of Film Classification 120 times, triple the number of reports for last-years’ most complained-about film.
A spokeswoman for the BBFC said viewers had “certain expectations” about films starring Daniel Radcliffe, who starred as Harry Potter in the children’s films, and found it “too scary”.
The Woman In Black is rated a 12A, the same classification as the final instalment of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows.
It is believed many of the viewers did not realise how frightening the film would be, after failing to read the Susan Hill novel or the BBFC classification details. The majority of complaints have been filed by worried parents, or adults without children concerned the film was not suitable for youngsters.
The film stars Radcliffe as a young lawyer visiting a remote village terrorised by a vengeful ghost, and is described as an “intense supernatural threat and horror”.
“The main gist of the complaints was that people felt it was too scary for a 12A,” the Telegraph quoted a spokeswoman for BBFC as saying. “People have a certain expectations about films with Daniel Radcliffe in them,” she said
She added that the BBFC provides full information about every film and its classification, including descriptions of the key scenes.
The entry for The Woman In Black says: “The general tone of the film is quite bleak and the premise of a ghost manipulating children into harming or killing themselves, make this a potentially disturbing feature for young children.”
Last year, the Oscar-winning film Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman as a ballet dancer, received 40 complaints, including several from viewers who thought the dark tale of a ballet dancer struggling with mental illness would be about dance.
Batman: The Dark Knight, a 2008 film with Christian Bale in the lead role, received more than 300 complaints, making it the most complained-about film in the last decade.