British Board of Film Classification

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Type of media Film

Approved Running time 95m 41s

BBFCInsight Contains scary moments and moderate fantasy violence

Director(s) Mark Waters

Cast includes Sarah Bolger, Mary-Louise Parker, David Strathairn, Izabella Miko, Nick Nolte, Martin Short, Joan Plowright, Todd Fennell

Cut This work was passed uncut.

BBFCinsight publication date 21/12/2007

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES is a fantasy children’s adventure, based on the popular novels by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi. It concerns the story of a young boy Jared, who moves into a spooky old house with his family and discovers a book of magic spells that unleash a secret world of fairies, goblins and ogres. It was passed ‘PG’ for scary moments and moderate fantasy violence.

The BBFC's Guidelines for horror at 'PG' state that ‘frightening sequences should not be prolonged or intense’ and that ‘fantasy settings may be a mitigating factor’. The scary moments within the film are brief and counter-balanced by calmer sequences throughout. Many of them occur during fights between the child heroes and the film’s fantastical creatures; for example in one scene a shape-shifting ogre chases Jared across the roof of the house. Although tension is effectively created in such scenes they exist within the recognisable realms of the fantasy genre and we considered that the natural audience for both the novels and the film (8-12 year olds), would be comfortable with such sequences. Also throughout the film's scarier scenes there is the reassuring presence of Jared’s brother, sister and mother – helping to alleviate any sense of isolation in tense situations. The BBFC's ‘PG’ violence Guidelines state that ‘moderate violence, without detail, may be allowed, if justified by its setting (e.g. historic, comedy or fantasy)’. The

The film also features two uses of very mild language - ‘jerk’ and ‘freakin’.


Paramount Pictures UK
Classified date(s)
Main language
Submitted run time
95m 41s
Approved footage
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