If you thought “The Hunger Games” and the sequel, “Catching Fire” were bleak — the third movie, “Mockingjay Part 1,” now reigns as the darkest movie in the franchise yet.
It’s somewhat inevitable, given that the whole idea of the book is about kids killing each other in an arena for sport. And even more so in “Mockingjay,” when the people of Panem start to rise up against the dictatorship of the Capitol and District 13 starts the revolution. Still, there were quite a few especially dark, disturbing parts in the movie, which officially became the biggest opening of the year with $123 million at the box office this weekend. That’s about $30 million less than the debuts for the first two films, which makes sense: “Mockingjay Part 1” is basically just killing time until the grand finale, “Mockingjay Part 2,” next year.
Anyway, back to the very depressing “Part 1,” which had quite the body count and psychological trauma for a PG-13 movie. Which of these scenes were the most disturbing?
* Katniss, after waking up in the hospital post-almost electrocution in the arena, forced to become the face of the revolution and visit her former home, District 12. The area, never that nice to begin with, is now simply a pit filled with human bones. The Capitol destroyed it after Plutarch, President Coin and team decided to start an uprising during the 75th anniversary of the Games.
* When President Snow decides to start executing random people to warn them about becoming too enamored of the idea of the revolution or Katniss.
* President Snow’s granddaughter quickly undoing her Katniss-style braid when her grandfather says agreeing with the Mockingjay symbol of hope is punishable by death, and that people will pay the price for the revolution.
* Brainwashed Peeta doing interviews with Caesar Flickerman on TV, denouncing the revolution.
* Poor Effie Trinket, forced to dress down in the same outfit as everyone else, without any makeup or the outlandish wigs that she loves so much. (Though she did manage to fashion herself a wraparound hairpiece.)
* Katniss visiting the District 8 hospital to film the propaganda commercial and seeing the horrifying state of the hospital.
* President Snow seeing the footage of Katniss’s visit and declaring he will “show them what it costs to be friends with Katniss Everdeen” before sending in jets to bomb the hospital.
* Katniss’s raw emotion in the video after she sees all the people that she visited blown up in front of her face.
* Massive amounts of people shot and killed in District 7 when the citizens conspire to climb the trees and blow up the peacekeepers on the ground.
* Another extensive shot of the human graveyard in District 12 when Katniss takes a trip back with Gale.
* More people shot, killed and trampled in District 5 when even more citizens revolt by knocking out electricity to the Capitol by blowing up the hydroelectric dam.
* Seeing the people of District 13 under an air raid when the Capitol sends in multiple jets to bomb them all.
* Katniss’s complete mental breakdown when she realizes that President Snow knows Gale and the team are in the Tribute Center trying to rescue Peeta when the power goes out. (“Did I lose them both?!”)
* And finally, Peeta (psychologically “hijacked” by the Capitol) returning to District 13 only to try to kill Katniss, since he’s now brainwashed to think she’s the enemy. Props to Josh Hutcherson for that scene: Peeta’s crazed expression is sure to haunt our nightmares for a long time.