The Huntsman: Winter’s War Parent Guide

Unless you think listening to Chris Hemsworth do a marble-mouthed Scottish accent while jugging three grumpy women sounds like a good time, this predictable fantasy might leave you cold.

Overall C+

This sequel introduces Freya the Ice Queen (Emily Blunt), sister of the wicked villainess (Charlize Theron) in Snow White and the Huntsman. The frosty monarch is trying to get her hands on the Magic Mirror, and the only hope of stopping her evil plan is Eric the Huntsmen (Chris Hemsworth) and his forbidden love Sarah (Jessica Chastain).

Release date April 22, 2016

Violence C-
Sexual Content C+
Profanity B-
Substance Use B

Why is The Huntsman: Winter’s War rated PG-13? The MPAA rated The Huntsman: Winter’s War PG-13 for fantasy action violence and some sensuality.

Run Time: 115 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

In this age of prequels and sequels, why not do both? Perhaps the most unique aspect of The Huntsman: Winter’s War is the method by which the story envelops both ends of the 2012 release Snow White and the Huntsman. And if you’re scratching your head to try and recall that movie, you’d do well to view it prior to jumping into this se-pre-quel.

Moving backward in time, the story reminds us that evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) has a long history of doing nasty things. Using her magical powers (that mainly involves the oozing of strange black goo that can be turned into a dangerous weapon) she kills to gain power and unleashes the colder side of her happy little sister Freya (Emily Blunt) who had the nerve to find love and bear a child.

Heading north, the now frosty Freya sets up her own frozen kingdom (yeah, it all sounds familiar, doesn’t it?) and begins to conquer surrounding jurisdictions with her army of conscripted warriors. These soldiers are children she’s kidnapped, raised and trained. Despite the fact she slaughtered their parents, these droves of young fighters remain loyal to their royal master, including Eric the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth).

One of the chief thugs, Eric returns from battle after battle covered in blood and boldly announces his latest conquests to the Ice Queen. But Eric mustn’t have read the section of the Ice Kingdom employment manual that would have reminded him to never fall in love with another member of the army. Using her robotic surveillance owl to peek in on Eric (I’m not joking… really…), she discovers he’s skinny-dipping in the palace hot tub with Sara (Emily Blunt), who he’s known since childhood. The transgression puts him in more hot water than he could have ever imagined and results in his expulsion from the kingdom—but only after seeing Sara brutally stabbed to death.

At this point you can fast forward through Snow White and the Huntsman and then return to this story already in progress. The script picks up with the disappearance Queen Ravenna’s magic mirror that has the potential to endow its owner with more power than Gloria Steinem guest hosting on The View. Needless to say, Eric is called in to find the missing looking glass before Freya can get her hands on it.

Violence in this film is a hair less intense than its predecessor. There’s no blood drinking this time, but the impalings and stabbings are still frequent. Ravenna’s liquid tentacles have the ability to harden and rip through bodies in a rather disturbing manner. Queen Freya ices her problem-makers in a more humane way that minimizes the blood effects. There’s also a moment of time for a sexual tryst (aside from the aforementioned hot tub) with male and female bodies carefully positioned to hide explicit details.

The overworked special effects that gush across the screen accompanied by a contemporary girl-power musical score do their best to distract us from the lack of story. Thankfully a few dwarves (Rob Brydon, Nick Frost, Sheridan Smith and Alexandra Roach) are tossed into the mix for comic relief—otherwise there isn’t a smile to be had in the primary plot line. For those who think two hours of listening to Chris Hemsworth do a marble-mouthed Scottish accent while jugging three grumpy women sounds like a good time, this may be the film you’ve been hunting for.

Directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. Starring Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron. Running time: 115 minutes. Theatrical release April 22, 2016. Updated

The Huntsman: Winter’s War
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Huntsman: Winter’s War rated PG-13? The Huntsman: Winter’s War is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for fantasy action violence and some sensuality.

Violence: This movie contains pervasive depictions of violence, with various characters being slain and murdered. Weapons use (spears, swords, sticks, hatchets and arrows) and hand-to-hand combat are frequently portrayed. Stabbings, impaling, choking, scars, gory injuries and oozing blood are seen. Many corpses are shown, some with graphic wounds, dismembered body parts or burnt. Animals devour dead bodies. Villages are sacked, parents are killed and their children kidnapped. Characters are set on fire, including a baby (the child’s death is not shown on screen). Children soldiers are trained and engage in war games. A woman uses fear to motivate loyalty from her subjects. Magical transformations, spells and enchantments are shown. Supernatural beings use magical powers. Mythical monsters battle mortals. A character nearly falls to his death. Characters are bullied, manipulated and betrayed. Characters are threatened verbally and physically (some with knives held to their throats).

Sexual Content: A woman flirts seductively. An unmarred woman gives birth to a baby. A couple goes skinny-dipping – bare shoulders are shown. Couples kiss passionately. A man and women begin kissing and undressing each other – both are shown shirtless, but nudity is obscured. Sexual relations are implied. Sexual remarks and innuendo are heard.

Language: One moderate profanity, several mild curse words and sexual slang are heard, along with terms of deity used as expletives. Name-calling, insults and slurs are included.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters drink in a pub. A woman sips from a flask.

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More parents' guide for The Huntsman: Winter’s War after the break...

The Huntsman: Winter’s War Parents' Guide

Because she has been betrayed, the Ice Queen believes true love is a lie. How does she let her personal disappointment affect her behavior? Does her desire to seek revenge bring her any peace? What might be better ways of dealing with grief?

Both Sara and Eric were trained to be warriors from their childhood. In service to their monarch, both have committed terrible atrocities. Now Sara is feeling great guilt because of her actions. Are they justified because they were being obedient to their queen? Or are they personally responsible for these war crimes? How do you think they should be judged?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of The Huntsman: Winter’s War movie is August 23, 2016. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: The Huntsman: Winter’s War
Release Date: 23 August 2016
The Huntsman: Winter’s War releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD) with the following bonus features:
-  Deleted Scenes with Commentary
- Gag Reel
- Dressed To Kill
- Love Conquers All
- Feature Commentary by director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Exclusive HD Content
- Two Queens and Two Warriors
- Meet the Dwarfs
- Magic All Around

Related home video titles:

This movie is a prequel/sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman. Other queens that posse the powers of winter are depicted in The Chronicles of Narnia, the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Frozen.