How young is too young to watch the Hunger Games?

We’ve been debating in the iVillage office if the Hunger Games movies and books are appropriate for children to watch. Kids have become obsessed with the franchise in the same way as they did Twilight and Harry Potter … which weren’t appropriate for them either.

As our discussion raged I reminded my colleagues of a study I’d found about children watching heroes in movies and how it builds their sense of empowerment, thereby improving their mental health. Still we have to draw the line somewhere.

So we check with the Australian Council on Children and the Media, which suggests the movie isn’t suitable for children aged 13 and under “due to violence and disturbing themes and scenes”.

Then we came across this:

A mum has stopped her eight-year-old daughter from watching the latest Hunger Games film, but this girl is so desperate to see the second instalment of the mega-franchise that she’s decided to plead her case.

She wrote her mum this adorable email which is doing the rounds on social media. There’s no word yet if the email worked but we think she makes a pretty good case.

So cute. I find myself conflicted as to whether or not my nine-year-old son should watch it too so let's think about it by looking at her argument in detail:

1. Her friend has seen it, AGES ago;

2. Her dad has obviously let her watch violent movies behind her mother's back;

3. She's seen movies before in which animals died;

4. Peer pressure - heaps of kids in her class have seen it;

5. She is being forced to lie to her classmates by pretending to see it;

6. Watching Hunger Games makes a child 'cool'. Not watching it makes them 'uncool';

7. She can hide her head in her dad's shoulder if she gets scared.

Should this mum let her daughter watch it?