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Warning Harry Potter fans: What you need to know before watching Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.

***Warning: this post contains some spoilers.***

Like many other millennials who grew up reading and watching the Harry Potter franchise, to say I was excited about the prospect of another magical tale hitting our movie screens would be an understatement.

There’s lots to love about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: set in 1926, Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne plays awkward (but just like Hagrid, totally lovable) ‘magizoologist’ Newt Scamander, who arrives in New York City with a suitcase full of banned magical creatures.

Newt Scamander is your new favourite Harry Potter character. Image via Roadshow Films.

Of course, in true Harry Potter style, things go wrong when the weird and wonderful creatures inevitably escape from Newt's clutches to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting 'No-Maj' public.

Viewers meet a platypus-like Niffler, whose love of shiny things and treasure makes for a raucous chase through the streets of the city, and a snake-like Occamy, which can expand or shrink to size to fit the available space (can you tell where this is going?).

This is a niffler, and yes, I want one. Image via Roadshow Films.
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There's no denying that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a lot of fun, and fans of the original Harry Potter won't be disappointed with the magical goings-on of the American wizarding world.

But if you're expecting the whole film to be a joyful ride, prepare yourself to be a little disturbed. Because about halfway into the movie, things got dark. Very, very dark.

Things get very, very dark in the Harry Potter spin-off. Image via Roadshow Films.

I guess I should have seen it coming: after all, the final few Harry Potter films were certainly not all fun and games.

But even though Fantastic Beasts carries an M rating, a pre-warning that it's not entirely suitable for the whole family, I still wasn't expecting to be so horrified by some of the scenes I saw unfolding before my eyes.

A child being abused at the hands of his fundamentalist adopted mother? An evil wizard taking advantage of a young boy's dreams to fit in?

There are some creepy scenes in 'Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them'. Image via Roadshow Films.
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A body being lifted up into the air and thrown to the ground to its death in front of a crowd like something out of The Exorcist?

For that I was very, very unprepared.

I didn't expect that in between praying that Niffler's were real and I could find one to snuggle for all eternity, I would be forced to watch a 10-year-old girl sing about burning and killing witches at the stake.

My nightmares didn’t need that creepy song to get stuck in my head, thank you very much.

Of course, Newt's adventures are set against the backdrop of a time great divide between the wizard and the muggle world, with dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald on the loose and threatening to expose those who possess magical powers so they can enslave their 'lesser' counterparts.

It's not all fun and games in the film. Image via Roadshow Films.

Grindelwald is the Voldemort of this new era of Potter films, and to understand the gravity and potential consequences of his actions, things need to get a bit scary.

Fantastic Beasts is definitely more a film for the 'original' Harry Potter fans: those who have grown up and matured alongside Harry and his friends, and are therefore a little more equipped to deal with the horror-movie like scenes that are occasionally presented to viewers.

Thank goodness we have some furry, feathered and yes, slimy, creatures to keep us company along the way.

Fantastic Beast and Where To Find Them is rated M and in cinemas now. 

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