Your Harry Potter-loving children have been waiting just as long as you have for the final installment of the series to arrive, and now that it's here, you may be wondering, is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child too scary for kids? Now that Harry Potter and his pals are all grown up, they're facing an entirely different set of woes than they were as children and you may find some frightening moments reminiscent of the original series. The script certainly touches on some mature and adult themes, but whether or not the story is "too scary" will ultimately be up to you.
In my humble opinion, if your kids have read through the Harry Potter series, complete with the terrifying moments where the Department of Mysteries comes crashing down around them, Bellatrix Lestrange and Molly Weasley duke it out, and Harry Potter comes face to face with Voldemort and all of his Death Eater cronies, then your kids will be just fine to read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. If you're still concerned at the level of maturity in the script, however, there are a few scenes you may want to read first. And if you haven't finished the script yet, consider yourself warned: there are spoilers ahead.
1When Harry Loses His Temper
Perhaps the scariest part of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (at least for me), is just how immature Harry Potter seems as a father of three. Sure, not all parents have it figured out, and sure, sometimes your kids take you to the breaking point. You're reminded often that Harry is an orphan and had a terrible and abusive upbringing by the Dursleys. This seems to be the crutch the play relies on for Harry lacking certain parenting know-how. But in an early scene of the play, Harry has an exchange with his middle child, Albus, where he utters a few unforgivable words. Though it's not your typical definition of "too scary," it is enough to diminish a hero in your eyes, and in your children's eyes. Harry Potter the hero is simply human, and that seems to be the very heart of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
2When Albus Disappears
After Albus overhears his father refusing to help Amos Diggory, he and Scorpius take matters into their own hands and attempt to go back in time to reverse the outcome of the Triwizard tournament. Following their second attempt to foil the tournament's outcome, only Scorpius has survived. Albus Potter does not exist in this world, due to the meddling the boys did in the past. For a brief scary moment, you wonder if anything will be resolved. (But it's Harry Potter, so of course it gets resolved.)
3When Scorpius Experiences An Alternate Reality
In this new world Scorpius finds himself in, Harry Potter died, and the Dark Lord won the Battle of Hogwarts. Professor Umbridge is now the Headmistress of Hogwarts, dementors fly all around the castle, and Scorpius is responsible for the imprisonment of mudbloods in the school's dungeons. Yes, this reality is seriously scary. The terror of this alternate reality quickly dissipates, however, when you find that Severus Snape is alive (yes, I teared up), and is still the undercover hero you knew and loved.
4When Hermione & Ron Face The Dementors
After Snape decides to help Scorpius with his task, Hermione (a fugitive and one of the last remaining members of the Order of the Phoenix) and Ron (who is not married to Hermione, a travesty), agree to help out too. The Dementors swoop in upon their arrival to the edge of the Forbidden Forest, and Hermione and Ron face the Dementors' kiss together, buying Snape and Scorpius time to return to the past once more. Heartbreaking and nerve-inducing all at the same time, this scene is pretty darn epic.
5When Delphi's True Motives Are Revealed
Delphi, who has been a minor player in most of the play thus far, reveals herself to much worse than you anticipated. She kills a student and forces Albus and Scorpius to help execute her plan with help from the Cruciatus Curse, revealing her true, evil nature.
6When Albus & Scorpius Are Stuck In Time
While Delphi is forcing Albus and Scorpius to help her in her plan, she brings them back in time with her and then smashes the Time-Turner. Which means that the boys are now stuck in 1981, where Voldemort still exists. Since all other Time-Turners were destroyed by the ministry, things look bleak and dire for Albus and Scorpius in this scene, who, to their credit, never panic the way I certainly would have.
7When The Whole Gang Heads Back To Godric's Hollow
Naturally, Harry Potter and the gang find a way back to the past after receiving a carefully plotted message from Albus and Scorpius. (Yes, all this time turning and decade-hopping does get a little crazy.) Harry, Ron, Ginny, Hermione, and Draco all go back to Godric's Hollow on Hallow's Eve, 1981 — the night James and Lily Potter were killed by Voldemort. The tension and terror is palpable in this scene, and you'll be able to feel it to. But in true Harry Potter fashion, it's always darkest before the dawn, and the dawn always comes.