* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: See the main page.
* AudienceAlienatingPremise: Big time and the main reason the film was a major BoxOfficeBomb. Most kids won't want to watch a depressing movie that centers around child abuse, and most adults will be turned off the ridiculous Family-Unfriendly Aesop of how it's OK not to tell anyone about an abuser if that person makes someone else happy.
* FamilyUnfriendlyAesop: Many feel this. Firstly, Mikey helps cover up The King's abuse of his brother, because of his promise and to keep their mother happy (which the movie implicitly endorses). Secondly, the idea that kids can expect fantastical solutions to real-life problems like abuse.
* {{Glurge}}
* MoralEventHorizon:
** The King crosses this once he begins abusing Bobby.
** Later in the film, Mary crosses this [[InsaneForgiveness when she invites the King]] [[WhyWouldAnyoneTakeHimBack back into the family]], knowing full well he has assaulted Bobby in the past.
* {{Narm}}: Some critics thought that The King being TheFaceless, having such a ridiculous nickname (for an adult), and having a cord named Old Trusty that he uses to beat Bobby, is this, portraying such a serious issue as child abuse in mythic terms.
** FridgeBrilliance kicks in, however, when one realizes that the story is told from a child's point of view, and children do tend to see the world around them in mythic terms. Except Richard Donner shot that down, leaving one to wonder what exactly he was thinking.
* WhyWouldAnyoneTakeHimBack: Sadly played straight here. Except ''no one'' is rooting for them to reconcile.
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