Kids exposed to cinema horrors

Kids exposed to cinema horrors

Talking about bringing kids to inappropriate places, the latest anecdotes making the rounds concern parents who took their tykes to see ultraviolent “Halloween” this past weekend.

When I was watching ‘The Hitcher,’ the pleas from the child sitting behind me (“It’s scary. It’s scary. It’s really scary. Can we go and come back when it’s not scary.”) nearly broke my heart. But the reaction by the kids behind me during “Halloween” were even worse — because they seemed to be enjoying the film. One kid even laughed (along with most of the rest of the audience) during some of the more outlandishly violent scenes.

It’s not exactly new, however. I remember back when “Jurassic Park” came out in 1993 that the people sitting behind had an approximately 6-year-old boy with them. During the scene where the T-Rex eats the lawyer, I heard the guy (dad?) lean over to the kid and say, “Now you know what Barney’s really like.” That guy just bought himself a year’s worth of middle-of-the-night wakeups from nightmares.

What’s even scarier though is the kids who aren’t scared by the violence, but entertained. Are they savvy enough to know fake violence when they see it or are they just inured to empathy? Only time—and a potential juvenile criminal record—will tell.

[Link via Dadsmacker]
  • I remember when Soccer Dad and I were dating, and we went to see “Alien 3” on a double-date with my cousin.  Behind the four of us sat a family with two children under the age of 6.  About the only thing I remember from the movie (aside from Sigourny Weaver fighting scary monsters) is the soft crying of one of the girls behind me.  If I’m not mistaken, Weaver’s character spends the movie trying to save a small girl from the Alien, which makes it even worse. 

    I still wonder what happened to those girls when I think of it.

    The two posts from this guy about these incidents are really terrible.  And it’s not just going to slasher films.  When Soccer Dad and I went to see Live Free or Die Hard this summer, there was a trailer that was so abhorently <u>EVIL</u> that I closed my eyes and prayed aloud until it was over.  I can’t even tell you what it was for, but it is on a completely different level than Die Hard.  (I think someone classified it as “torture porn” in an article somewhere.)

  • About 17 years ago, a friend of mine operated a home day care in New Hampshire.  She watched two brothers, both were under 5.  Their father was a big fan of slasher/horror films and he thought it fun to watch this crap with his sons.  One of them was completely without empathy and displayed a lot of sociopathic behaviors – trying to injure smaller children, pulling things apart and laughing (spiders, caterpillers, crickets etc). She finally had to tell their mother to get them another sitter when he tried to put her own newborn infant in the oven to see what baked baby tasted like.  He was <i>serious.<i>

    People have no clue how evil it is to expose children to stuff like that.  I often wonder if this poor child grew up to become a serial killer, or if my friend’s prayers for him and his family were answered.

  • It is really, really hard to fully protect your children.
    Inexperienced me takes two children (3 and 5) to see “Lion King” based solely on fact that it’s a Disney flick (this is a long time ago, folks).  Last time I took my kids to the movies without reading reviews.  They both came out crying, and cried for days.
    Son sees Batman (the dark version) at age 4 in home of neighbor with whose sons he plays constantly—in and out of each others’ homes, parents basically good people, etc.
    Daughter sees bubble-headed teen flick rated PG-13 at age 10 at best friend’s birthday party.  Best friend goes to same Catholic school, parents are friendly, parents are regular church-goers.
    Lots of people turn off their brains when it comes to this stuff, and short of keeping your children home full-time (and I mean FULL time), you are going to have problems.
    19 yo daughter, home from college, watches favorite flick with younger sister (age 13)—completely inappropriate—while in charge of household.
    One of my best friend’s kids argued in favor of something she wanted to watch that even Mrs. Meg let her kids watch it.  I have a (well-deserved) reputation for being “excessively” strict with regard to movies, etc.
    But it’s not easy.

  • Uneducated American children grow up to have children of their own.  And the cyle continues.

    Thank you, Hollywood and the NEA!