MOVIE HORROR OVER THE TOP
STOP MOLLYCODDLING OUR YOUNG BECAUSE THEY ARE SMARTER THAN YOU THINK AND KNOW WHAT’S REAL AND WHAT ISN’T
Isaw a post on Facebook this week about a parent who was concerned that her 11-year-old had a sleepover and part of the fun was watching a scary movie for 15-plus.
Mum was not happy and pondering taking it up with the parents in charge of the sleepover.
A few folk were worried about permanent damage to the 11-year-old having to sit through some gory movie.
One comment was basically they would be scarred for life.
I can see their point but I am afraid I was subjected to it as a child and then unwittingly passed that legacy on to my kids.
When I was a kid I was subjected to reruns of Dracula at a pretty young age but probably my first real lasting impression was when I snuck into the pictures to see Midnight Cowboy thinking it was a western – not actually a story about male prostitution, among other things.
So to answer the concerned parents concerns on Facebook, I didn’t rush out and give it a try, thankfully, as I probably wouldn’t have had a raging business.
Next test was when I was in my early teens and went and saw The Exorcist.
I actually had to sleep under my brother’s bed that night I was that scared when I got home.
So in this particular case I can see the concerned parents’ point of view.
Again when The Omen came out, particularly Damien, I was quite rattled as well and at that stage I was driving.
When it comes to my kids, two incidents stand out.
One was when Lucas was about three.
I was babysitting during the week, it was pouring rain and we were watching Sesame Street and the idiot box blew up and he started crying shortly after.
In panic mode we rushed off to Retravision and bought a state-of-the-art Sharp stereo TV on the nearly maxed out bankcard.
We rushed home, plugged it all in just in time for the midday movie – Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a classic, which in hindsight was not such a good gig for a three-year-old with an opening scene of “bring out your dead”.
And my personal favourite with the sword fight scene where the knight ends up with no arms or legs and blood everywhere. Again not great.
I suppose it was funny to an immature 26-year-old and a three-year-old but I do think he fully understood it was nonsense and I don’t remember him trying to disembowel any of his kindergarten mates after he saw the movie.
Nor did he try and fire any cows out of a catapult.
Maybe a year or so after I came home from footy training, possibly a couple of beers later than I should have, and the babysitter was just finishing up with a nice movie they had just watched – Predator.
This featured Arnold Schwarzenegger, really big knives and some sort of alien monster.
Again it didn’t seem to have any impact on the young mind as he pretty much knew it was pretend, which I guess means he was far more evolved than me when I was a kid but I suppose that wouldn’t be hard. I think the Facebook debate should be more worried about
11-year-olds watching Question Time in Parliament or pre-election coverage. Both are far more damaging in my opinion.
I ACTUALLY HAD TO SLEEP UNDER MY BROTHER’S BED THAT NIGHT I WAS THAT SCARED WHEN I GOT HOME.