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Unsuitable films for children

(67 Posts)
MawB Sat 21-Sep-19 21:38:14

Babysitting - DGS 1 (9) has just come downstairs close to tears saying he is frightened by something. So got him beside me on the sofa and tried to tease it out of him.
LSS it seems he was recently at a friend’s house and saw either film or the trailer for the new Stephen King film “Pennywise” (?)
I have never been a Stephen King fan and googling the film/character it scared the lights out of me!
We chatted about how his mummy and daddy or I or his other grandparents would never let anything harm him, how his school (a lovely CofE primary) cares for not just his learning but his emotional development and how his loving family could not possibly be more supportive and caring.
I have to tell DD about this when she she gets in, but my initial reaction is how could another parent be so negligent as to let their own 9 year old, let alone his friend, watch something so terrifying and unsuitable.
I am actually very cross as DGS is a lovely sensitive and highly intelligent boy who thinks deeply about things and has clearly been very affected.
Who’d be a parent nowadays?
Any thoughts, advice, experience of this sort of thing?

Beckett Wed 25-Sep-19 08:42:18

When I was a very young child my older brother read me a story about a black cat which would turn into a monster at night and eat children! A few weeks later we were staying with an aunt and uncle - who had a black cat! That night the cat came into my room and jumped on my bed - I think my screams were heard in the next town!

Chestnut Tue 24-Sep-19 23:47:24

Rosina spot on. People are showing young children movies which are suitable for teenagers. Some 80s films like Ghostbusters and Gremlins are deceptively horrible. They are made with adult humour not suitable for children. Jurassic Park is another which could traumatise young children and I remember plenty of 6-7 year olds screaming in horror at the cinema when it came out.

Rosina Tue 24-Sep-19 22:31:32

I was taken to the cinema by an aunt at about seven and saw a film that would now be desribed as a really mild horror film, but I woke up in the night crying and did so for weeks. My children watched some age appropriate children's Christmas films and laughted at them; one of their friends went home and cried about the content. It demonstrated that some of us can't cope as well as others so it is perhaps best to err on the side of caution with chidlren. There is clearly plenty of time to watch what I would probably still think of as unsuitable films!

MeganPerry Tue 24-Sep-19 20:42:02

In my opinion, the best thing is to be absolutely sure of what a movie he has seen.
And that's exactly what you're scared to show your child behind the scenes of that movie.
To be completely convinced that all of them are scenes.

Tangerine Mon 23-Sep-19 13:53:57

Greyduster - if things are the same where you live as for my children, your GS may end up reading it anyway when he's a little older. All three of my children read Lord of the Flies for GCSE English Literature.

We read it for "O" level English Literature when I was at school and that was almost 50 years ago. Not much changes

Greyduster Mon 23-Sep-19 11:30:27

I thought, recently, about buying my GS a copy of ‘Lord of the Flies’ as I remember reading it as an older child and not being particularly upset by any of the content, but I decided to get a copy from the library and read it again and I decided then that, although he is about the same age as I was, it would probably upset him more than it did me. One or two incidents in it are potentially quite shocking. I discussed it with his mum and she agreed with me, but maybe neither of us are doing him any favours.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 23-Sep-19 10:23:36

Dee1012 and Chesnut thank you for your posts, I was beginning to have a case of "delayed maternal guilt".

Forewarned and informed has always been the way we have reared our C and they are continuing the same with GC

Dee1012 Mon 23-Sep-19 10:17:07

Chestnut...I did exactly the same!
I chose the horror film carefully and then explained about make-up etc for the actors and we also watched an extra clip on the video about how the film was made.
My son loved it and still has an abiding interest in the direction/special effects/make-up in film.
However, he won't watch anything whatsoever if an animal is harmed and his biggest trauma when younger came from Bambi!!

vintage1950 Mon 23-Sep-19 09:40:24

My granddaughter, aged 10, was shown the animated film 'Alma' at school, which is apparently recommended for the English syllabus. She left the room in tears, and so did a big lad from the same class. The others were unperturbed.
The theme of the film is that a small girl becomes trapped inside the body of a doll, with no prospect of release....!

Chestnut Mon 23-Sep-19 00:00:41

I remember deciding to introduce my two girls to horror at the age of 11 and 13. The younger one was more likely to cope than the older one so that was fine. We watched 'Alien' tucked up in bed together on holiday, with the 11 year old in the middle for security. Being on holiday helped I think. They were both scared but fine. But that's because I made the right judgement about when they were ready and gave them a secure environment where we could all scream and joke about it together.

Deedaa Sun 22-Sep-19 21:52:06

My two watched Evil Dead II when they were very young and found the whole thing hilarious. However DS (41) refuses to watch the new TV version of The Dark Crystal because he was terrified by the Skeksis in the original film and DD (44) has never seen Bambi because she doesn't want to see the bit where Bambi's mother is killed.

Tangerine Sun 22-Sep-19 21:42:12

Yes Puppytoe, I understand as I felt the same as your daughter aged about 5. However, I now love The Wizard of Oz.

puppytoe Sun 22-Sep-19 21:15:54

My DD was traumatised by the witch in "The Wizard of Oz" when she first saw it on television aged about 5. She's now 37 and still won't watch it.

glammagran Sun 22-Sep-19 20:57:14

My daughter (45) but aged approximately 9 stayed over with a schoolfriend and they were allowed to watch Nightmare on Elm Street. She had nightmares for weeks which we found baffling but I didn’t find out for many years. She was worried I’d have stormed round to have words with the other child’s parents and she was right, I would have.

BBbevan Sun 22-Sep-19 20:44:21

My DD was traumatised by the child catcher in Chitty Bang Bang. She is now in her 50s and still will not watch that film.

optimist Sun 22-Sep-19 20:00:10

I was a teacher and it often seemed that children watched violent/pornographic films with older siblings - parents were unaware and usually out.

Greyduster Sun 22-Sep-19 19:51:03

KatyK ‘The Searchers’ is an example of what I was saying about graphic content. A lot of what was left to our imagination but still instilled horror in us would probably not be left to our imagination at all now, but presented to us in every technicolour detail. A very fine film but I hope it never suffers from a remake.

Greyduster Sun 22-Sep-19 19:41:02

Ah, the Woman in Black was the scariest film I have ever seen, but the one that haunted me from childhood was ‘A Night to Remember’ about the sinking of the Titanic. I watched that ship go down, in my head, for years. Couldn’t bring myself to watch the latest one at all and still have not.
The trouble with films now is everything is so graphic; nothing is left to the imagination. Everything from Harry Potter to the LOR trilogy and The Hobbit have more than a little ‘mild peril’. It’s horses for courses. What will keep one child awake for weeks will be taken in its stride by another of the same age, and generally parents and grandparents know what is likely to tip the scales for their child and act accordingly, but, unfortunately, have no control over what the child is exposed to elsewhere.

MissAdventure Sun 22-Sep-19 19:17:20

Regardless, its for the parents to decide what their child may or may not watch.

I'm fairly liberal, probably because I love a horror film myself, but I wouldn't dream of putting something scary or gory on with another persons child there.

notanan2 Sun 22-Sep-19 18:29:42

What disturbs adults isnt necessarily what disturbs children.

A blatent "baddy" Vs a "nice" character that is manipulative IYKWIM

notanan2 Sun 22-Sep-19 18:18:00

Ah a poster mentioned Women in Black, that was a yr9 school trip at my school! I missed it but saw it as an adult and felt hauntef for weeks. Although I think the complexities of psychological horrors are sometimes missed by children. E.g. I quite enjoyed studying Othello in school. I find it horrific now how the abuser is vindicated in the end

absthame Sun 22-Sep-19 17:29:30

The most scary things in my life were as an adult having been put on statins which caused me to have very lucid dreams causing me to climb out of a 3rd floor window, trying to exit our home, fighting with my wife etc etc. I was not aware of the irrational behavior, but when was told about the incident of the moment I could relate it to the dream that I had just had.

Chestnut Sun 22-Sep-19 17:06:31

I agree Hetty. One thing people forget is that when you sleep your mind processes your experiences of the day and files them away in the vaults of your brain. This often involves dreaming which is why dreams can be good, or bad/scary if you are worried about something. I can't imagine what young minds make of the ghastly horrors there are on TV etc. nowadays. They are not mature enough to process them as an adult would so these horrors may disturb them and affect their thought processes. As you say, no wonder we have so many social problems now with young people.

HettyMaud Sun 22-Sep-19 16:13:49

Davidhs - totally agree about East Enders. It should be shown after the watershed - or preferably not at all. Definitely not suitable for family viewing.
Also agree that we cannot know what other parents allow. Can't believe people who think it is appropriate to permit violent or sexual content to be shown to children. No wonder we have so many social problems when young minds are exposed to things they cannot understand.

Chestnut Sun 22-Sep-19 14:49:10

It's a real shame we can't go back to X rated adult movies being shown only at the cinema and not for release on DVD, TV, video or online. Especially horror. Then no child would ever see them. But it's all about money, money, money and of course there is even a Horror channel on TV where they are shown during the day. It's a bad, sad world we live in.