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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?

Chestnut Sun 22-Sep-19 12:51:27

MissAdventure I genuinely think some adults haven't a clue, obviously even some teachers. Maybe it's due to the way they were brought up.

GrannyGravy13 Sun 22-Sep-19 12:58:33

The Hunger Games is a 12A in the U.K. with the fight to the death scene cut.

GrannyGravy13 Sun 22-Sep-19 13:03:30

My AC are all fans of Horror films, no idea why as Mr.Gravy and I are definitely not!!

When we had sleepovers here from the age of 11 there was usually a "scary" film, but other parents were always informed and we knew one of the girls would watch tv with us till the girls had watched the film. She was never bullied or tormented for her dislike of being scared she was an integral part of their group.

notanan2 Sun 22-Sep-19 13:07:33

I personally think that Hunger Games should be on the curriculum, it is an excellent study of propoganda, media and politics. But secondary not primary. All teens should read it IMO. The last book is horrific but was hugely tamed down in the film, which was a relief as I did not want to see the visuals on that scene.

montymops Sun 22-Sep-19 13:12:12

I can remember when Jaws was shown on television- maybe late 70’s or early 80’s - at a time when children could watch it. Two of my children ( all now in their 40’s) were completely fine and not disturbed at all when a man’s leg was bitten off ( they are both now in the medical profession- a surgeon and a GP) my middle son was quite traumatised- had nightmares, banged his head against the wall and it took him some time to get over it - some children are much more sensitive and of course in the case of Jaws - it is true that animals can and will injure humans- unlike fantasy films where belief can be suspended. Children will get over it but my son still hates any violent films - even though he is a big rugby player.

notanan2 Sun 22-Sep-19 13:13:32

There are benefits to exploring macabre themes in "safe" settings like a movie but it does need to be age appropriate.

notanan2 Sun 22-Sep-19 13:15:57

And as another poster said, its not always "horrors" that dusturb.

My children were fine with fiction, could appreciate that it wasnt real, but one went through a phase of getting upset and stresses about cbbc newsround which they show at school!

Tigertooth Sun 22-Sep-19 13:22:37

The other child’s parents probably didn’t know - it was just a trailer so probably just popped up as an ad on Netflix or something.
Not great but perhaps showing him some footage of how films are made, prosthetics, make up etc will
re-Inforce that it’s not real,

grapefruitpip Sun 22-Sep-19 13:27:35

Oh it's heartbreaking to see innocence spoiled.

My son cried for weeks about Aslan....that was only the teacher reading the story.

Poor kids, growing up with this filth available to them.

Day6 Sun 22-Sep-19 13:32:00

Maw I am still amazed that a film which terrified me and played on my mind (as a middle aged woman,) "The Woman in Black" the one with Daniel Radcliffe has a 12 certificate!!!

I'd have been damaged for life if I'd watched this supernatural horror at that age!

Your poor Grandson. I was absolutely horrified when I viewed on of the X Box games my (adult) son and his friends were playing. It involved players being killers and shooting or otherwise murdering baddies on screen. It was terribly violent, but players splattering the figures on in a gruesome fashion was greeted with howls of delight by the others,

They were adults but I know much younger children play these hideous and very violent games - some of them very tense and scary. I wouldn't allow my sons Nintendo boxes when they came out. They were teenagers then and I was viewed as a real spoilsport but I was so glad that their childhoods and teen years were spent mostly in the fresh air and not sitting in front of TV screens or video games/mobile phones.

I think parents have a duty to monitor what their children are watching. One of our young GDs tried to con us into letting her watch a Netflix programme designed for American teens. It was complete tripe but showed girls having dream lives, lusting after boys, using make-up, gyrating sexily to music, preening themselves, deceiving adults - all to pop songs with dubious (sexual) lyrics. We told her it wasn't suitable and distracted her, but she pleaded with us to let her watch it. We said no - and when I mentioned it to DD, her Mum, she too told me it was banned at home. Apparently a school friend, aged six, watches it and did while GD was at her house, supposedly playing.

My DD was very annoyed.

I do hope your chat with your DGS helped him but sadly, with children now having TVs in their rooms as a matter of course, one has to wonder when and where they'll be watching the next unsuitable film or programme.

HannahLoisLuke Sun 22-Sep-19 13:32:40

This reminds me of a time, years ago when I called on my daughter for a coffee and her three children plus friends were watching a home recorded vhs tape of Fireman Sam, Postman Pat etc on a wet miserable afternoon.
After she'd made our coffee she went into the other room to check on the children and to her absolute horror saw that they were watching The Silence of the Lambs! It was previously recorded on the same vhs tape and hadn't been completely scrubbed before reusing the tape.
She just switched it off and breezily asked if anyone was ready for a biscuit.
None of the children ever seemed to suffer any after effects but on checking the tape afterwards they'd only seen a couple of minutes thank goodness.
She was extremely careful about reusing old tapes after that!

GrannyGravy13 Sun 22-Sep-19 13:32:59

The strange thing in our case is the girl who didn't watch the scary videos has gone on to become an actress and act in them.

GrannyGravy13 Sun 22-Sep-19 13:37:11

notanan2 totally agree with your post.

Maremia Sun 22-Sep-19 13:46:25

Yes, it is constant warfare trying to keep our youngsters safe from media predators in all forms. You just have to be vigilant while they are in your care, even if it means sitting side by side through eons of lego blogs, Youtube slime making films or whatever interest they are have. It's the pop ups that are the menace, and the other 'suggested' programmes shown down the side of what you are watching with them. They are only ever one click away from disaster unless all of your machines have appropriate blocks.

KatyK Sun 22-Sep-19 14:05:29

I can remember having nightmares about a film when I was a child. I have no idea what it was called but it showed a little girl being taken away from outside a ranch by Red Indians (as we used to call them). I was terrified of Indians (I am now fascinated by them). DH thinks the film may have been The Searchers.

Peewitt52 Sun 22-Sep-19 14:23:42

IT/ Pennywise scares the pants off me and I’m (age wise anyway) an adult. I can completely understand how a child would be terrified.

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.

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 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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.