What do you guys find acceptable ?

Discussion in 'General' started by The Tall Man, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. The Tall Man

    The Tall Man Member

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    Okay, my daughter is neatly 9 now. She is fascinated by many of the titles of my dvd/blu ray collection. She loves scary stuff and is always bugging me to watch my movies. I started off by letting her watch some titles like Monster Squad, Jurassic Park and Night of the Creeps. She has been shown some Tom Savini behind the scenes stuff and understands make up and special effects and whats real and whats not.

    So, I let her progress a little. She watched Dawn of the Dead (1978) and she loved it. But said the blood looked fake and the colours was not right. Also thought the zombies were funny because they walked so slow. She also liked Dark Night of the Scarecrow and thought it had a really cool story.

    She now bugs me for Friday the 13th/Halloween/Texas Chainsaw etc. No way I'm letting her watch those for at least a few years. But, I remember when I was a kid renting those very same movies when I very young and watching them when I was also very young (the staff at the video store never cared about age). I have spent the best part of 30 years watching and loving horror movies (I'm 42 now).

    I'm just interested to hear opinions from other members here who are parents on what they think is acceptable and what is not. I think maybe I could let her watch Creepshow soon, she loves scary stuff and understands they are just movies.

    I draw the line at movies which contains sex scenes, animal cruelty or torture scenes. But, I know she loves the same movies I do ... and she will watch them all one day no doubt.

    Like I said, I'm curious to hear what people think is acceptable with regard to what movies they would let their kids watch and at what age. I'm not sure if a thread like this has existed before.
     
  2. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

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    I normally would have told you that it really depends on the emotional maturity of your child and that you know her best so it's really your judgment call.
    However, I studied with a well respected forensic psychiatrist last year at my University who cited a ton of studies about the effects of early exposure to violent media in youth. Completing this class really changed my outlook, as he deals with children who have murdered their parents, sexually abused others by their early teens etc...I am not saying that film violence is directly to blame for this, but can be one of a confluence of factors. The studies cited were from the U.S., Canada and Europe.
    I state this despite the fact that my parents were very liberal and let me watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Alien, I Spit On Your Grave and Last House on the Left by the time I was about twelve. It was the seventies, a more innocent time, and people did not know better and honestly they did not really know what they were renting for me most of the time. I will admit that I have suffered with problems related to violence inhibition throughout most of my adult life, usually resorting to violence first to resolve conflict. My consumption of violent film as a youth and pre-teen can be quantified as massive.
    Maybe I'm getting old but I prefer to err on the side of caution. In a comparative study I did on the effects of pornography on adults involving sex offenders at an Alabama State Prison, University students and women at a battered women's shelter, I surprisingly established no causal link among healthy populations (i.e. those who did not engage in deviant youth behavior prior to consuming porn). I state this to stress how alarming I found the causal link between youth violence, desensitization and media violence. I should also mention that the effect on male children was much more significant, but this could simply be because males are more attracted to this material and usually consume far more of it than females.
    All this to say my findings about violence in media really challenged my traditionally held beliefs and my outlook. I guess I would show my child stuff like Poltergeist, Gremlins, The Monster Squad, Universal Monsters, but would definitely hold back on the more gratuitous and explicit stuff like Hostel, Wolf Creek and material that most mainstream audiences would find disturbing.
    In the end, communication is key and keeping an open dialogue with your child about what she sees will go a long way as violence has pretty much become an inescapable aspect of both entertainment and reality.
    Just an opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  3. allmessedup

    allmessedup It's beer time.

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    I'm not a parent so I don't know how helpful this is, but this is probably how I would handle things if I were....

    I agree nine is probably too early for Texas Chainsaw, Jason, and some of the others, I'd say wait till age 12 or so.

    Have you considered some of the older films, although I know some kids have trouble getting into stuff that is B&W, but maybe some of the old Hammers? Of course, those can be a little slow moving at times...
     
  4. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    Sounds to me like she's old enough and understands enough to handle most horror movies, but some common sense should be in order. A little gore is fine, but overt gore and realism should be avoided. Keep to what you feel comfortable with watching with her. My parents and grandparents let me watch all kinds of movies, from old Universal horror films to mid 80s slasher films, but things like I Spit on Your Grave and Bloodsucking Freaks? They never stopped me, but then I never wanted to watch anything like that with parents around. No way! I'd be too embarrassed and no doubt so would they. Let her watch that stuff when she's in high school and alone with friends.

    Films I'd watch with my daughter (who is 8 now) if she showed any interest in the genre by this point would be things like The Fog, American Werewolf, Phantasm, the first Halloween, Creepshow... films that I loved at that age. Occasionally I'll put in an old Universal, Hammer or Vincent Price film while she's puttering around the house and watch a few minutes at a time but mostly she'll have her nose in a book.

    It's funny how your daughter caught on to how fake the blood in Dawn of the Dead was. At that age I was horrified by the film, but then I was introduced to it mid 80s on VHS. The colors were nowhere near as vibrant and fake looking on that format.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  5. Mok

    Mok Family is Forever

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    I hate to pull this card out, but I think girls are less likely to act out on this stuff than boys. I second the opinion that Wolf Creek and I Spit on Your Grave are way too much for her age, but I wouldn't feel guilty about the others you've let her watch.

    I don't know why boys are so fragile minded. They say girls mature faster than boys and that men are more visual-minded. Maybe that all has something to do with it? I don't know. Either way, I think boys can get all retarded about this stuff when exposed to it at an early age whereas girls tend to be able to take it with a grain of salt as it was intended.
     
  6. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

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    Men are no doubt more visual minded, hence the predominantly male audience for porn. Though sexual empowerment and some forms of feminism now posit what was once considered exploitation of the female form as validating and empowering. Things are changing.
     
  7. The Chaostar

    The Chaostar Johnny Hallyday forever

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    Well, that's just me, but being a parent I would not show DOTD to my daughter at nine. I think that the exposure to that kind of violence could be too rough on her. I saw Friday the 13th when I was something like 13 and that was my beginning.
    Nine? I consider myself to be liberal enough but I wouldn't. I believe there are many more important stuff (for kids) that a child should see first. It's like building a house, the foundation must be really thick before you start to add things. And the violence in DOTD deals with many more things. I'd like when she sees it to be able to understand the political undertones of the story and understand why the violence in DOTD is justifiable.
    But, that's me.
     
  8. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a parent, but I watched a lot of this stuff when I was that age.

    I would say the best gauge would be your own discretion, not ours.

    Even though the first Friday The 13th and Halloween are actually pretty tame, I understand where you are coming from there. Slasher movies definitely have a much darker tone than something campier and fun like Monster Squad or Night Of The Creeps.

    Maybe a few suggestions to tide her over? The Fog (mentioned above) might be a great choice. Lady In White or Tremors could be fun.
     
  9. Severn

    Severn Member

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    Well, I saw whatever my dad saw so I watched a lot of things before I was able to comprehend and grasp what I was watching. I had a terrible nightmare problem because of it. I mean I was really young when I saw those flicks. I remember vividly watching Final Chapter when I was 6-7 in the theater. My babysitter and I watched Zombi LD when I was five. I was fine watching them but when the lights went out and it was time to go to bed I was petrified.

    I was playing Resident Evil 5 on PS3 and I died and my brother walked in. The cut scene of my death was a chainsaw and gettting stomped to a puddle of goo by the villagers. He was startled by it (yes there is a 28 year age difference between my brother and I). So at least for me I'm keeping my siblings and kids away from horror until I think they can handle it.

    Don't get me wrong I love horror and it's my favorite genre but there's something to be said about being ready to watch certain things.
     
  10. baggio

    baggio Well-Known Member

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    Imo, I would say that was where the problem started.


    If she had never seen the collection in the first place, she would never ask to see them. You constantly denying the requests , just made her want to watch the films more.

    I will admit I'm a bit surprised you let her see Dawn of the Dead at age 9. That's pretty heavy imo.
     
  11. chrismac87

    chrismac87 Zombie Eater

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    Well, I first have to say this; I've been watching horror movies since I was 5 years old. My first horror film was DAY OF THE DEAD, following that came RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD PART II, then NIGHT OF THE DEMONS, FRIGHT NIGHT, THE VIDEO DEAD, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, DAWN OF THE DEAD, etc.

    At the age of 7, I had seen most of the films many put in their "typical" top 10, FRIDAY THE 13TH, HALLOWEEN, THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, the Universal Monster films, etc.

    In contrast to that, I had also watched a lot of Disney films, not to mention other animated kid friendly classics such as THE LAND BEFORE TIME, ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN, AN AMERICAN TAIL, AN AMERICAN TAIL: FIEVEL GOES WEST, etc. So there was a balance to the what some might consider insanity spewing from the TV screen which was a constant blend of horror and family oriented films.

    With that being said - I personally feel like that children can handle a lot more than adults give them credit for. I mean, as kids most of us were exposed to these same films if not different ones at a young age. We turned out just fine didn't we?

    Now you can't even let a kid see a drop of blood otherwise they're going to turn into the next Charlie Manson or Ted Bundy.

    I don't understand when and where children became SO sensitive when less than 20 years ago, our parents - who watched us, and moderated us and our behavior while watching these films, not to mention relied on more than just the television to keep us occupied - let us get away with seeing films like this. That's purely because it wasn't the focus of our lives, we didn't spend as much time in front of televisions as kids do these days because most parents use it as a tool just to keep the kids busy.

    I used to babysit when I was in high school for a few parents in the neighborhood and I lost count how many of them told me, "Oh just put the TV on and they'll be all set" when it was a beautiful day outside and a day they should've been outside playing, then watching TV when the sun went down. But I was instructed just to put the TV on and I could literally "walk away" and "do my own thing".

    I was shocked to be honest because these were the same parents that wouldn't let these kids watch movies like E.T., GHOSTBUSTERS, most Disney films I grew up on, Sesame Street, nope, none of those were acceptable - they had to watch the news or the Discovery channel. The news where murders were being broadcast, robberies, and the occasional good Samaritan act the Discovery channel with documentaries about animals ripping each other apart, survival shows where the guys are eating bugs, stories about real life ghost stories, etc. ALL things I've seen in horror films and not nearly as effective as they were in these broadcasts and documentaries.

    When a kid asks me in a horror film, if it's real, I can comfortably say no and be able to explain it to them why it is fake. When it's there on a documentary or on the news - I can't say no, because it IS real. So what's worse? The film you can tell a kid really didn't happen or the one that did happen???

    I'm not saying all parents are the same and won't allow their children to watch films aimed at them because they're too risque or the material in them isn't appropriate...but want them to "learn" by watching the news, reading the newspapers, and so on.

    Now I'm not against that by any means, I think kids in a way should have an idea as to what's going on around them - especially if it effects them. But I do think kids have a right to be kids, to go outside and play with adult supervision, to play with other kids, learn things on their own with adults guiding them through the experiences in their life.

    With that being said, your daughter seems to have a pretty decent grasp on reality in terms of - she knows what's real and what isn't. It also sounds like she's not just sitting their consumed by these films while you're off in another room chatting away on Facebook or catching up on your reading. Sounds to me like you're there with her and talking to her afterwards to see how she feels.

    I would stay away from films like THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and THE EXORCIST, I didn't see either of those until I was 15, and anything you personally think is too much. But to put it bluntly, use your own judgement. If it's too much for you, it's too much for her, if you think it's too much for her - it probably is. If she has an interest in seeing those types of films, try and explain to her that you don't think she is ready for them - she probably won't want to hear this, but you're the adult here - and offer something else in exchange. Just let her know eventually she'll be allowed to see them, just not now.

    Trust me there's enough out there that you can keep her occupied with until those films are ready to be shown to her, we all know this, there's decades of horror films that don't even come close to pushing the envelope films aim for now and you have just barely scraped the surface for her.

    So that's my two cents, for whatever it is worth.
     
  12. Fistfuck

    Fistfuck Slowest to 2000 posts

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    Not a parent, but have a suggestion.

    If you can personally stomach the practice, perhaps it would be acceptable to show your child a Friday or Halloween film that has been edited for television. This way, the tension and mood are still the same, but the naughty bits are cut.
     
  13. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

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    That's actually one of the best ideas I've heard on the subject.
     
  14. The Tall Man

    The Tall Man Member

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    Wow. There has been some excellent and surprising replies so far. Only one I kind of disagrde with is baggio. I display my collection proudly like I'm sure everyone else here does. It's not like having a porn collection which should be hidden. There's no need to hides horror I believe. And what about my leatherface and Jason figures etc should they be hidden as well ? It's worse to hide it then they will think there's something wrong with horror movies.
     
  15. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    I like this comment. People always look at me funny when I mention that I enjoy horror movies and B-movies.
     
  16. russweiss

    russweiss Well-Known Member

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    I have a daughter too who has watched horror/sci-fi films with me since she was much younger than 9. She especially loves zombie movies and of course knows that film is for entertainment and people aren't really being killed. I do however avoid letting her watch films that have sex scenes or are overtly sexual in nature. She is 16 now and still loves horror films just like her dad. We just watched Resident Evil: Afterlife on blu yesterday. I also prominently display my 2000 + film collection in the main living room of the house.
     
  17. Shlockjock81

    Shlockjock81 New Member

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    I get that a lot to. And then when I ask them what they watch or listen to, I usually get "Dubstep and Fast & The Furious".

    I usually cut them out of my life at that point heh.
     
  18. Severn

    Severn Member

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    While I don't let the kids see it I do proudly display my shit and I have a lot of it. I think that's fine IMO.
     
  19. Body Boy

    Body Boy Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, I also get weird looks when I mention that I love horror movies.

    My friends are getting into Dubstep too. >.> I liked Skrillex, but...when I go electronic, that's not where I head.

    Movie-wise, aside from lifting themselves above the horror genre like they're better than it, they seem to have fair tastes, if not a bit mainstream.
     
  20. Mitbox

    Mitbox Member

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    I started watching horror young (age 9) with the arrival of our family's first vcr home. Don't know why kids get so attracted to horror, must be the art work, I definitely picked movies by the artwork at the rental store and because everyone is in for a good safe scare. I watched almost everything yet sexual scenes definitely were very uncomfortable.
    Few things scared me, but definitely horror movies with a serious tone were the ones that affected me the most.
    If I had a kid, I'd let him/she watch the likes of Fright Night, Gremlims, Friday the 13th etc. movies that have some comic relief or are more on the side of adventure/goofiness. I still remember getting a little freaked out watching Maniac at night, luckily didn't have a nightmare (example of a movie I wouldn't show to any kid).

    A technique we used, was that usually we rented a lot of movies at the same time, thus we had like 3 horror+2 martial arts+1 comedy so if the horror was too gruesome, then I watched any of the other movies and then forgot all about any disturbing scene.

    Needless to say that I'm the most pacific human being me and my friends ever met (I've been actually told that several times) but I guess there's a lot more factors than horror movies in the equation.
     

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