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Young Children and Horror Movies: Possible Abuse?

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posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 04:08 AM
I watched a couple scary movies when I was about 7 or 8. After seeing Jaws and Piranha, it took me many many years to be able to go swimming in a pool again. And never ever in a lake or ocean. Later on in my early teens I watched Nightmare on Elm Street, all of them and had nightmares for years. Now I don't have a problem with horror movies anymore.
My kids never ever cared for horror movies so they don't watch that much.
edit on 16-4-2012 by shell310 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 04:09 AM
Am I the only one who remembers the entire nation sorta being scared by Jaws?
We'd go swimming and everyone would be swimming underwater with their hands up like a shark's fin, and you could tell on the beach that people were skittish.

A few of us got stunk by a big huge jellyfish and we were screaming and running out of the water and mass hysteria nearly broke out because people thought it was a shark. lol

(Back to the group/social memory.)

I saw Faces of Death when I got older. Always struck me as really, really strange how that one group was like supposedly eating dead people- canabalism- and then they were covering up the camera b/c they were about to have group sex. I was like, wait a minute...what's wrong with their ideas of shame there?

Those people in that movie series were more disgusting than horrifying. I didn't want to run screaming from them, I wanted to go find them and take away their money and lock them up.


posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 05:37 AM
I watched many horror movies from the 80's and up (I'm 32) and the only one that did much was poltergeist. That said, real life was alot worse. Like how people would break promises when I was young (5-10) and then when confronted, they would say life's not fair, WTH happend to all the promise of a happy life like in disney movies? These are people you trusted, what in the world is wrong with them that they can't explain why they went against their word or at least make up for it and yet "they" (teachers, people, parents) want me to be good? Then, the horror of finding out I will be getting home work that will get harder for as long as I am in school on subjects I will never need! After that strange kind of hell, they impose the 2 wrongs don't make a right (fights), yet they only come when the second wrong is about to be made by me, not when I'm screaming to the teachers for help. I should have told them to go free some rapists as they had a second wrong done to them, a form of punishment, that would have made em pause lol.

Real life was a lot more scary because I had to live it, still have to live it and can't punish people for being donkey holes. Its sort of like I'm the victim that HAS to let the monster get me because I trusted the twig wouldn't get in my way. I think thats why horror movies are funny to us on a subconscious level, they depict life in a way and impose master/servent ideals. Thats why I like movies where the monster dies and there is a happy ending more or less.

posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 05:38 AM
reply to post by SoymilkAlaska

I still get taken unawares by horror trailers mainstream TV. Think the last time I was taken unawares by a trailer for The Fourth Kind while dozing on the sofa a few years back.

I let the elder kids watch cheesy monster flicks with me when they got to about 10, but you know mainly comedy creature movies like Tremors. Now my middle child is almost 15 he can watch more or less what he pleases, he will anyway when he stays over his friends, but he still seem's to prefer something with a little humor in it and generally asks me to recommend titles if he want's to watch something in his room.

Law in the house is, if the small cute terror of the house is still up then we all have to reign in our more adult love of the weird. Having said that though, small fry loves his Scooby Doo films, and not a day goes by when he isn't spending at least part of the day dressed in his little vampire costume.

posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 06:28 AM
I agree with the OP that young children should not be exposed to horror movies. Horror movies plant deep-seeded fears into children that are not easy to overcome, and have the potential to develop into problems when they mature as adults. I remember watching Stephen King's IT at about 7 years old and having plenty of nightmares from that age onwards. I saw Jaws at about the same age and this definitely had a profound effect on my willingness to swim. I regret having seen these movies at such a young age.

I know that all children are different and that some will be more affected than others, but why take the risk? What possible gain is there to expose children to these types of movies/games at such a young age? There are plenty of non-violent, non-gruesome yet fun ways to keep a child entertained.

I find it odd that some members are so adverse to exposing their children to anything sexual at a young age, but seem not to mind their children viewing extreme violence and gore instead.

posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 01:45 PM
I don't think it matters really. The earlier they are able to handle scary stuff the better. If I recall, in the days of Shakespear you would be put to death or sent to jail for scaring an audience of adults in a play. I rather be desensitized to scary things earlier as a child than be a fearful adult.

What's bad about it though is that when something real does happen to someone you love and you don't really have a reaction at all, when you should have one. I find myself laughing when someone dies in a horrible way in movies now-a-days, and I honestly think something is wrong with that. Having no reaction is one thing, but when you end up laughing at gruesome deaths, then that's when one should check themselves.

posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 02:12 PM
reply to post by smyleegrl

I think that things like this may act as a trigger for deeper issues already present in a child, but children can tell the difference between real and what's on television. Those that cannot have issues not related to what they watch, that would likely surface in their personalities anyway.

Shielding kids from the realities of the world around them would be even worse in my mind. I'd never let a small child watch movies like that, but I doubt any parent could stop them. Even a very attentive parent can't monitor their kids every hour of the day, no matter how anyone pretends they can.

When kids reach the appropriate age parents should most certainly discuss these kinds of films with them and help them understand that fantasy is not reality.

I do agree fully though that the movies today are nothing like the tame stuff I grew up with created in the 50's and 60's.

Smothering kids and hiding them from the world around them won't work, so the real answer is to talk to them and make sure they have a solid grasp on what is real and what is not.

I think way to often people like to blame behavior on things like this to dismiss discussing the real issues; most of which are related to parenting and even more so to the insane direction our schools have taken. Parents expecting schools to raise their kids and schools who think they trump the parents (mostly the issue of teachers usurping the parents roles).

Far more destructive is the schools attempting to take the rights of parents away in their attempt to program the kids to the teachers political and cultural views. The Progressive agenda for the State to take over parenting is hardly a secret anymore and to be honest the biggest mistake, is for parents to send kids to public schools. It's so important now for kids to go to private schools that do not indoctrinate, that parents should even give up home ownership and spend the money on good schools instead.

One thing that is also true now is the insanity of the level of control the schools attempt to exert upon our children now. We see the insane stories of actions taken against kids by schools over nonsense all the time. Going through their lunch to overrule the parents for instance.

Now instead of teaching children how to think, teachers have become little dictators teaching children what to think. If children know how to think and reason for themselves, they don't need to have every little detail of their lives monitored. Movies are not going to cause any behavior to come to the surface that was not already inside them before.

You should leave parenting to parents, it's not your job or place to make those decisions. The more Progressive the schools become the more problems we see in the kids. Cause = Effect, not the other way around. Progressive idea's lead to messed up kids, not the movies they watch.

posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 03:21 PM
My parents had strict guidelines in the house I grew up in on what we were allowed to watch. And my dad would always watch a movie first before he allowed us to watch it to see whether it was appropriate or not. By the time I was 18 (I'm in my mid 30's now) I had only seen three or four rated R movies, and all of that was watching with my older brothers when my parents weren't home (all Arnold Schwarzenegger movies (Running Man, Terminator 2, Total Recall, and one other Commando I think). I had never seen a horror film, and to this day I've never seen a horror film.

I stick to my dad's rules he raised me with and am strict about what my children view. They don't get to watch anything above PG.

While the moral fabric of society has eroded and what was abhorrent and shocking even 20 years ago is normal today, we individual have the choice to buck the trend and go against the tide of main-stream society and where it is being molded and lead.

Society is not going to be changed for the better though, try hard as you might. There are unseen malignant forces in control that are influencing mankind's direction. Even if you are honest-hearted and tried you cannot stem these forces they are beyond human control. No human ruler or set of laws or codes can do it. I realize that. I am not despondent about it for I realize what is really going on and the solution to the problems. It is coming, it just not lies in human control.

posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 04:01 PM

Originally posted by NewerBeing
I don't think it matters really. The earlier they are able to handle scary stuff the better. If I recall, in the days of Shakespear you would be put to death or sent to jail for scaring an audience of adults in a play. I rather be desensitized to scary things earlier as a child than be a fearful adult.

What's bad about it though is that when something real does happen to someone you love and you don't really have a reaction at all, when you should have one. I find myself laughing when someone dies in a horrible way in movies now-a-days, and I honestly think something is wrong with that. Having no reaction is one thing, but when you end up laughing at gruesome deaths, then that's when one should check themselves.

You aren't laughing at a real death. You know it's make believe, so it's okay to "enjoy" it, so to speak. I think this is very normal.

I remember watching Dumb and Dumber when the dead parakeet had its head taped on and given to the blind boy. I'm an animal lover and work with kids, but that was FUNNY. Same type of thing

posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 05:18 PM
reply to post by smyleegrl

One of my favorite movies of all time is still "The langoliers" by Stephen King.

It's classified as horror and i've watched it a few times starting at about an age of 8 or 9 i think, with my dad.

I really can't see how this movie affected my life other than open my mind to the concept of time and alternate realities, though i think i can agree on pure blood and gore movies bringing nothing but nasty side effects.

I guess the "horror" genre changed alot over the years, even Psycho was a freakingly scary movie, but hardly blood and gore, and with a profound underlying message.

Im not gonna explain the differences between those classics and modern day horrors though, if people want to know them, watch them.

As for the effects on kids.. i guess it depends on the movie, but i think i can't do anything else but agree on the fact that modern day horror movies get rated by the truckloads of fake blood used, instead of the actual quality of the storyline and message told, only wrapped in a horror context. Imo old-school horrors are the fears of humans put into motion picture, instead of just some mindless mass murderer slaying anyone he sees for no obvious reason, which is what horror is now.

Thats not horror, thats blood and gore.

Horror is meant to touch the emotional side of people, not disgust and have people run out of cinema's puking of gore levels (like alot of games nowadays, why i pretty much play oldschool games only, or minecraft, lol)
edit on 16/4/12 by Romekje because: grammar

posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 05:35 PM
I could not agree more and support everything you have stated 100%. I am a mother of 3 children. The oldest being 29 and the youngest being 8. As a child myself, my mother loved to watch horror movies, which made me extremely fearful, even into adulthood. My oldest child (a girl), like my mother adores horror movies, even though never viewing them with me. She did however view them at her grandmother (my mother's home). She is fine these days and currently works as a 911 operator. On the other hand, my youngest son is more like me. After having viewed a movie, not considered horror (Elizabeth - they cut off her head as I'm sure you know - but nothing is shown) at his grandmother's (again my mother) he began to have nightmares and would no longer remain in a room alone at night.

There are so many other things a parent, or sibling, could be doing with a young child other than watching horror movies or playing inappropriate video games. Educational things, sports, music, going to a park, baking, etc. Once you plant a seed in the mind of a child - It's going to grow! Our children are our future, dream big for the children you are blessed to spend time with. Nurture and protect them and their minds! Allow the child to be the very best they can be, and DO NOT CORRUPT those young, impressionable minds with filth! Don't they get enough of that later on in life?

posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 06:49 PM
Would I let my children watch them? No. However, I respect each parents decision to raise their kids how they see fit. You break it you buy it

posted on Nov, 16 2012 @ 01:36 AM
Its is the one of best Movie amongst the other movie on spirit science series.I watch this movie and also recommend to watch this movie with all friends. King Kong is very special visual effects.The sore was sensational the Music was moving and at the end of the movie you could really feel the expressiveness of the film.

posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 11:43 PM
reply to post by smyleegrl

S&F for a really important topic! As a mother, I am appalled by some parents, and the movies they drag their young children in to see. At least one such movie makes Friday the 13'th look almost tame. Abuse? Well, yeah. Now, I am not saying that parents should have their children removed from the home or anything, but they should be educated on the realities. Theaters should set their own rules, and not allow children below a certain age into some movies, even with their parents. Of course, teaching some of these parents is a losing battle. When people find seriously twisted stuff to be "funny", you know there is a bigger problem. Maybe, to be fair, some of these parents were kids whose parents were idiots. Still..... There was a movie some years back, called The Strangers, I think. VERY violent, scary stuff, and nothing about it was even close to amusing. This wasn't one of those horror movies that also has some humor (such as Lake Placid, for example). This was simply scary, and violent. Watching it in the theater, I was stunned to hear a sizable portion of the audience actually laughing. People were dying, and they laughed. I flat can't understand that. I was a teen in the days of the old Friday the 13'th stuff. People watched them, but no one in the audience laughed when someone died. Sure, at a scene with people cutting up, or a prank, but not the actual murders. Now, murder is apparently funny to some people. Maybe someone needs to do a study of people that take their kids to such movies, and see how many also laugh at the carnage.

I will say this; MY kids have very serious restrictions on what they are allowed to watch. The younger ones don't get to see violent horror, EVER. A teen? Depends on the movie. None of them ever watched one that they didn't have some idea about beforehand, though. They had to decide if the violence would bother them, and even them, there were limits. My 19-yr-old can now watch whatever he wants, but he avoids stuff that's too graphic. He also avoids movies with too much sexual content. Yeah, not the norm, I know. The kid has a pretty good grasp on what's decent, and what isn't, though. That's a HUGE difference from another family member. This one was allowed to see scary and gory things at a much younger age than was sensible, and he grew up to believe that it isn't a horror movie without tons of gore. Also to have no moral values whatsoever. The more he was allowed to watch, the worse he acted. So, yeah, there is a connection.

posted on Nov, 19 2012 @ 12:23 AM

Originally posted by AnIntellectualRedneck
reply to post by smyleegrl

It's abuse if the kid is scared and begging you not to watch it but you make them anyway. In other words, if it's actually traumatizing them, then it's abuse. However, some kids really like violence and horror stuff. Some kids just like a good scare. To me, warm and fuzzy was disturbing and traumatizing. Why? Because there's something unnatural about people being that happy and lovey dovey.

Another thing that you've got to keep in mind is that to those kids in your class, it may not even be scary. For example, my grandmother was terrified by "The Blob". She still is. But I watched "The Blob" at 8 years old and didn't actually laughed at some parts.

Ah, The Blob...... I watched that as a kid (back when horror was never gory, and you could watch the old classics on late night tv). That movie was only one of two that actually scared me. I had plans on what I would do if the blob came into this or that room and I was in there. The other was that "Trilogy of Terror" thing, with the evil little statue that came to life. Really, I should not have been allowed to watch either one. I didn't worry about vampires, or werewolves, or any of that, but those two got to me. With my kids, I go by the child, and each individual movie. If I have any doubt, they simply don't watch it. i love horror movies (real horror, not gore fests), and we watch those after the kids are all in bed. They can watch Goosebumps stuff, and they know that there are bad things n the world, but I don't see a reason to give them nightmares. I remember too well my kid brother waking up screaming for weeks after my mother decided to take him to see Alien.

Totally agree about kids not being forced to watch the stuff, and that's the thing that gets me in the theaters. I have seen kids in tears, with the parents getting irate about them making noise, because they took them to some scary movie. I don't think ANY small child should be watching the really violent stuff, though. It isn't the same as old cartoon violence, or even some of the creepier fairy tales. Of course, I have to agree on the "warm and fuzzy" stuff, too. Even my kids think that gets too weird! Anyone that "nice" has to be a crazy maniac in disguise, lol.

posted on Nov, 19 2012 @ 12:35 AM
The op has equated that with young children, horror and thriller movies and violent media could be construed as a possible form of child abuse.
As many are stating, that it is not. While it may seem that the children are desensitized to the acts of violence, cause it is what they see in such, (TV, Movies, and video games) at the same time chooses to ignore the media of the past. And in some cities, just going outside, children would be confronted with every day violence of the streets, from gang warfare, to drive by’s, seeing friends and family killed from senseless violence, or outright made to feel unwelcome in their own neighborhoods.

If I look back to my childhood and that of my parents, to even that of my grandparents, there has always been horror and violence in one form or another. Books are filled with such, the classic horror stories have been around. Any person who is faithful would have been scared at the prospect of say eternal damnation. Crimes have occurred some of the criminals of the time were terrifying.

If you go back, there was at one time Radio, take a look at the classic theater of the mind production of the War of the Worlds. Then what about the movie serials and shows. From what I understand Lugosi and Chaney were masters of their craft and scaring the audience with their performance. Even some of the villains from Disney films were pretty scary to young children.

Violence, here again, has been around with the advent of film, and TV. Take a look at most cartoons from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Those were pretty violent in their own right. Tom and Jerry, Loony Tunes, and other such media showed violence on one form or another. Yet parents have sat their children down in front of the TV screen and let it entertain the children. Even comic books were in on such, scaring children with pictures of monsters and villains of all sorts and sizes.

Everyone is different and how we deal with what we see is ultimately how we are brought up. The more correct question is if the children understand the difference between fiction and reality. It is not child abuse, nor should it be considered such. Child abuse is much different, and the federal government is as much to blame for such as the parents are. Have to protect the children, shelter and keep them immune to activities where they could get hurt, or their feelings hurt. That will have more damage in the long run than any violent tv or movie that the children would see. And if you think that is so wrong, then how is it that it is discouraged for children going out to play and the rise of say diabetes among children?

Then again, asking first graders about a point in history that most would not even get until they were studying post roman history, say the medieval events, such as the total and deliberate persecution and elimination of the Templar knights is a bit unfair.

posted on Nov, 19 2012 @ 08:52 PM
reply to post by smyleegrl

I use to watch horror movies, it is not abuse. I enjoyed the movies a lot. Horror movies toughen the kids up and not make them wossies. You wonder why people in this country are turning softer and more wimpy, people like you who want to shelter kids. Toughen up.

posted on Nov, 19 2012 @ 09:21 PM
I am blown away by the comments and attitudes of enjoyment at the prospect of horror.
Want to toughen them up? Why not show them real footage of war and bloodshed scenes of
Some poor children in the world have no choice but to see it, yet here in America the kids can
be "entertained" by the safe facsimiles.

I honestly don't get the attraction. I don't personally think it's a good idea for kids to see their parents
smiling, laughing and enjoying these kinds of movies, either.

But, I know that it is a widespread and popular genre, by the number of studios that produce them and exploit
the taste that has been cultivated for them.

posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 08:57 AM
I think people like you, who make movies into something they are not, are the exact reason why these things happen. There is no need to explain the "reality" of any movie. Simply stating, "this is only a movie" should be more than sufficient. Many generations of children grew up on horror movies and ended up just fine. A movie isn't going to turn people into serial killers or mass murderers. If someone does kill a bunch of people after watching one of these movies, they were going to do so anyhow, as they obviously had some type of underlying issue. After all, wouldn't every person who watches Michael Myers stab his sister kill their own sister? Since they don't, I think this issue is resolved.

Sorry for bringing up an older topic, I just have a very strong opinion on people who try to blame the problems in society on movies.

posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 09:02 AM
I would not let my child watch ANY of the movies you mentioned.

I loved Nightmare on Elm Street when I was younger but I was about 12 the first time I saw it. My mom would not let us watch anything but G or PG! Horror movies are not for kids.

I do think it can cause some kind of emotional damage. How does a 6yr old know that it's not real? Even if they are told it isn't real they will still have nightmares! I've seen it with my friends kids. I am amazed at some of the things people let their kids watch now a days.

I am a huge horror movie fan now as an adult but I wouldn't let my child watch them until they were older. Horror movies today are a little too vulgar and even the ones of the 80s like you mentioned are still full of sexual content a child shouldn't be seeing.

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