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The Thing… and age appropriate films for kids October 8, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.


I’ve been putting the creature through a course of original horror films (courtesy in part of JM who comments here). Now, let’s get this clear. She’s eight so when I say original, I mean early, I mean black and white (already the cry goes up – from her… “it’s black and white!”. That’s horror enough it appears. And not in a scary way) but some resonate and others, not so much. For example. Dracula and the Wolfman were enjoyed. Frankenstein likewise.

But… The Thing from Another World – I mean of course the Howard Hawks version, not the later… John Carpenter…erm… gore fest – well, that got a big thumbs down…

I love the bit in it where they open the door on the creature and then slam it shut again. It’s just so what someone would do in real life. But nah, didn’t like it. Wasn’t impressed. Now in fairness the lack of women characters is an issue, but oddly, Hawks did attempt to address that. Part of the complaint was that the film would see everyone talked to death due to so much dialogue.

What on earth will she make of the Carpenter version when she finally gets to see that?

Speaking of which she’s mighty interested in the horror and thriller sections in DVD shops. Doesn’t want to watch them, of course. Really disliked the cover of Alien. But there are oddities. For example, Buffy is a big favourite, yet Buffy is chock a block filled with horror tropes. Granted the general air of humour does blunt them but there’s scary stuff, and more importantly scary concepts in there. Yet not a bother (some episodes she won’t see for a few years – I hardly need to point them out). And by contrast a 1970s Doctor Who, about the Autons – plastic humanoid creatures directed by a ‘consciousness’, had her literally hiding behind the sofa.

Listening to an Incomparable podcast the other day one of those on it said how his thirteen year old daughter and nine year old son had watched Alien with him one afternoon. I was thinking that nine was very young to see it – though the contributor noted it was only in the last hour of the film that his son showed any great interest.

I kind of use Common Sense Media as a guide, sort of – usually knocking a few years off ages (Alien – 15+, Doctor Who – 10+, Buffy – 13+, etc, etc) . What do people think?


1. 6to5against - October 8, 2016

Its an interesting thing to do. I’ve been worried about how my kids, in an era of you-tube and Netflix, will never get to see classic movies in the incidental way I got to see them. I remember seeing a whole season of Marlon Brando movies when I was maybe only 8 or 9 because that was what was on RTE on a Friday night. Some great movies. And they ran a season of silent movies on a Sunday afternoon that are etched into my memory.

But if they were on now, and if I was to watch, my kids would just wander off and find a small screen. I’ll have to begin a programme like yours.

It’d be great for a cinema to start running a few more classics.


gendjinn - October 8, 2016

Just start doing it and build some credit with them for generally picking good movies. Or at least good ice cream. As they get older you start working in the good Bogart/Bacall movies. Or whatever floats yer boat.

The old AFI top 100/1000 list from the mid-90s is a great starting point. The ones since have been progressively, unacceptably, corrupted with shite.

Or yer memory of Christmas/New Years of childhood.

Liked by 1 person

2. sonofstan - October 8, 2016

“I remember seeing a whole season of Marlon Brando movies when I was maybe only 8 or 9 because that was what was on RTE on a Friday night. Some great movies. ”

I remember that! and a season of John Garfield and movies based on Graham Greene books. Think there might have been a Hitchcock season too?
Anyone know who in RTE was responsible for all that?


6to5against - October 8, 2016

I think there was a Hitchcock series, and I remember Our Man in Havana from around then, so that might have been the Graham Greene series. So pleasing that somebody else remembers all of that! But it never crossed my mind to be thankful to anybody in RTE for putting them all out there. Shame on me.


Michael Carley - October 8, 2016

I remember hearing somebody in RTE saying their policy was they would show a film uncensored, late if needs be, or not at all: someone at the time had respect for movies.


gendjinn - October 9, 2016

Sounds like someone was jealous of C4’s red triangle series 😉


WorldbyStorm - October 9, 2016

Fantastic! Can’t see it now.


Starkadder - October 9, 2016

I also remember Maxi AKA Irene McCoubrey replying to a letter in the “RTE Guide” asking why RTE didn’t show more action movies. Maxi responded that “RTE has a policy of avoiding showing violent films” and suggested the writer enjoy watching RTE’s showing of “The Karate Kid”.


3. Gewerkschaftler - October 8, 2016

Young Frankenstein. Slow by modern comedy standards but a classic.

Don’t whatever you do let her watch any of the Dr. Mabuse (Fritz Lang) films – that scared the wits out of me when I happened to see it on a neighbour’s TV when I was a kid. Didn’t understand a word but it left and impression. Actually it’s not really horror – more melodrama / thriller.


4. gendjinn - October 8, 2016

I had similar reactions to Dr Who at her age, but still loved it.

Been doing movie night with the creature for a while as well. Willy Wonka (Wilder) was a big hit and likewise Princess Bride which had some scary bits that required hands over eyes (PS great to watch with someone who believes the man in the mask is a bad guy until the reveal!)

Might want to check out the Jolie’ movie Maleficent.


WorldbyStorm - October 8, 2016

Yeah the Princess Bride was another big hit. I think it is age. But I’m of the school of thought that a little bit of exposure to science fiction and horror tropes will be good for her long term. Not too much and at a gentle pace. And I’m guessing you wouldn’t want your creature watching Alien either!


gendjinn - October 9, 2016

SF/Horror genres have always seemed to have the opportunity for more progressive/accurate portrayal of non-dominant groups in society.

But yeah, Alien is a few years away. Lot of good black & white movies to get through before then. Treasure of the Sierra Madre for one!


WorldbyStorm - October 9, 2016

Excellent film!


5. Brian Hanley - October 8, 2016

The Child catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the witch in the Wizard of Oz and even Slugworth in Willy Wonka were all scary enough for me as a child…

Liked by 1 person

6. LeftAtTheCross - October 9, 2016

The classic black and white horror films are one thing, but one needs ro be careful. Our little one watched Jaws when she was 10 or less and she’s now petrified of the sea. I am also, having seen the film in the cinema when I came out. These things can become life defining. Not that kids should be protected from every possible cause of fear, over protected I mean, but they have a lot going on in their heads and scary movies carry an age rating for a reason. And i still check under the bed after watching Alien! 😊


WorldbyStorm - October 9, 2016

Completely agree.


7. Starkadder - October 9, 2016

Oddly, I don’t remember any particularly scary films from my childhood. But two music videos that genuinely terrified me as a child were the Michael Jackson “Thriller” and “Wild Boys ” by Duran Duran.


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