What happens when a desert rat moves out of the desert? Life, the universe, and everything! The way I see it and take it all in, anyway.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
For some time, my daughter, Jennifer, has had a “horror fixation.” Specifically, a fixation on horror movies. She LOVES horror movies. This has not been easy for me to accept because, as a horror movie fan myself, I know for a fact that there is a lot of material that is NOT appropriate for young viewers. So even as I understand her fascination with horror movies, at the same time I’m mentally banging my head against a wall and wishing it was Disney movies instead.
But we can’t have everything!
So I have resorted to monitoring exactly WHAT horror movies she can watch. After all, she is 11 years old and not 18. The blood and gore gets a pass, but the movies containing rape, sex and nudity do not.
Recently, she told me she wanted to be a “horror master.” When I asked her what this was, she told me that it is someone who has seen ALL of the horror movies. I asked her where she got that idea from and she said from a friend at school. Apparently, her friend at school has seen ALL of the horror movies. And knowing that some horror flicks contain content that children should not see, I told her I seriously doubted that. She kept insisting it was true. When I asked her, “What about the naughty scenes?” she said her friend covers her eyes. (Does she also mute it?) I then wanted to know if this particular friend’s adults were actually letting her watch the movies and she said, “They don’t care.” (The adults she lives with are not her parents.)
Still, I wasn’t buying it. And there was NO WAY I was going to let Jen watch any old horror movie she wanted to watch. So, we struck a deal: Any R-rated movie has to get my okay first. If I feel it is okay to watch, then I’ll let her watch it. But if it gets graphically naughty, then … not.
So that’s what happened with the movie The Cabin in the Woods. Jen saw it in my Netflix queue and OF COURSE she wanted to watch it. I rented it for her but had to watch it first. There was a scene in this movie that made me want to throw up. I was so bothered by it, I could not watch the rest. (And, yes, it was a naughty scene!) So I told Jennifer this movie gets a “no” and then I told her why. She made a disgusted look and said, “Mom! TMI!”
Later, I thought more about this “horror master” thing. I didn’t want my refusal of her seeing certain movies to cause any competition or problems with her friend. So we sat down and had a talk about this. I asked her if she would wait until she was a little older – say, 17 or even 18 – to watch the movies I don’t want her to see just yet. She thought that was a better compromise and said she would do that. This sure made me feel pretty relieved and I’m glad we could continue with our system of me checking horror movies first before she watches them.
As for me, I do love horror movies, too, but with some of them, I just have to draw the line.
Writing by the name of Dawn Colclasure (my maiden name). Author of books for children as well as poetry books, writing books and books on the paranormal. I occasionally collaborate on books with Martha Jette or Jennifer Wilson.
Former editor and publisher of Burning the Midnight Oil Book Zine. Book reviewer for Night Owl Reviews.