I probably shouldn't let my eight-year-old watch horror movies, but I do. And since I let my eight-year-old watch them, well, the five-year-old watches them too. Usually he falls asleep five minutes in before anything scary happens. Usually, but not always. I guess I just only have so much fight in me, and since Blackstone and I just love a good horror movie, I figure it's just encoded in his DNA.
When Trouble was maybe three, he walked in on me watching Thirteen Ghosts. Pretty gruesome movie if you haven't seen it. I didn't realize he was in the room right away, and as soon as I did, I changed the channel. He had a fit. "Put it back! Put it back!" he yelled.
He started watching Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings movies around this time too. He was one of very few three-year-olds asking to watch Frodo over and over again I'm willing to bet. Nothing ever scared him. Nothing gave him nightmares. Still, I've tried to curb him from some of the more terrifying movies, or at least what I'd consider scarier. I know plenty of grown adults that are scared watching Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. But Blackstone and my dad are even less restrictive than I am. So they were watching Alien vs. Predator and Eight Legged Freaks, and who knows what else, years ago. They absolutely love it. I still try to keep it to the lower end of scary. I'm fighting a losing battle. I lose more and more ground every year.
They had been playing outside a couple weekends ago and happened to walk in shortly after I flipped on The Mist. That was gruesome. I'm going to give away the ending here, so if you haven't seen it, and don't want me to give it away, stop reading now. *SPOILER*. Honestly, had I known it was a movie about huge, killer bugs, I might have never put it on. Bugs are seriously not my thing. It's based on a Steven King story. One I probably read, but don't remember. I read a lot. I forget at least half of everything I read. The boys were enthralled. The only thing that appalled them was the ending, which was not so scary but seriously, ironically tragic. It certainly sparked some interesting conversation. Not just the ending, but the demented, religious zealot, offering any unbeliever to the giant, other-worldy bugs as offerings to appease God, who obviously unleashed them on us as punishment for our sinful ways. Perhaps Trouble has a slightly better understanding of my opposition to church now. So that, and the ending in which the main character shoots all the other passengers in the car, including his son, so they don't have to be eaten alive by the bugs, raised some questions. He would have shot himself too, only there weren't enough bullets. So he goes outside awaiting his terrible fate, only to have the mist begin to clear and the army arrive. Now that's something difficult to explain to a child.
It hadn't really occurred to me after having watched all of these scary movies, that I would eventually find one that scared Trouble. Really never thought it would happen. It did. And oddly enough, I didn't think the movie was that scary. No one actually died in the time span of the movie. Oh there were ghosts of people, bodies that had died long ago. But none of the main characters in the current story died. Again *SPOILERS* people. The Haunting in Connecticut has had Trouble sleeping with his light on for a week. At the end of the movie, the poor, sick kid tormented by all the ghosts is cured of his terminal cancer. I mean, yes, it was scary. Yes, there were dead bodies in the wall. Gross. Not nearly as gross or scary as watching spiders hatch inside a person and eat him alive. At least, not in my mind. Trouble seems to have a different opinion.
I figure it must be because huge killer bugs seem so outrageous, so far out of our reality, but maybe spirits of the dead, are a little too easy to imagine as real? I guess I'd better be sure not to let him know that it's supposed to have been based on a true story. Of course, I take all that with a grain of salt, but something tells me Trouble wouldn't.
So has that stopped me from letting him watch scary movies? Not really. I've started watching the series Supernatural recently and they love that. And they saw Coraline this weekend. *SPOILER* A kids movie, but pretty scary, and honestly, another scary spider. EEeeww. I've had enough with the damn bugs lately. Animated, mechanical, or otherwise. I've always had a spider phobia. Nothing terrible. But I do yell for Blackstone to come kill them for me. Apparently, that's nothing compared to my babysitter. I had to take down some of our Halloween decorations; the spider web and fake spiders, and the large mechanical one that drops from the ceiling when you clap. Now that's some serious arachnophobia.
So this Halloween will be spider-free and will probably still find Trouble sleeping with his light on. At least I bought some of the new energy saving bulbs. You can get them in soft light now, too. They're not nearly as terrible as they were at first. I can't stand flourescents and these are do-able. Peace of mind for me. Peace of mind for him. And we can still have our horror movies. Everybody wins!