Horror movie suitable for pre-teen? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 08-29-2011, 02:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, after a pyjama party with other pre-teens and hearing her first ghost-stories, my pre-teen daughter has been begging me to see a horror movie eyesroll.gif. Are there any suitable, not-so-scary 'horror' films out there for pre-teens, or something similar that may abate her curiosity without traumatising her? (I mean I haven't even let her see all of the Harry Potter movies! Some of those scenes are pretty scary!) Maybe a mystery?

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#2 of 26 Old 08-29-2011, 07:11 AM
 
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Beetlejuice? Nightmare before Christmas?

 

I think actual horror movies aren't suitable for anyone! huh.gif


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#3 of 26 Old 08-29-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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Quote:
I think actual horror movies aren't suitable for anyone! huh.gif

yeah, that. I dont think there are any suitable 'horror' movies for preteens. I hated them all my life. I did find them traumatising myself and if you wont let your dd watch Harry Potter (I understand that one) then there arent many to choose from.

 

I did a google search and found this for ya...

 

http://www.squidoo.com/scary-movies-for

 

it lists some horror movies that arent too traumatic for this age group.

 

here's the google list for you to check out if there are any others.

 

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=horror+movies+suitable+for+preteen&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&client=firefox-a

 

As I read thru the list there are a few I did let my kids see. I am legend is a good film. I dont mind my kids seeing stuff like that, its thought provoking, a good story, and there isnt any nudity.

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#4 of 26 Old 08-29-2011, 01:12 PM
 
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Interesting this thread should come up today. I was just discussing with my 24 year old daughter that my nieces (ages 14 and 12) watch every single horror film available. Their comments to my shock? "Oh, they are funny" "My favorites are the zombie ones" "No big deal, they don't even scare me".

EXACTLY my concern - they are already desensitized to violence and gore. One of their "favorite" series? The Saw movies. I am disgusted that my nieces have been exposed to this stuff. I wonder if I am the oddball as I hear it more and more.

Never having been one who follows the crowd in parenting choices I do what I feel serves the whole child.

Good luck in your endeavor!

 

Kirsten - mom to Keiha, Kyran and Kirsey and momcologist to Rhema

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#5 of 26 Old 08-29-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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How about spooky/funny?

High Spirits

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095304/

Or old enough not to be too scary like The Birds?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056869/

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#6 of 26 Old 08-29-2011, 03:39 PM
 
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The Watcher in the Woods. The title sounds creepier than the movie is! It's actually a Disney film. This was one of the first scry movies I let my kids watch... they're 7 and 9 and are both thrill seekers (they go on ALL the rides at the fair) I think it's the suspense they want, more than  gore (well, DS thinks he'd like to see some gore but he's just going to have to wait until have my next kitchen accident)


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#7 of 26 Old 08-30-2011, 07:57 AM
 
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I use Commonsensemedia.org to check out anything media related for my kids.  They're a little conservative, but reliable.

 

My dd has been seeing some horror films lately-they seem to be a very popular sleepover party activity.  At first she was fine with it, saying that the gore was silly, nothing was real, etc.  However, she recently revealed that she did not, in fact, enjoy horror movies, or being scared, and the gore really bothered her.  At the most recent party she went to she chose to come home rather than spend part of the night watching scary/horror movies.  

 

In general, I think kids of this age have a lot of exposure to vampire/life as a ghost/death media, either in print, or in films.  I think my dd has had her fill of it for a while.

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#8 of 26 Old 08-30-2011, 10:49 AM
 
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Coraline! We adore that movie. 

 

I vaguely remember Nightmare Before Christmas had some alarming, icky and perilous moments.


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#9 of 26 Old 09-01-2011, 05:07 PM
 
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We love "The Others". It's scary but mild and non-violent.  "The Village" is another mild one (but not nearly as good as The Others).

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#10 of 26 Old 09-01-2011, 05:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mother_sunshine View Post

We love "The Others". It's scary but mild and non-violent.  "The Village" is another mild one (but not nearly as good as The Others).



The Others is a great idea!

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#11 of 26 Old 10-08-2011, 07:36 AM
 
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Maybe something like Young Frankenstein, which is actually a spoof of the Frankenstein story/films?  It does contain some sexuality/innuendo, IIRC.  Coraline is an excellent suggestion (from previous posters).  Monsters vs Aliens was more of a throwback to 1950s/1960s B movies.  Monster House has a few freaky/intense moments that made me jump (be sure to watch past when the credits start rolling for the happy endings).

 

The Goonies and Labyrinth are more adventures than horror flicks, but there are mysteries/crises to be solved (and unhealthy relationships)....

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#12 of 26 Old 10-08-2011, 09:58 AM
 
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How about Ghostbusters! Not horror, but supernaturally silliness.


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#13 of 26 Old 10-08-2011, 10:02 AM
 
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nobody said Gremlins!!!!!  is that too much?


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#14 of 26 Old 10-08-2011, 10:17 AM
 
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My older daughter got into classic "horror" films when she was around twelve. "The Creature From the Black Lagoon" and "The Mummy's Curse" were two of her favorites, just spooky enough to thrill but totally non-gory and non-violent. One of my favorites is the old, Vincent Price version of "House of Wax". Again, non-violent, non-gory, but with just the right amount of creepy.


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#15 of 26 Old 10-09-2011, 09:07 AM
 
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We enjoy classic movies and don't really watch much that is recent.  We also don't watch horror, but enjoy some scary funny movies or thrillers/suspense.  The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (a Don Knotts movie) is a favorite here.  Makes you jump, but doesn't give you nightmares.  I remember liking Once Bitten (vampires) but I think I was older than your dd when that came out.  I remember another funny/scary movie called Saturday the 14th.  My dd(9) has seen Haunted Mansion (more recent and Disney), Something Wicked This Way Comes (I recommend this one), The Watcher in the Woods (a +1 from the pp), Hitchcock movies (Vertigo, Rear Window), without getting scared and we all enjoy the Twilight Zone (movie and series).  Others I would suggest (again, classics):  Blackbeard's Ghost, The Mummy (original with Boris Karloff... and any of his are scary), The Day the Earth Stood Still (the original), and The Devil and Daniel Webster (not really scary, but kinda spooky and funny).

 

We love this time of year and enjoy the classic spooky stuff, but nothing really horror.  If it wasn't so dang expensive, I'd buy "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" series for dd.  That was CLASSIC and I was already in my 20's when it came out, but being the big baby that I am, it was just the right level of "scariness" for me.  That may be available through Netflix or Blockbuster.  Or the Goosebump series.

 

Have fun!!

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#16 of 26 Old 10-09-2011, 09:35 AM
 
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Another one here that will not let my kids watch horror movies.  IMNSHO, no one needs gore in their lives, and some of those movies are really twisted and sick.  I'd never want my kids to be desensitized like that!

 

The Others was good.  And I like alot of the movies Velochic posted. Coraline freaked my son out.


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#17 of 26 Old 10-10-2011, 12:28 PM
 
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OP: I have no suggestions for you, as I can't watch horror movies myself. I hated them as a preteen/teen, and I hated them as a young adult, and I've especially hated them since I had my first child. They all freak me out so much that I can't imagine recommending any to a pre-teen.

 

However, I did want to comment on this:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by momcologist View Post

Interesting this thread should come up today. I was just discussing with my 24 year old daughter that my nieces (ages 14 and 12) watch every single horror film available. Their comments to my shock? "Oh, they are funny" "My favorites are the zombie ones" "No big deal, they don't even scare me".

EXACTLY my concern - they are already desensitized to violence and gore. One of their "favorite" series? The Saw movies. I am disgusted that my nieces have been exposed to this stuff. I wonder if I am the oddball as I hear it more and more.

Never having been one who follows the crowd in parenting choices I do what I feel serves the whole child.

Good luck in your endeavor!

 

Kirsten - mom to Keiha, Kyran and Kirsey and momcologist to Rhema



I can't imagine letting one of my children watch the Saw movies (have never seen them myself, but I know the "plot" and they sound horrific). However, the whole "they're desensitized" thing is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. My ex-husband was the way you describe your nieces. I met him when he was 15, and he was already watching horror movies, and had been for several years. They never fazed him - no nightmares, no twitches, no sleepless nights - nothing. (DS1 appears to be the same way, actually.) I'm sure many people would have lumped him into the whole "desensitized" thing...but he saw a violent car accident - I won't go into details, because just hearing about it really upset me, but it was nowhere near as bad as it could have been) - on his way to work one morning. He quite calmly gave the police his name as a witness, then went to work. Upon arrival at the shop, he walked into the bathroom and got violently ill. When I saw him that evening, about 10 hours after the accident, he was still shaking. This same man accidentally caught the skin on ds1's big toe the first time he trimmed his nails. A single drop of blood came up and my ex freaked out, absolultely terrified that he'd hurt the baby. He wasn't even remotely desensitized to violence and gore. He was desensitized to fake violence and gore. DS1 has the same kind of reaction to such things - absolutely unfazed by anything he sees in a movie, but truly upset by any kind of real life violence. And, I can remember watching something when ds1 was quite little (maybe 4 or 5?) and getting a bit nervous about something that was going on onscreen. DS1 turned to me and said, "what's the matter, mommy? It's just a movie - nobody's really getting hurt." and gave me a hug.

 

I have no idea if your nieces are like that or not, but some people really do seem to have an unusually clear grasp of the difference between fact and fiction.

 

And...I pre-screen for my younger kids far more than I ever did for ds1, because they don't have that. They're more like me, and get really, really upset by that kind of thing. (OTOH, while I could never stand the emotional atmosphere and gore factor of true horror movies, I absolutely loved violent 80s action movies...and I have a really weak stomach about real life violence.)


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#18 of 26 Old 10-10-2011, 01:23 PM
 
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There are so many ridiculous old horror movies.  If you watch them we're probably all desensitized to them.  I would consider looking for the old ones that really are funny now. 

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#19 of 26 Old 10-10-2011, 01:29 PM
 
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Poltergeist!  None of the major characters gets killed off or hurt.  And the one icky scene (man looking in the mirror) turns out to be Not Real.

 

 


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#20 of 26 Old 10-11-2011, 02:19 PM
 
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OP: I notice you said that you haven't let her see all the Harry Potter movies. Have you considered maybe showing her the remaining ones, and seeing how she responds to those? If she finds them to be too much, you can explain that horror movies take it up another notch. She may choose not to pursue this right now. I don't even like ghost stories, but there's a big, big difference between telling ghost stories and watching horror movies.


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#21 of 26 Old 10-12-2011, 01:40 AM
 
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Lisa,

I certainly appreciate your input regarding your husband's experiences with horror movies. And yet, time and again, research bears out a different conclusion. Violence in movies and/or video games does indeed desensitize one to real life violence or emergency/helping situations. Here is but one such recent study:

 

http://sitemaker.umich.edu/brad.bushman/files/ba09.pdf

 

So, pet peeve of yours or not, I stand by my statement and the research that bears it out. Again I am left thinking I am the oddball out here. But, as I stated, I have never made choices based upon the popular or easy route and I choose to parent for the development of the whole child.

 

Kirsten - mom to Keiha, Kyran and Kirsey and momcologist to Rhema

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#22 of 26 Old 10-12-2011, 05:10 AM
 
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Momcologist, you're not alone in your concerns.  I haven't delved into any research, but my common sense tells me that a steady diet of gore, etc. probably isn't great.  My dd's friends are really, really into this, esp. this time of year.  But, as I mentioned upthread, it gets to be too much for some kids, mine included.  I guess it depends on your child. 

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#23 of 26 Old 10-12-2011, 05:42 AM
 
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I'm not going to get into whether I agree with the media violence link to real life violence, but I want to point out it's not simple.  My DH and I were once on very opposite sides of the fence, I originally came from a ECE and Waldorf early childhood perspective, and DH was once a computer engineer and video game beta tester (he's a nurse, now) so very opposite!  What we both found researching this matter, was that it's hard to sort out variables.  Parents who don't provide rules and structure with television viewing may provide less general structure, too, which is also a risk factor in violent behavior.  People who are already predisposed to violence may prefer violent programming.  The TV itself may lead to some children spending less social time, regardless of content.  OTOH, the risk in a growing brain may be greater.  And whether we now have increased violence now in a day and age of increased video violence is even disputable, violent crime has actually gone down in much of North America, and there are differences in the rates of reporting violent crime that could skew crime statistics, too. It goes on and on, with studies both for and against, and it's not simple.  Both DH and I fall more in the middle, now, especially now that our two older children are preteens and we've experienced seeing them grow into their own people as the outside world is increasingly more a part of their lives.  Here is a link from a media awareness website, with some statements from both points of view:

http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/violence/effects_media_violence.cfm

 

Also, I think it's worth being aware that the news can be one of the worse sources of media violence out there.  It is obviously not fake, and violence is over reported compared to positive news.  It can give the impression that the world is way more dangerous than it is, and fear can breed aggression as much as desensitization.  And, whether an adult watches the movie with the child may make a difference, as they can explain and contextualize what the children are seeing.  I think it's a good habit to be aware of what your children watch even if the material is supposed to be child friendly.

 

On a practical note, the TV program "Dr Who" was originally meant to be a preteen friendly horror/Sci-fi series, and there isn't anything obviously gory or bloody, although there is death and fear.  This is the middle ground we've used with our own kids, I think it's still a step up from the really gross horror movies, but they still find it fun to watch with friends over.  Either DH or I or both of us usually sit down to watch with them (always if we haven't seen the episode yet, because we also have a 7 year old who definitely can't handle any visual violence) and eat popcorn.  Sometimes we have some pretty neat discussions, later, too.

 

 


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#24 of 26 Old 10-12-2011, 11:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momcologist View Post

Lisa,

I certainly appreciate your input regarding your husband's experiences with horror movies. And yet, time and again, research bears out a different conclusion. Violence in movies and/or video games does indeed desensitize one to real life violence or emergency/helping situations. Here is but one such recent study:

 

http://sitemaker.umich.edu/brad.bushman/files/ba09.pdf

 

So, pet peeve of yours or not, I stand by my statement and the research that bears it out. Again I am left thinking I am the oddball out here. But, as I stated, I have never made choices based upon the popular or easy route and I choose to parent for the development of the whole child.

 

Kirsten - mom to Keiha, Kyran and Kirsey and momcologist to Rhema



Yes. I've seen study results like this before. I've never seen it play out like that in real life, though. (Twice, I've seen people requiring aid after leaving a violent movie - 80s action violence, not horror - and both times, people who were leaving the same movie rushed to assist.) So, I'm going to stick with what I've personally witnessed, over and over again, for almost 30 years, as opposed to conclusions reached in a study involving 20 minutes of videogame play and a staged fight.

 

I'm glad you've never made your choices based on the popular or easy way. You're obviously a parenting superstar. Making the popular and/or easy choice is all I ever do, of course. Otherwise, I'd have made the exact same decisions as you. (If that's not how you meant that to come across, you might want to rethink your wording. I have to assume you did mean it to sound snottily superior, though, as I can see no other reason to randomly interject - twice - that you don't choose to parent the easy or popular way.)


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#25 of 26 Old 10-12-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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I don't know how easy it would be to get a copy of but I think "I saw what you did"  would be an ok one.


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#26 of 26 Old 10-17-2011, 08:37 AM
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My boys liked Ghostbusters, Jaws, and The Lost Boys. The first two we watched last October, when they were in K and 2nd grade, and we watched The Lost Boys last week. I'm not a huge fan of horror movies but things that are more campy than scary are fun for Halloween. 

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