Sunday, October 12, 2008

Not Intended for Children Under...10?

I Am Legend is on HBO this month, and I just recently finished watching it. I say "finished" because the first time I sat down to watch it it started to freak me out and since I was planning on trying to sleep soon, I decided to Tivo the rest of it and watch it later. It took me a few more nights to get through the whole thing. Not because it was a bad movie, but because it was seriously creeping me out, and watching something that makes my stomach all tight and my heart pound right before bed doesn't generally lead to a solid night's sleep for me. Once I got past the scene where--*spoiler alert if you haven't seen it, but it's not like you can't see it coming*--the dog dies, I did relax a bit. That was just something that was building and the anticipation and dread of waiting to see what happened to her put me totally on edge.

In a discussion at work the other day about the movie (after everyone finished laughing at me), someone casually mentioned that her son loves the movie and probably knows every line from it. Her son is just a few weeks younger than my daughter who is NINE. We also talked about horror movies in general, and several of the movies that were brought up I remember as being pretty scary when I saw them as a teenager (Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, When a Stranger Calls). I would never let my daughter watch them now, but again, my friend with the 9 year-old boy thinks nothing of letting him watch scary movies like these.

I think part of her logic is that he is a boy, and boys view that kind of scary, gory stuff differently. That may be true, but I still think there is a certain basic maturity level that should be present before a child is exposed to certain things. Trust me, my daughter is WAY more mature than this kid, and there is no way she is viewing some of the stuff he might be allowed to see.

When I was a kid I was never allowed to watch R rated movies. I don't think PG-13 existed yet. When we first got HBO I remember sneaking down to the basement to watch some movies in the middle of the night. I kept the sound really low and stood right in front of the TV, ready to shut it off if anyone came down. (Pre-remote days, of course.) My parents might have been a bit extreme, as by junior high I'm sure I could have handled at least some R rated films. But I think I'm glad I wasn't allowed to watch them at age 9.

Even though I'm not a huge fan of horror movies, I still think this quiz is really cool. After 7 minutes I only had 21 out of 50.