Despite the best efforts of the MPAA, kids have a tendency to see movies they probably shouldn’t watch. Movies are how lots of kids first see boobs or learn new curse words, but there are also flicks that scar kids for life. In a particularly vibrant discussion, Redditors have been sharing the films that “scarred them for life” in the years before they could go to an R-rated movie unattended.
The movies that seem to have caused the most trauma are, unsurprisingly horror films. User annihilatingrhythm described what it was like after sneaking into The Exorcist at 12: “I didn’t sleep for an entire summer. One morning, about 6am, a woodpecker or some bird got into our attic and was pecking and flying back and forth. I woke up my younger brother and sister, made them come with me to the attic door. I made them hold hands with me and say the Our Father. I was out of my mind.”
Another saw Pet Semetary and still has a vivid, oddly specific fear: “I still get a little freaked when getting out of bed in the middle of night for fear a crazy undead child will slice my Achilles with a knife.”
But it’s not just horror movies that freak kids out. The Wizard of Oz made getting through Hurricane Harvey even more stressful for user brutallyhonestfemale. James and the Giant Peach — a kid’s movie! — gave user 3losersinatrenchcoat an “irrational fear of insects and insects inside fruits.”
What’s also interesting is that for every kid who snuck into a theatre or watched a movie with an older sibling there seems to be one whose parent (usually dad) approved the movie. Not many ten-year-olds can handle A Clockwork Orange or Kill Bill, but that didn’t stop at least two dads from trying.
Of course, dads also have legendary senses of humor, and maybe our favorite story involves an 11-year-old who saw The Ring: “My dad had the nerve to call my friend’s house right after we finished watching it. Scared us shitless.”