A recent conversation I had on Twitter got me thinking about my ten-year-old’s horror kick lately. She’s been dying to be let loose on the R-rated vaults so she can have full access to some of the scariest and most vile horror flicks out there. Simply put, she wants to be terrified. And while I have to admit the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, the mom in me has to temper the urge to share my love of horror with the fact that she’s, well, ten. Oh and it doesn’t help my decision any that I’m sure she would tell every neighbor kid (and their parents) that “My mom let me watch [insert gory/inappropriate horror flick here] last night”.
In an effort to appease her zeal for things-that-go-bump-in-the-night, my husband and I have desperately been trying to find movies that are just scary enough to tide her over until she’s older, yet not so scary that she’ll end up in therapy…or worse, sleeping in our bed until she gets her driver’s license. (Believe me, it’s not as easy as it sounds with this kid.)
We started off slow with a little Signs by M. Night Shyamalan (you’d laugh if you heard me try to pronounce his name, by the way). Our thinking was that it’s freaky, but not really scary. Yeah…she practically yawned. Don’t get me wrong, she fashioned her tinfoil hat with the best of them, but the fright factor just wasn’t there for her. She needed more.
Next up, Poltergeist. We even watched while we were camping in the woods thinking this has got to scare her, right??? What I remembered about it: Scary clowns, a monstrous tree that attacks, and Carol Anne’s creepy voice as she announced, “They’re here.” What my daughter saw: Lame 1980’s special effects. Period. Let’s just say, she slept just fine.
Okay, so we break out the big guns. Well, big guns for a ten-year-old, and decide to let her watch The Sixth Sense. Ghosts, gruesome corpses, the whole nine yards.
Her take: It was cool. Kinda creepy. Not really scary, though.
So the other day we’re walking up to the front door and she tells me that in order to kill a zombie you have to do a “double tap”.
Me: “What’s a double-tap?”
Her: “You know, you shoot ‘em once in the brain, and then you shoot ‘em again, just to be sure. A double-tap.”
Me: “Where did you learn that?”
Her: “I watched Zombieland at a sleepover.”
Me: (Okayyyy…) “Well…were you scared?”
Her: (shrugs) “Not really. It was kinda funny.”
So I haven’t seen Zombieland, but I’m thinking it’s a little worse than PG-rated Poltergeist. But it also got me to thinking about what my favorite horror movies of all time were (not that most of these are on the potential list for my daughter’s eyes…yet), and I decided to make a list.
Here’s what I came up with:
Rosemary’s Baby (scarier as a book, but a great classic too)
Nightmare on Elm Street (the original, of course) (probably not as cool if I watched it today)
When a Stranger Calls (“The calls are coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE.”!!!!!) (Another one that I’m sure would be disappointing if I were to watch it now)
Dawn of the Dead
The Silence of the Lambs
Alien (parts 1 and 2)
The Sixth Sense
The Shining (the book and the movie)
And the two movies that are on my “I-can-NEVER-EVER-watch-them-because-I’m-too-chicken” list are:
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Without even seeing these ones, I already know that they’re the kind of movies that will have me worried about waking up in the middle of the night and finding someone (or something) in my bedroom. *shudders at the thought*
So, what do you guys think? Suggestions for my ten-year-old. Suggestions for me. What are some of your all time favorite horror flicks???