About thirty minutes into the movie, I realized that about three rows in front of me sat a little boy who could not be more than five or six years old. The movie was R rated and already I had been offended by the content. There had already been tons of curse words used as well as some bloody, violent scenes. The material in the movie only got worse. After I had noticed the child nestled in between what seemed to be his parents and grandparents, I was unable to pay attention to the movie, much less try to enjoy it. My gut feeling was to go ask if I could take the child into the lobby and play with him until the movie was over. By the end of the movie about four people died including a scene in which a man was killed with an axe through the chest. As he lay on the floor oozing blood, the couple who had killed him had sex on the bed. I think that a couple of times the grandmother may have covered the little boys eyes, but not often enough, nor did she attempt to cover his little ears.
When the movie was over I felt truly sick. I could not believe that the poor child had been subjected to such an experience. As we left the theater I thought to myself, how could his parents take him to such a film, how often does he have to sit through these types of movies, why was he not home in bed (it was now about midnight on a school night), would he ever forget some of the images that he had just seen, and why couldn't the theater restrict his parents from taking him into a film that was not appropriate or healthy for him?
The issue of children and movies had never been an issue to me until that night. Now I see the great importance of ratings, reviews, and any other measure that can be taken to educate moviegoers as to the true content of films. It is hard to believe that parents do not realize how fragile the minds of children are and how easily they can be affected for life. I can remember the first horror movie that I saw when I was in fifth grade and how for several weeks I had nightmares due to the film. I can only imagine the dreams that the little boy had after the movie we saw.
The purpose of this site is to examine the current state of movie ratings and what is being done to protect children from possible harmful experiences. Each page gives a different look at this topic and can be read in any order.
Created by Wendy Simons
Last updated December 3, 1998