“You Let Our Kids Watch What!?” Halloween Preview Edition

Hacking the Holidays Movies

TheshiningTheshiningLike any good GeekParent, I like to share my favorite TV and movies with my kids — forgetting that a lot of what I watched as a teen was “edited for television” … and that 12-year-old girls are “older” than 12-year-old boys. Hence my faux pas in bringing home a boxed set of the old Monty Python series, complete with numerous nude scenes.

But do I learn? Apparently not.

This year for Halloween, in lieu of trick or treating, I suggested the boys stay home to hand out goodies to the littler kids in the neighborhood and watch a classic horror film. Then I reserved four videos from the library system, because you can never tell how long it will take for a request to come in, and I wanted to make sure they’d have at least one good feature to watch. Actually went to this list of Top 50 scariest movies of all time to pick them out! What am I, nuts?

Well, next thing I know, a quiet night at home has turned into having two friends over to dress up (one last time!) and hit the free candy circuit, then enjoy an all-night screening of blood and gore. Yes, they plan to watch all four flicks, assuming the movies get to our local branch by Friday. And, yes, both my kids (and hopefully, their friends) have grown out of that stage of pillow-over-the-face when a creepy commercial comes on, to actively seeking out fun scares. But with my luck, none of those kids will be able to sleep for a week.

So here’s what’s on the bill, and my excuses for picking them:

The Shining: The 12-year-old has been bugging me to see this ever since I had the poor judgment to show him this spoof trailer. After which, I had to explain the joke to him by telling him what the movie was really about and show him the real trailer. (Too gruesome to post here, you’ll have to find that link yourself!)

The Fly remake: “Help me! Help me!” We’ve seen the Vincent Price original, but not the 1986 David Cronenberg/Jeff Goldblum version. So we have to catch up.

Night of the Living Dead: Because the younger GeekSon is going through a zombie phase. (That’s what he’s going as — no costume needed!)

Halloween: Their pick. For obvious reasons.

What did I have the self-control to avoid? Silence of the Lambs (too kinky). Event Horizon (watched it by myself late one night, thinking it was sci-fi. I still get flashbacks.)

Less admirably, what’s on the list that they’ve already seen? Alien, Cloverfield, Blair Witch Project, War of the Worlds (both the classic version and the chilling remake — in which I was an extra), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 and 1978 versions) and Jaws.

What, in hindsight, do I wish I had picked instead? Something like Dracula or An American Werewolf in London more corny than grisly.

Are you looking forward to sharing Friday the 13th with your kids? Or protecting them from Poltergeist? What’s on your family’s scary movie list?

UPDATE: Everything except Halloween has come in. And in case you were wondering where the GeekDad in the family stood on all this, he’s just agreed to take a bike ride tomorrow to pick up a copy from another library, 25 miles away.

When she’s not making bad parenting choices, Kathy Ceceri shares her child-rearing expertise in articles for newspapers and magazines.

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