The Impact Of Horror Films On Kids

By KBJR News 1

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 2:52 PM CDT

Posted by Melissa Burlaga

Horror films have been a popular genre for teens for years.

And this year, Movie producers are scheduled to release over 30 expected big box office.

But with new technology – they are more graphic, realistic, and accessible than ever before.

What is the impact? Alison Wade has more in this week's Connect with Kids.

Terror...violence...blood and gore.

Today, horror movies seem scarier and more real than ever before.

"It seems like it's more real to life, even though most of that stuff– it won't really happen."

And while many of these films are restricted to older teens...the advertisements are not.

"I'm seeing them on myspace and like on Facebook and stuff."

"on youtube I do sometimes."

"yeah, some of it is, like, um, it's just really graphic, like with the knife and the blood splattering everywhere."

Experts say for some kids, the horror may be too much too soon.

"There absolutely is a time that's too early to expose children to that kind of vivid violence, particularly because of the reality with the new technology. And what happens is when these films become so realistic, the kids have more trouble distinguishing between 'oh, that's a frightening film and this is something that could really happen'."

Experts say parents really should use the motion picture ratings. For pg–13, for example, kids under 13 shouldn't see the movie ...or should see it with their parents.

And then later If their child wakes up frightened teach them it's all just acting, and ketchup, and special effects.
"I think it's important to calm them and to talk about the difference between reality and fiction."

"They kind of talk to me and tell me that it's not exactly real. It's just special effects that they use and just not to be afraid because there's a one of a million chance that that actually happens."

Click on the connect with kids icon on our website, for printed parent tip sheets and additional information on this connect with kids report.