Pan’s Labyrinth

Oh yes, the ‘suitable for all ages’ U-rated love letter to Brian Froud, Jim Henson’s creature workshop, David Bowie and a pair of tight trousers! A fantasy movie with lots of fond memories and songs to get the kids into Bowie early! Oh wait… that’s Labyrinth. Apparently parents missed the extra word in the title. 
PAN’S Labyrinth is a fantasy horror set in the Spanish Civil War, with torture, amputation, disturbing creatures and an even more disturbing human monster in the form of the handsome, charming, utterly deranged Captain Vidal. It’s also in Spanish. 

The Exorcist 

Really?! Apparently so. When I was researching this post, so many people said that The Exorcist was the film they watched at a much younger age than they should, and that Regan’s terrifying face haunted their nightmares for weeks! 
How? Well, for a long time The Exorcist was considered the scariest movie out there, and there had been a lot of hype, so for a kid wanting to see ‘a scary movie’, that was the VHS to sneak out of the collection and take to a sleepover. At least, that’s the story I kept hearing! 

Starship Troopers

To kids watching it too young, it’s a sci-fi action movie with naked bits, monsters and gore. To adults, it’s all the above but in a very obvious political satire! (“Do you want to know more…?”) 
Adults and kids saw the title and the cover art and assumed it was more ‘Action Man’ than ‘Alien’. Well, there’s definitely a lot of action……..

Child’s Play

Mum, can we rent this movie? 
What’s it called? 
Child’s Play! 
What’s it about? 
A little boy whose doll comes to life. 
That sounds nice. 

The original ‘video nasty’ that sparked an early 1990s moral panic and was apparently seen by many people, much too young. Even today, while the possessed ‘Chucky’ doll has become a cult character, he still freaks a lot of people out! 

Watership Down

You knew this one was coming, didn’t you; the ultimate kid-traumatiser! Torture, murder and gore are bad enough, but cute little bunnies doing it make it all ten times worse. Before ‘grown up’ anime and films like Studio Ghibli’s ‘Princess Mononoke’ started to get more mainstream attention, people often assumed that any animated movie must be for young kids. Even TV networks made the same mistake two years in a row, broadcasting Watership Down over Easter Sunday(!!) 
In 2023, it was reclassified from a U certificate to a PG. And in my opinion, that’s not high enough for a movie about genocide!

Ross’s two cents…


A movie about cop who gets turned into a Robot and fights crime? Sign me up said 10 year old me. Mu mum picked it up on VHS for me for Jawsmas when I was a kid and I pestered her and pestered her to let me watch it before xmas (sorry mum). She relented. My excitement of inserting that RoboCop VHS into the player was was palpable. Our hero Murphy had been set up brilliantly as the all-American cop with a family transferring into a troubled precinct. He goes out on his first day with new partner Lewis and runs into Clarence Bodicker and his gang, seems to get the upper hand then… that upper hand is blown off and Murphy is massacred. I had not experinced the intense and graphic destruction of a human being like that. And it left me traumatised. But I wanted to see Murphy even the score. And (spoilers) he does.

By Faith Roswell (with additional text by Ross WIlliams)

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