A Nightmare Indeed: Irresponsible Parenting & Traumatized Children

I just came from a screening of the remake, A Nightmare on Elm Street, at Edwards Marq*E here in Houston and I may not be able to sleep tonight.  Not because of Freddy but because I am so LIVID at what I saw happen with the children at the theater.

Before I get to the story, here is IMDB’s description of the plot:

A re-imagining of the horror icon Freddy Krueger, a serial-killer who wields a glove with four blades embedded in the fingers and kills people in their dreams, resulting in their real death in reality.

What they don’t tell you about the remake:

In the original 1984 movie, Robert Englund plays a psychopathic child killer. In this remake, they take it one step further and add the twist of him being a child molester as well into the plot. That fact is not explicitly stated in the trailer or any of the promotional material. In any case, that’s not why we’re upset. The movie in of itself was actually pretty good for a new-age horror movie.

Note: Minor Movie Spoiler Alert

Here’s why Megan and I are so upset.

We get that a rated-R movie allows cinemas the right to sell tickets to children as long as a parent is with them. But the new A Nightmare on Elm Street should not be rated R, considering they have turned Freddie into a child molester who comes back from the dead to kill the children he molested. It should be rated NC-17 so NO child can get in. After all, it is a graphic and blunt theme in the movie.

Irregardless, this was a promotional screening so nobody paid for a single ticket. Prior to the commencement of the movie, the representative for whatever organization put this on was being very selective about whom they let in and were open about discouraging large amounts of people from getting in line for overflow seats. Out of those that remained in line, there was at least one family which included children of the approximate ages of seven, five, three, and a 4-month old baby. To accommodate this group, the representative walked them in personally and sat them directly in the front row.

These are the same people who fought with us about bringing a cell-phone in. In the theater there were at least 5-7 employees scanning isles for recorders and cell phones throughout the movie. Naturally, when Freddy started slashing people up the kids started crying. I heard not one, but multiple babies, in addition to toddlers, crying at various points in this movie. This whole time, not 1 employee asked parents to step out based on their kids disturbing the audience.

As A Nightmare on Elm Street wore on it was revealed that Freddy molested pre-school kids on top of torturing them, and the kids in the theater kept screaming. Again, not one employee moved but they were sure looking hard for those pesky cell phones and video recorders. The traumatized cries of the kids in the seats and on their parents’ laps just blended in with the sound effects and gore of the characters on-screen.

As we walked out of the theater, representatives for whoever handled this screening were asking movie-goers what they thought of the film. We first walked past and almost made it out of the theater before we walked back to tell these people what we thought.

“What organization are you with?”

Response: “A local group representing Warner Brothers… mumble, mumble, mumble…”

“How dare you let babies, children into a movie about a child molester?”

Response: “We can’t control who people bring to our movies.”

Before we left, we also posed the same question to the theater manager on-duty but all she could manage in response to our questions was speechlessness and a dropped jaw.

Tragic.

There are some parents out there that will say this type of thing is okay and kids shouldn’t be sheltered. I agree to an extent but children shouldn’t learn about the dangers of child predators from a movie like this in the same sense that parents shouldn’t pop in Ron Jeremy’s classic pornos to teach their children about sex. Seeing the wrong thing at a young age can have a profound effect on the young. I remember watching the movie It as a child and to this day, I still have a complex about clowns! Over-exposing children is NOT a good thing.

To those parents that brought their young children to this movie… shame on you.

I never thought I’d be “that guy” that would be so upset about an issue like this. Now that I have a 4-month old son of my own, I finally understand. Kids shouldn’t be exposed to this type of subject matter, in this way, this early in life. At best, you’re taking away their innocence and at worst, you run the risk of leaving a permanent scar on their ever-so-fragile psyche.

The same type of parents that would take their young children to movies about child molesters that kill them in their dreams have them dancing to explicit dumb sh*t on YouTube and think its cute. Get a clue! And for the sake of those kids, please find some common sense so they can grow up the right way.

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