How to Explain Movie Plots to Children Who Shouldn't Be Watching Those Films
This all started because my five-year-old wanted to go to "Zombietown", which is this local haunted house on a farm. Rest assured, my five-year-old doesn't have the slightest clue what would happen in Zombietown nor is he even remotely old enough to go to this nor do I have the slightest intention of taking him. He just knows that he wants to go.
So my response to him was that before he could go to Zombietown, he needed to watch and make it through a scary movie. Now, keep in mind that this is a kid who covered his eyes during the bear fight in "Brave" and barely made it through the first Harry Potter film. Naturally, I suggested he watch the second Harry Potter film, but he didn't seem to think that was scary enough.
Thus ensued a conversation about what scary movies I had seen and what they were about. And this was no short conversation. It went on and on. And continues to go on and on. He basically wants to know about every scary movie ever made. So here are the plot summaries of various scary movies described in a way that's appropriate for a five-year-old.
At what age is it appropriate for a child to watch a real horror movie?
- Friday the 13th - A bunch of kids go camping and are chased by a large guy who wants to hurt them.
- Halloween - A girl is chased around a town by a big guy in a hockey mask.
- The Exorcist - A little girl gets sick and turns green and a priest tries to get the green stuff out of her but fails (bringing about the inevitable question: Why didn't they go to a doctor instead of a priest?).
- The Shining - A man, his wife, and their young son go on a vacation in the mountains and stay in a giant hotel all by themselves, but there are ghosts and dad kind of goes crazy.
- Dawn of the Dead - A bunch of people die and come back to life and try to eat the people who aren't dead.
- Suspiria - A woman goes to dance school and meets a bunch of witches.
- Rosemary's Baby - A woman gets pregnant and believes that her baby is going to be a monster instead of a regular baby.
- The Thing - A bunch of people work in the artic where it's really cold and begin to believe that some of the people might be monsters and not real people even though they look exactly like real people.
- Alien - Mr. Ollivander gets a tummy ache.
- Psycho - This guy named Norman runs a hotel and dresses up in his mom's clothes even though his mom is not alive anymore.
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre - A guy wearing a mask decides to use his tools to hurt people instead of to fix things.
- Audition - A Japanese woman puts a guy in a bag.
- Frankenstein - A doctor makes a person out of parts and it doesn't turn out that well.
- King Kong - A giant gorilla is discovered on an island and this guy tries to bring him to America to show him off but the gorilla escapes and climbs to the top of a tall building to swat at planes.
- Eraserhead - A guy with really bad hair has a baby that's really ugly.
- The Fog - You remember when we were driving and the park looked like it had a cloud sitting on it? Well, in this movie, that stuff kind of moves around a town and people are really scared of it and they run away.
- Dead Ringers - It's about these two doctors who look exactly alike because they're twins and they're also really creepy and only women go to see them.
- Phantasm - It's about this little metal ball that flies around and a sharp, pokey thing comes out of it and it pokes people and they don't like it.
- The Vanishing - It's about this couple who's on vacation and then the girlfriend disappears and the boyfriend tries to find her but can't.
- The Sixth Sense - It's about a guy who doesn't realize he's a ghost.
- Ring - It's not about a ring, so I don't know why it's called that. Basically, there's this videotape, which is what we used to watch before DVDs, and people watch it and then after they watch it they disappear.
- The Silence of the Lambs - This woman who works for the FBI, which is like the police, more or less, talks to this really bad man in prison and because he likes her, he helps her catch another really bad man who's not in prison.
- The Evil Dead II - A guy cuts off his hand and it chases him around.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street - A girl, who lives on Elm Street, has a nightmare, and a guy comes out of her nightmare named Freddy and he has knives for fingers and he tries to cut people with them.
- The Birds - A woman goes on vacation and birds try to peck her.
- The Fly - A guy does a science experiment and accidentally messes up his inner parts and slowly starts turning into a giant fly and scaring his girlfriend.
- Carrie - There's this girl named Carrie and when the other girls at her high school start making fun of her, she uses her brain magic to scare them.
- Don't Look Now - A couple of parents get really sad when their daughter falls in a lake because she can't swim.
- Jaws - A giant shark swims in the ocean and eats people.
Other Movies Kids Shouldn't Be Watching That Require Explanation
- The Godfather - It's about a big family that runs a business and there are two sons and one son is loud and obnoxious and the other son is thoughtful and calm and smart and when the father dies, the thoughtful one takes over the family business.
- Scarface - A man from Cuba comes to the United States and starts putting a lot of stuff up his nose that he shouldn't put there and he hurts a lot of people.
- Reservoir Dogs - It's about a group of guys who are all named after colors, so like Mr. Orange and Mr. Pink. These guys steal some stuff from a jewelry store and then begin to think that one of them might be telling on the others to the police.
- Fight Club - One guy meets another guy who makes soap and together they form a club where guys get together and hit each other.
- The Matrix - A man named Neo discovers that he's kind of been dreaming his whole life and he has two lives, one inside his dreams and one outside his dreams, and that his dreams are controlled by a giant computer, sort of.
- Seven - A couple of police officers, who are called detectives because they don't wear uniforms, try to figure out why somebody is doing bad things to people and at the end one of the detectives gets a present in a box.
- Citizen Kane - A man dreams about the sled he had when he was a boy.
- Taxi Driver - It's exactly what the title says. It's about a guy who drives a taxi. That's his job.
- A Clockwork Orange - It's about a bunch of friends who listen to classical music and run around beating people up and then the leader gets caught and some people teach him that it's not nice to beat people up.
- Basic Instinct - A woman loses an ice pick and a police detective thinks she might have hidden it in her underwear, but she proves that it's not in her underwear.
Some Random TV Shows
- Game of Thrones - There's this girl with some dragons and she' trying to rule the kingdom. Then there's a nice family and they're trying to rule the kingdom. Then there's a mean family and they're trying to rule the kingdom. And there are a bunch of other people who also want to rule the kingdom, some of them mean and some of them nice. And then there's a dwarf who's part of the mean family but who is really pretty nice and we like him.
- The Good Wife - There's this woman whose husband does some naughty stuff and gets sent to jail, so she gets a job as a lawyer and she tries to be a good person and help people even though she lives in Chicago and it's not that easy.
- Breaking Bad - A chemistry teacher and one of this former students decide to make drugs and sell them to people and they discover that they make a lot of money doing this. The teacher really likes the money and the power and the student kind of likes the money, but not the power so much. They meet a lot of interesting people who want their money and their drugs.
- Deadwood - A bunch of people move to a new town in the old West, which was like more than 100 years ago, and they all seem to have potty mouths, except the sheriff.
- 100 Best Horror Films - Scariest Movies - Time Out London
The 100 best horror films list, as voted by experts. From Halloween to The Haunting, this is the definitive list of the 100 scariest movies