The other day Jackson asked me, “Why do people even make scary movies?” Whenever we go to the movies he has to stand outside the theater and wait until the previews are over and I can give him the all-clear. We went through this routine before Real Steel, Jackson standing in the hallway eating popcorn until I could confirm that all the previews were of Happy Feet 2 caliber.
But TV can spring some grisly business on you if you don’t have your gun hand on the remote, and it was after a brush with a TV spot for some late-night monsterfest that Jackson got exasperated. He must have reached some sort of internal tipping point where he finally had to question the motives of anyone who would create something that’s sole purpose was to make other people feel terrible.
Here’s the answer I gave him: “Some filmmakers have horrible thoughts in their heads, and one of the ways they get those thoughts out of their heads,” (here I mimed taking my head off and placing it on a shelf in front of me) “is to put them up on screen so they can look at them and see if they’re true.”
Jackson was quiet for a moment. “That actually makes sense, Mom,” he finally said, and I was briefly pleased with myself.
It’s just a theory.
I hate scary movies, my husband hates scary movies, and if somehow we’ve passed that sensitivity along to our son I think it’s because way down deep inside there’s a primitive, superstitious, mystical part of us that’s afraid that everything depicted in these movies is true.
So this Halloween, our family is skipping right over our nation’s annual viewing of Halloween, and right after Jackson gets finished terrorizing the neighborhood in his slightly-too-small Scream costume, we’ll be cuing up Hannah and Her Sisters. That’s right, it’s almost time for Thanksgiving movies! And that’s the only one I can think of.
But wait ’til you see what we have lined up for Christmas.