Back in October, I picked out some of the scariest scary movies you could find on Netflix. My requirements, however, were minimal blood and guts, nothing crazy paranormal, and nothing too nightmare-inducing (for me, I mean). I made a list on my Netflix profile and we’ve continued to stare at that selection month after month (because I forgot to delete them after I did my “research”).
While I have no desire to give my now 8-year-old son anything more to fear (seriously – he’s scared of his room, the closet, the basement, the shower, etc.). But sometimes, you just can’t take one. more. kid. movie. I just couldn’t. I needed something adult but it’s hard to find an adult movie that still feels somewhat appropriate for a kid. We often dabble in PG-13 territory because we’ve found that many PG movies of yesteryear are WAY worse than the PG-13 movies of today.
Example: Airplane! is rated PG and while some mature themes went over my son’s head, the flash of a woman’s tatas across the screen was somewhat unexpected.
So last night, I convinced my son to watch his first Stephen King movie.
For years, I’ve talked about the story of The Langoliers, a short story from Stephen King about a group of travelers that somehow travel through time rip into the land of the Langoliers who eat up the remnants of time after it passes. Evan was fascinated by the story but scared to death of anything by Stephen King (I’ve warned him about movies like Maximum Overdrive, Christine, and Children of the Corn).
Since The Langoliers was actually created as a made-for-TV miniseries, I figured it couldn’t be too bad. I’ve actually seen it before and didn’t remember it being too scary but then again, I’m not 8 years old. So we turned it on and shortly after we started, Evan started getting scared, mainly from anticipation of scary parts, the Langolier parts in particular.
So I did what any good parent would do and googled the monsters so he could see exactly what they looked like. And even though I’d seen this movie before, I didn’t realize how bad the animation was 20 years ago until I saw them again for myself.
We decided they looked like really scary clams. But once he got a look at what was to come, he wasn’t nearly as worried. He was tense, for sure, and we gripped each other’s arms while sitting on the couch together and made it to the end.
Oddly enough, I nixed the idea of watching another two hour movie because I didn’t want any of use to stay up late (I was tired from a lot of travel). I put on The Langoliers thinking we’d try it out, watch half, and save the rest for the next night. Instead, we watched all three hours in one sitting and stayed up way too late.
The good news is that there were no nightmares primarily because my kid of the 2000s can see cheesy animation from a mile away. We had cheesy dialogue to match so it all worked out in the end.
If you’re kid is looking for a scary movie, but not too scary, you might want to check out The Langoliers. If you pay close attention, you’ll even hear some references in the script to the not-yet-written novel 11-22-63 and even seen an appearance by Stephen King himself.
Have you watched any scary movies with your kids? I’d love to hear your other suggestions.
This post was written as part of my role on the Netflix Stream Team. All opinions are my own.