being a mom

My Parents Were Horrible People Because They Let Me Watch The Exorcist As A Kid

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It was a dark and stormy night! For reals. And my mother was out of town attending my great grandmother’s funeral, and my father gathered my sisters and me into their ginourmous king-sized bed and let us watch The Exorcist on TV. What the hell was he thinking? It should be noted that my poor dad is now dead so I can’t ask him, but I remember he did get yelled at by my mother at the time. I also remember he let us eat Doritos that night and he fell asleep pretty much right after the movie started and all I can remember is hiding under the covers and being too scared to watch, too scared to leave the room, and too scared to get up on change the channel (In the way back, we didn’t have any remote controls, yo). Taco flavored Doritos are still terrifying and I still can’t watch The Exorcist!

I get why The Exorcist is a great movie. I get why it was nominated for ten Oscars and why it won some of them and why it is included in the National Film Registry selected by The Library Of Congress but because I saw it when I was around twelve-years-old I can’t even deal with channel surfing and coming across this movie playing and seeing any of the scenes for even 5 seconds. It’s so scary! The music is scary! Ellen Burstyn has scary hair in it! And I won’t let my kids watch it, not even my teenager who wanted to watch it when he had one of his dorky cool dude friends over and they told me they could handle watching it because they have seen other scary movies.

I love horror movies. In the way back, I was a sort of fringe famous horror writer (yes, published.) I love the genre, I love reading horror and Halloween and all of it. I’m a rabid, raving horror fan. I have a list of horror movies I will never let my kids watch while they are under my roof. Not only because I’m not sure even my eldest at sixteen is mature enough to not be bothered by them, but because I’m too freaked out by some of them even at my ripe, old age that I don’t even want to discuss them! For someone who considers herself to be a lover of horror, I can’t even bring myself to talk about The Exorcist because it’s just too scary. Insert sad face emoticon here.

I don’t think it’s the religious aspect of the movie. I don’t think it’s because I’m terrified of having one of my kids demonically possessed or something. It’s just the movie is so well made and smart and well acted and for being an old movie, the special effects are pretty amazing. Or maybe if I watched it now I wouldn’t be as afraid of it and I would laugh at myself for being such a chicken. But I don’t know, because this morning I saw this video and even though it’s a very funny idea I even got scared by it. Time for another sad face emoticon!
[youtube_iframe id=”0qnQvg3JheY”]
As much as I love scary movies, I’m still going to be a not-fun mom and forbid my kids from seeing certain ones. I know a lot of parents let their kids watch horror movies, and I do think it depends on the kid and their age and watch movie they are seeing. I let my oldest watch things I would never let my younger kids watch. Part of me even likes the idea of my oldest seeing certain movies behind my back, just because I think a certain amount of rebellion is good for kids in establishing their own identities and learning about who they are as people. My son is so into conversing about everything though that he usually ends up telling me if he has seen a scary movie and asking me what I thought about it. Just not The Exorcist. He knows I’m too chicken to discuss that one.

(photo: Jeff Thrower/shutterstock)