Horror Movies and Kids: A Scary Combination — Betsy Bozdech, Brandy McDonnell, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow and Liz Whittemore comment

Research shows that, on average, kids see horror movies as young as 7 years old. And we’ve all noticed members of the PG crowd at decidedly R-rated movies — in fact, when my daughter was in the second grade, she had multiple classmates who’d seen “It.” And that’s a problem. While research indicates that media violence doesn’t directly make kids who are exposed to it more aggressive, some studies do suggest that, combined with other risk factors — including things like substance abuse and conflict at home — media violence can contribute to violent behavior.

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THE SHED – Preview by Liz Whittemore

As an orphan living with his abusive grandfather (Timothy Bottoms) and always under the watchful eye of the local sheriff, life sucks for Stan (Jay Jay Warren). But he’s got it better than his best friend Dommer (Cody Kostro) whom he regularly defends from the school bullies. Additionally, their best friend Roxy (newcomer Sofia Happonen, Stan’s schoolboy crush, has fallen in with the cool crowd, who constantly harass Stan and Dommer.

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MARY – Review by Liz Whittemore

Mary brings sea-faring scares but might be a sinking ship. Genuinely frightening visual moments and a fantastically effective score by The Newton Brothers add to the atmosphere of terror. What I was missing is the clarification between the siren legend and missing children specifically. Sirens tend to temp sailors to their death, while adding in an entirely separate curse aspect into the story feels a bit muddled.

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THE FANATIC – Review by Liz Whittemore

John Travolta is one of our most iconic actors with his ability to bounce from Grease to Saturday Night Fever and then his triumphant comeback in Pulp Fiction. His portrayal of hitman Vincent is sexy and cool. It reminded us what we had been missing after years of mediocre roles. Travolta was a bonafide Hollywood movie star. That’s what makes him producing and starring in a The Fanatic so damn perplexing.

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AFTER THE WEDDING – Review by Elizabeth Whittemore

Secrets only lead to heartbreak. After The Wedding is a stunning gender-swap remake putting the focus on mothers. A spotlight is shown upon the choices a woman makes in both career and as a caretaker. This film has a beautiful commentary on generational relationships as well as the steps we take to maintain image and peace. The cast is truly phenomenal and the cinematography breathtaking. After The Wedding is a relatable story from every angle. The path of our lives cannot be controlled no matter how hard we try.

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ONE CHILD NATION – Review by Liz Whittemore

Comprised of intimate first hand accounts and government made propaganda, One Child Nation will undoubtedly tap into your soul. If you are a mother, it will offend your understanding of the world. How can government care so little for the lives of its own citizens? Fighting back, telling stories is what brings enlightenment to the ignorant and empowers progressive change. One Child Nation shows us how great filmmaking can educate a new generation. You can’t rewrite history but you can prevent it from ever happening again.

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