I love Batman. Loved him ever since I saw Batman (1989) when I was probably 3 or 4 years old. When Batman Returns came out, my mom took my brother and I to see it in theaters, even though I was only in kindergarten and my brother must have been in pre-school. I remember the theater being almost completely empty, so no doubt we went to the first matinee, which was typical for my family.
In retrospect, I'm a little shocked that my mom did that, though I'm also so thankful she did. I loved that movie, especially Michelle Pfieffer's rendition of Catwoman and Tim Burton's costume/set designs. But let's be honest, it's a dark movie. There's a ton of violence and gore. There's one scene where Catwoman scratches some woman's face, leaving bloody claw marks across her skin, and I distinctly remember my Mom leaning over and whispering, "It's just ketchup."
And you know what? I was like, yeah, that's just ketchup. It's not real. I wasn't remotely freaked out.
So how did my Mom know that I, a kindergartner, could handle that? Because I think her judgement was spot on, and I gained by getting to see one of my all-time favorite movies.
I don't have kids, and I'm not planning on having kids anytime soon, but with all the fun sci-fi and action movies coming out this summer, it's been making me think about how you know when your kids should get to watch what look to be some awesome, but admittedly violent movies. I'm psyched for Suicide Squad. But would I take a kid to see it? Would they enjoy it?
Maybe it has something to do with the cartooniness of the violence, as in the case of Batman Returns. But what about Batman v. Superman? Captain America? And how about a hundred other borderline movies? I'm a big believer that kids can handle scarier stuff than we give them credit, but I don't know where you draw the line. You want them to have fun and see a good story, but you also don't want to be that psychotic parent that lets their kids watch Saw III.
Any parents out there have a violent movies litmus test they'd like to share?
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