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Friday 31 October 2014

Family Horror Films

Cover of "The Monster Squad (Two-Disc 20t...
Cover via Amazon
This great little piece and listing from Empire magazine shows why many of my generation had such a dark childhood. The '70s and '80s were a quirky time for kids with many films precariously set between childish imaginings and adult violence. "The Monster Squad" was a 15 certificate horror comedy featuring the Universal Studios group monster favourites being battled by a bunch of children. The film featured adult humour, including the revelation that "Wolfman  has nards!", and a fair bit of gore too. "Robocop" was not a horror movie, but it wasn't really a superhero movie either. It was an 18 certificate dark satire about consumerism and capitalism, where everything had a price, but it was marketed at children with action figures and toys associated with the movie on sale in time for its release. Its sequel also bore an 18 certificate and was even darker, but eventually we had children's cartoon series.

My generation of children were hugely disappointed by the decision that "Gremlins" would bear a 15 certificate, as we all got the read along cassettes and action figures that Christmas. It was a debate that would resurface with Tim Burton's "Batman" (which would bear the new 12 certificate, but be released as a 15 certificate on video) and later Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" (which would bear the new 12a certificate).

I guess we shouldn't really be surprised. Horror speaks to the child in us all. It shakes us up with thoughts of anarchy and chaos, and regresses us back to the fearful sense of vulnerability that we associate with being a child. Most horror ideas can be found in traditional folk tales that have been turned into children's fairy tales. A perusal of world fairy tales reveals all manner of horrible monsters as well as acts of morbid acts of violence

Anyway, please see below the link to this very enjoyable line-up. I know that several of the films listed I count amongst my all-time favourite movies.

"Eight Family Films Are Actually Really Horrors"

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