Movie Theater Accidentally Shows Paranormal Activity 4 to Kids

A movie theater recently made the mistake of not previewing the movie they had in queue.

A theater full of parents with young children were excitedly waiting for Madagascar 3 to start.  Instead, the horror movie Paranormal Activity 4 started playing.

Almost immediately, as many as 25 families rushed their kids out of the theater, but not before a gruesome opening sequence — in which a bloodied female corpse is thrown at the camera — was witnessed by children as young as five.

“They started playing the movie and I thought – this doesn’t look right,” Natasha Lewis, mother of eight-year-old Dylan.  ”Everybody just scrambled for the exits, all you could hear were children crying and screaming. Everyone was very upset.”

I have learned the hard way to always preview a video clip before showing it to children.  We decided to use a clip from a movie for a children's service and didn't preview it all the way through.  Imagine our shock when a curse word was uttered in the clip.  We had to do a lot of explaining and damage control.  Luckily, I kept my job.

Here's a few things to keep in mind when using movie clips for a children's service.
  • Primarily use clips from G-rated movies.  PG can be used occasionally, but never use clips from R rated movies.
  • Consider informing parents ahead of time when you are going to show a clip that is not from a "Christian" movie.
  • When in doubt...don't.
  • Make sure the clip is age appropriate.  A clip that is appropriate for a pre-teen may not be appropriate for a 5 year old.
Have you ever made a mistake when showing a video clip?
What are some other tips to keep in mind when using video clips?

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