According to a new, thoroughly unnecessary study, tweens—those twiny people between the ages of 10 to 14—are watching R-Rated movies despite the fact that they're not 17 yet! Also: the sky is blue.
From USA Today:
Researchers know what your tween saw last summer: savage beatings, severed heads, murder, rape and torture.
In a study released Monday in the journal Pediatrics, researchers from Dartmouth Medical School estimate more than 2.5 million children ages 10 to 14 watch the typical violent, R-rated movie.
A few movies, such as Blade, Hollow Man and Bride of Chucky, claim what researchers say are huge child audiences – as many as 7.8 million, including an estimated 1 million 10-year-olds.
"Ten isn't far away from believing in Santa Claus," says researcher Keilah Worth.
Way to hammer home the extent of this innocence-obliterating scourge, Keilah Worth. Ten also isn't that far away from googling the word "sex" for the first time, or asking your parents for a BB gun, or lying to your parents that you're sleeping over at a friend's house, so you and your rag-tag group of buddies can go wandering through the woods looking for a dead body, either.
The most shocking part of this study isn't that 10-to-14-year-old kids are watching R-Rated movies, it's that 10-to-14-year-old kids are watching R-Rated movies like the utterly forgettable, 2000 Kevin-Bacon-as-invisible-psychopath thriller, Hollow Man. Where are all of these kids getting their Hollow Man supply? Are there Hollow Man DVD pushers in our playgrounds and parks? Are our nation's public schools doing enough Hollow Man education and prevention programs?
But Hollow Man is only one example. Just look at this sobering infographic about the favorite R-Rated movies of 10-year-olds:
The tween appeal of some of these movies–like Scary Movie, and I Know What You Did Last Summer–makes sense, because those movies were obviously made for tweens by tween-like people (FTBTLP). But Ghost Ship? Shaft? Bride Of Chucky? Either onset of irony is starting at a younger and younger age, or tweens have really bad taste in R-Rated movies. So, as a public advisory, here are a few of the better, violent R-Rated movies I watched as a tween that helped shape me into the desensitized-to-violence adult that I am today:
A woman who gets impregnated by a tomato, a boy who has sex with a cat, and a scene where a woman is paid to "clip" the toenails of a creepy old man in a bathtub with her teeth: this movie has everything to simultaneously disturb and fascinate the tween mind. I saw this movie on cable when I was thirteen, and it changed the way I looked at the Quebecois forever.
An errant babysitter let me watch this movie on HBO when I was about 10, and I thank her for it. Because of her I now know that killer zombie cats are more manageable than killer zombie toddlers, and that you should never leave your Achilles tendon vulnerable while a scalpel-wielding killer zombie toddler is around. In any case, it's definitely a more worthwhile horror movie than
Killer Klowns From Outer Space
The perfect movie to get tweens over a tiresome fear of clowns, because it demonstrates that even when clowns are murderous, they are ridiculous, and easily dispatched with a gunshot to the red rubber nose.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space also provides tweens with an early example of the "so bad it's fun" B-movie.
Return To Oz
Return To Oz, the dark and thoroughly unsettling sequel to Wizard Of Oz, is actually rated PG, which proves that tweens don't have to delve into the R-Rated underworld in order to have nightmares. It is the gateway movie to the harder, more gory, though just as disturbing R rated movies.