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4 Ways to Help Your Kid Get Over Their 1st Scary Movie

October 17, 2019

(AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

Imagine this scenario: Your 8-year-old daughter goes over to a friend's house for a slumber party, where she gets introduced to Chucky and the horrors of Child's Play for the first time. Naturally, she comes back petrified the next morning. So what's a parent to do in order to calm her down? By way of Lifehacker and Reddit, here are several helpful suggestions:


  1. Maybe find some suitable "behind the scenes" videos of Chucky—how they painted him, how they got him to move, interviews with the actors, etc. It might help her to take some of the magic away when seen how it is all put together. The wider shots showing all the cameras and sets, etc., may also help her see how unreal it all is.
  2. Find old episodes or clips of Face Off, a competition/elimination series featuring special effects make-up artists. There’s an example that shows how monsters and ghouls are made from silicone, spray paint and other materials—and you see the artists interacting with the models and taking their comfort into consideration.
  3. Show your kid how stop-animation works to demystify animated characters. There's a behind-the-scenes look at how Kubo and the Two Strings was made that's incredible (as a bonus, it shows how much patience and meticulous work goes into creating shows our kids love).
  4. Be the first one to your local haunted house (or call ahead) and ask if your kid can do a “dry run” where they walk the path without all the special effects and creepy voices—just bloody victims and zombies welcoming them in regular, friendly voices. This helps them see the full experience for what it really is: a performance.