Australian Council on Children and the Media

Scary Movies

When we watch scary movies and shows on television, we see images, events and ideas that we might never have seen in our whole lives before. This can have quite a powerful and lasting impact, particularly on kids.

What are the issues?

When you get scared by something you’ve seen in a scary movie, it can make you very upset, not want to go to bed at night, have nightmares, not want to be left alone, afraid of getting hurt and of bad things happening to you.

Did you know?

Young kids, especially those under 7 or 8, often find it hard to know when something they see in a movie is real or make believe.

Tips

  • Choose programmes and movies that are suitable for your age group.
  • If you get scared watching scary movies, avoid watching them and find a different sort of movie like a funny movie.
  • If you really want to watch a scary movie, ask Mum or Dad to watch it with you and they can help to explain the things that might scare you.
  • If you see something on the TV news that upsets you, remember that the events they show on the TV are quite rare, which is why they make it onto the news programme.