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11 year old DD watched horror film at a friend's sleepover and now struggling with nightmares

(14 Posts)
freddiefrog Sat 15-Dec-12 11:41:58

A couple of weeks ago DD went to a sleepover at a friend's house for friend's birthday and they watched an 15/18 rated movie - Scary Movie or one of the Scream films, she's not sure what it was, (I think some of the series had been rated 15 but we don't know which one it was) and is now plagued with nightmares

Any tips or ideas what we can do here? She's sleeping so badly and is worrying constantly about the images she's got in her head so is suffering a bit


InNeedOfBrandyButter Sat 15-Dec-12 11:45:21

Scary movie is funny jot scary,

But with the nightmares I would let her sleep with the lights on, music on low or tv till its forgot about. Well that's what I do if I've scared myself silly over a film!

LineRunner Sat 15-Dec-12 11:49:03

How horrible for her.

When this happened to one of my DC, I found it better to talk about the film than not talk about it - about how it was made, the names of the actors and what else they've been in, the tricks of the trade to ramp up the suspense, and how, in the end, it is all just made up stuff like a big celuloid fairy tale.

We talked about why some people like stuff like that and some don't, and how some people like a nightlight on a night and some don't. My DCs are teenagers and they still like the security of the hall light being on and doors bolted at night.

InNeedOfBrandyButter Sat 15-Dec-12 11:50:34

You could YouTube behind the scenes stuff so she can see how they fake it on film?

freddiefrog Sat 15-Dec-12 12:06:40


She's been sleeping with a night light and a some music on but she keeps waking screaming every couple of hours.

We're/she's not sure whether it was Scary Movie or the Scream films, she just remembers the Scream mask, although she said it wasn't funny. Friend's mum doesn't know either as they had it and put it on without her knowledge

We've had a chat about it being pretend and actors and make up, etc. She understands that in the cold light of day, but the images are in her head iyswim.

Will definately have a look on YouTube to see if we can find some making-of clips to show her

LineRunner Sat 15-Dec-12 14:26:44

Poor thing. Maybe show her the painting the Scream mask is based on as well? Maybe talk about art and images.

My DD just doesn't 'do' horror films at all (nearly 17) because she hates the mindless violence. (Someone always gets stabbed.) Maybe this aspect scared your DD?

My DS on the other hand just finds them ludicrous and pathetic, I think. He has the attitude that 'It's just actors getting paid money to wear a mask and go "Woooo" '.

purrpurr Sat 15-Dec-12 14:45:08

Not sure I want to admit this on the Internet, but I've started so I'll finish...

I'm in my late 20s and used to be scared by proper naff scary movies (White Noise for example) for months at a time. Recently it occurred to me that these films are just films, designed and put together by lots of people working together to come up with a scarefest. What made it even less scary for me was to imagine that some of these people have spots, BO, sometimes get constipated etc... The films are stories thought up by people. Thinking of the spots, BO etc made it really easy for me to stop buying into scary films to such a degree.

MrsSlocombesPussy Sat 15-Dec-12 14:51:07

You could also search on youtube for scream outtakes or bloopers? Seeing the actors cracking up or falling over might make it less scary for her?

InNeedOfBrandyButter Sat 15-Dec-12 14:54:40

OP I think upon thinking about this more that you need to break the cycle of nightmares. Maybe another sleepover at your house so she's not alone in the night and they're up till stupid o clock giggling over funny films.

SledsImOn Sat 15-Dec-12 15:12:39

Ohh this is familiar - and quite difficult I think.

When I was 12, I went to a party with some school friends, and the girl whose party it was wasn't afraid of horror films at all, so we watched a Nightmare on Elm Street. I was terrified for weeks, months maybe afterwards.

Even though I barely saw any of it, I was crouching behind the sofa with another couple of friends! But it was the psychological aspect - the fact we were supposed to be scared of it, iyswim, that was the point of the film which made it quite hard to get past.

I think my mum had a quiet word with her parents about letting us watch it, but they were pretty nonchalant about that sort of thing, and it was too late anyway!

I knew it was just make up and so on but I think had that sort of out-take clip, or making-of stuff been available in those days I'd definitely have felt better to watch those - just to see the actors and so on not taking it seriously.

Hope she gets over it soon. I didn't have nightmares as such - just kept thinking about it, wouldn't stay in a room on my own, that sort of thing.

SledsImOn Sat 15-Dec-12 15:15:07

Btw I was fine after a year or two. But I still don't watch horror films! It's all a bit gratuitous isn't it...and they don't scare me properly any more.

When you have an immature mind it's very easy for something like that to affect you more than it should. Like the poor folk who are scared of the end of the world next week - it's not that they need to be scared, it's just they have a weakness somewhere, that allows this stuff in through the barrier, and it takes hold and becomes a focus for pre-existing anxiety.

freddiefrog Sun 16-Dec-12 10:20:00

Thanks all!

We found a couple of Blooper/Outtakes clips on YouTube of various films (none on Scream unfortunately, will keep looking) which she found funny any could see more how films are made and that once the camera stops rolling the actors are standing round laughing.

DH has also arranged for her to spend some time with BiL over Christmas - he's an independent film producer (although not horror/thriller) and is going to show her all the wizardry involved in making a film

Fingers crossed it'll help her a bit

I have offered her a sleepover since but she refused, on digging she's worried she'll have a nightmare and embarrass herself with her friend here

This afternoon we're having a Christmas film fest so hopefully she'll be a bit happier when she goes to bed tonight

HungryHippo89 Mon 17-Dec-12 13:16:20

I bloody hate scary films!!! I do watch them now i'm older ... but i use the tactic of putting on a comedy film or a TV programme after ..(or when i get into bed) I call these "warm fuzzy's" (However everytime i get on a plane i always check the fold down table after watching the first final destination) I Feel for your daughter ... Hopefully the day of christmas films might put it out of her mind ... Does she have a TV in her room maybe when she goes to bed you could put on a 30 minute programme for her that she could possibly fall asleep to? Which might keep t out of her mind before bedtime ... I Imagine she is now scared of having nightmares so it is probably playing heavily on her mind when she is in bed trying to get to sleep! So anything to distract her from them thoughts will probably be for the best!!!!

nappydaysagain Mon 17-Dec-12 20:34:28

I'm 34 and I still don't like even slightly scary films. When I was about 16 or 17 my friends put on Candy Man and it scared me for months. Had to even sleep in my mum's bed for a few nights! I have no really helpful suggestions other than that she'll eventually forget about it.

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