When we were children, we all watched a movie that we found disturbing and we remember the scene or the character to this day. Adults who don’t give a second thought to letting their youngest watch E.T. or children who are too curious and watch unsuitable shows… On Facebook, the Son-Vidéo.com team asked you this question: what movie traumatized you when you were a child? We have used your answers to carry out a survey and rate the most traumatic films. The Exorcist, Jaws, It, The Shining, The Amityville Horror… Here are the 26 movies that affected people the most during their childhood.
Top 5 most traumatizing movies
With more than 170 votes, the movie The Exorcist scared kids the most, closely followed by Jaws which accumulated 122 votes. The most famous and traumatizing clown from the movie It is in third place on the podium of the most terrifying movies for 106 people. A Nightmare on Elm Street was mentioned by 72 people and is in 4th position. Finally, fifth place is shared by Alien and Bambi with 44 votes each. Indeed, Bambi, an animated film for children, stands out as being as traumatic as the sci-fi film Alien.
Which movie genre is the most prevalent?
Unsurprisingly, it is the horror genre that comes out on top (53.8%) in the comments. In this category, you named the following films:
- The Exorcist (174 people)
- Jaws (118 people)
- It (106 people)
- A Nightmare on Elm Street (72 people)
- The Evil Dead (30 people)
- The Amityville Horror (25 people)
- The Langoliers (25 people)
- Poltergeist (23 people)
- Cannibal Holocaust (23 people)
- Child’s Play (21 people)
- The Shining (15 people)
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre (7 people)
- Night of the Living Dead (7 people)
- Candyman (5 people)
Drama/thriller represents 15.4% of the movie genres that scared you the most as a child, including Le Vieux Fusil (23 people), The Birds (17 people), Elephant Man (11 people) and Irréversible (7 people). Science fiction is also one of the movie genres that traumatized you the most during your childhood, with 19.2% of votes. This category includes the movies Alien (44 people), The Fly (41 people), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (21 people), Terminator (11 people) and The Blob (7 people).
In addition, Steven Spielberg stands out among the directors of these movies with two feature films: Jaws and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
More surprisingly, a cartoon (Bambi) and a music video (“Thriller” by Michael Jackson) are considered traumatic by more than 68 people. They are placed in 5th and 11th position respectively.
When were the most traumatic films released?
The films of the 80s stand out with 56.8% of votes, that is to say nearly 15 traumatic movies. Then come 70s movies, in particular The Exorcist and Jaws which remain the two films that scared you the most. Finally, films from the 60s and 90s/2000s represent 26.9% of your movie traumas.
The film rating system
The purpose of the film rating system is to provide guidance on the audience for which the film is intended. There is an age limit below which the film is prohibited or not recommended.
In France, there is a commission for the classification of cinematographic works. The latter aims to classify films and their trailers according to the age authorized for theatrical release. This commission was set up in July 1945 by the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’image animée or CNC (the National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image). These various recommendations can be applied to theatrical releases, television broadcasts and DVD and Blu-ray sales. The CNC’s decisions are then either confirmed or rejected by the Ministry of Culture, which grants an operating license.
And in other countries?
In some places, such as Australia, this rating is established by the Government. In the United States, the American rating system is assigned by the MPAA (Motion Pictures American Association). This commission assigns recommendations such as “G” (General), “PG” (Parental Guidance) and restrictions such as “R” (Restricted, parental guidance necessary) or “X” (reserved for adults). In Canada (outside Quebec, which uses the “Régie du Cinéma”), these same terms are used by the three film rating offices (one office per provincial government). In Hong Kong, these recommendations work by category. Category I is suitable for the general public. Category II is not suitable for children. Finally, category III includes all films reserved for people aged 18 and over.
Regardless of the country, several criteria are used to establish these ratings: violent scenes, sex, illegal behavior, dangerous acts, etc. Nevertheless, this classification remains established according to the assessment of the committee. In France, the CNC is made up of several profiles in order to make the fairest decisions:
- Representatives of the Interior Minister, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Family and Youth,
- Film professionals,
- Representatives of the medical world and social science specialists, including child and adolescent protection specialists,
- Young audience (18-24 years old).
Traumatic films: which movie ratings?
Among the films that traumatized you as a child, the majority (38.4%) are rated PG-12. PG-13 films are present at 11.5%.
Those prohibited for those under the age of 16 represent 15.4% of the films that scared you. This same percentage is observed for movies that are rated 18 at the time of their release. However, two of these films, The Exorcist and Jaws, have been reclassified and are now “not recommended for children under the age of 12”. Lastly, Bambi not allowed for children under 5 years old.
More surprisingly, G rated films are also present in this list and represent 15.4% of votes.
Despite the recommendations of this rating, it is possible to be traumatized by excessively violent scenes. In general, 80s horror movies were your first traumatic movie experience.