Friday Favorites: A Time for Teaching

In an email conversation with a friend, Mark Turner, a fellow writer and horror fan, he asked me a question about starting the younger generation on older and classic films, and how do we go about it. He gave me a couple of examples on how he’s tried to pass on the love of some films, especially in the black and white variety, and whether it was successful or not. And it got me thinking. I’ve already told him I was sort of stealing his idea, so a quick thanks to Mark for planting the seed!

The question is simple. Whether or not you’re a parent, maybe you have a niece or nephew, younger cousin, or your own kid, but how did you help them on their path down the horror genre? And if so, how did it start? What were some of the movie titles you used to introduce them to the genre? Did you start with some of the black and white classics? Jump right into a Freddy or Jason flick? And how did they respond to it?

Or, on the flip side, was there someone that was YOUR introduction to the genre, like a parent, grandparent, uncle, or so on? And what did they use as your introduction?

For me, I never tried to force these movies onto my own son, because the last thing I wanted to do is, like most teenagers, is for him to rebel against whatever I would show him. But he slowly came around, even though he has other passions in his life over movies. But what really hooked him as a kid was Godzilla and his Kaiju brethren. I can distinctly remember coming downstairs into our movie room and here was this 10 year old kid watching a Godzilla flick, in Japanese with no sub-titles, and still enjoying the shit out of the film! That’s when I know I did something right!

So let’s hear some of your stories?

12 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: A Time for Teaching

  1. I have a nephew who is in his early twenties. He had never seen a horror movie. We get together every couple of months and watch a movie. Or at least we did until Cov-19 shut it down. He likes action movies, superhero-movies, fantasy, and movies of that type. I’ve discussed horror movies when we talk but just occasionally; so as not to be overbearing. I tried to get his curiosity piqued. When we watch movies I often point how a certain seen or situation reminds me of a horror movie and why and then move on.
    Finally for my movie choice I picked the movie “Lights Out”. It is a movie I really like but it’s what I like to call “Horror Movie Lite.” Before we started I told him how the “ghost” in the movie reminded me of a Marvel Supervillain; because she frankly did. The slow process seems to be working because he started talking about marvel monsters like the living Mummy and Dracula and he recently bought Scary Stories to watch. So we are starting light, but I plan to introduce him to “the Thing” or “Trick or Treat” because both seem to appeal to his taste. Eventually I hope to watch Fulci’s Zombie with him.

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  2. My teenage son never really cared about watching horror movies until he started playing the video game Dead by Daylight. He then started asking me if I knew Michael Myers, Freddy and the Ghost Face from Scream since he knew I was a horror fan. That led to me and him watching Scream a few months ago. He really enjoyed it and is now planning to watch the original Halloween with his other gaming friends who have never seen it. Video games and social media seem to drive the interests in teenagers. It will interest my kids if a horror character is used in a funny meme…that gets them asking me who it is and wanting to see the movie.

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    • I forgot to mention it but you are right. my nephew wanted to watch Alien with me because of something from social media (or a video game) made him want to learn more about the Alien & Predator thing. So I showed him where it all began. great point!

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    • This is not the first time I’ve heard of video games being an introduction to the horror genre. I know just from my son, there are plenty of horror video games, so if they get interested in those, it definitely will lead them into the movie genre.


      • Another trend with the video gamers (my son included) is they will do a group watch of a horror movie they have never seen before over Twitch or some other platform. It allows them to all watch it together at the same time but virtually. They like to see the reactions from their friends and discuss the movie while watching. They will then post this to Youtube as a “reaction” video and their other friends will watch them reacting to the horror movie. You end up with all these kids watching the same horror movie to see their friends (or favorite Youtuber) getting jump scared. Friends will comment that they liked the movie and want to watch more creating new horror fans that way too.

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  3. I did not personally have a family member expose me to horror films when I was younger, but I became a “Monster Kid” from the age of ten, like many others, browsing through issues of “Famous Monsters” on the magazine racks of the local smoke shop in the shopping plaza while my mother did the grocery shopping. However, I have had the pleasure of introducing my 12 year-old Nephew to horror films during the last two years. Starting with my personal favorite film, “Planet of the Apes”, and then “Alien” and “Aliens”. On Halloween night, he and his dad came over to my place and my nephew personally requested that we watch John Carpenter’s “The Thing” (he had watched a few of the scenes of the movie on the internet). I was suitably impressed, and even more so when he requested that we watch the “Making of” extras on the DVD afterward to see how the special effects were created. I am pretty convinced that I would not have been able to handle any of these films (except for P.O.T.A.) when I was his age.

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    • That is a great story. I think seeing The Thing at 12 would have unhinged me! But I will say that seeing the behind the scenes stuff, learning that it isn’t real and just makeup effects, it can help them see the difference between them and can look past what they are seeing on screen.

      My nephew grew up seeing me do basic makeup stuff for Halloween so he got it too.


  4. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always had a fascination with the macabre and the fantastic. So starting with cartoons, tv shows, and movies shown on tv, if it had monsters, aliens, aggressive animals like sharks or any sort of creature in it I was glued to the set! Lol! My dad and Uncle Scott are movie maniacs, Dad being more into sci-fi than horror while my uncle is the horror fan, so between the two of them I saw a great deal of awesome stuff growing up! War of the World’s and my dad’s all time favorite movie, Forbidden Planet, had a big impact. He was also the one who showed me Carpenter’s The Thing, and it remains near the top of my all time favorites! One of the most memorable events for me was the night that my uncle brought over Hellraiser and Dawn of the Dead. Talk about a mind blowing experience!! Hahahaha! My Grandma Ruth on my dad’s side of the family was also a ravenous and life long horror fan! My sister and I used to go “up north” with my grandparents to stay at their cabin in the woods on Lake Hodag for a week during the summer. While we were up there, they’d fill up one of those giant metal roaster tubs with popcorn and we’d chow down while watching movies at night. Three of the most memorable movies that I saw up there were The Devil’s Rain, The Stepfather, and one of my grandma’s absolute favorites, Night Warning! Needless to say, I cherish those memories deeply.

    So as a parent, Jen and I also have never tried to force anything on our boys. But they hear our conversations, see the posters on our walls, the collectibles on display, our movies in our “media room,” the books in our library, and the shirts that we wear. So it’s pretty much impossible for them to not have significant exposure to the world of horror! Lol! We have our movie nights which feature a lot of genre fare, but we also watch a decent amount of non genre stuff as per their interests and to keep things diverse. They certainly have lots of questions and we’re always happy to talk about stuff, but we ultimately leave it up to them to choose for themselves what they wanna see. We do our best to encourage them to follow their passions whatever they may be. That said, I’d be lying if I didn’t also admit that it’s awesome seeing how they react to experiencing some of the klassicks for the first time!

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    • That first part is just a great story, Ryan and one that I know a lot of fans will relate to. Horror is something is past down through the generations, if they are fans in the family. Or, like myself, we are the starting block. But I love how those memories, of specific times and movies, are etched in your psyche, as they should be. That shows the importance of these films, as well as family.

      I also love the fact that you are doing right by your kids, by not forcing them, but being their to answer questions. Well done to you and Jen.


  5. I started my son off with the Universal classics and worked our way forward. He’s 13 now and just watched Microwave Massacre so yeah he enjoys it all. I just him back into Hammer films and he’s loving them all over again. He’ll watch a movie on his own and then we get to talk about it in length. It’s so much fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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