Okay, I’m not a big fan of horror movies, or even scary movies. But this doesn’t strike me as fair.
Guillermo del Toro, like a lot of kids who grew up to love horror movies, grew up watching scary movies that had a G rating. Most of this stuff was open to audiences of all ages: the Universal horror movies, the TV horror movies of the Seventies, the freaky late night CBS Mystery Theatre on the radio. This is not necessarily to say that you should let your three year old watch; but heck, I remember going to sleep in my parent’s bed listening to the bonechilling CBS Mystery Theatre, and it didn’t even give me tiny tot nightmares. It was just scary stories.
However, when Guillermo del Toro decided to make a really spooky movie for kids and their parents to enjoy (okay, shiver through) together, it seems that the Ratings Board did not agree.
Yup. No sex, no violence, no nudity, no bad words. Rated R for suspense that makes you shiver and jump.
I gather the Ratings Board doesn’t spend much time camping in the woods telling ghost stories.
I will grant you that it is possible that del Toro really did make it too scary to handle, given that he really does come up with scary scary stuff. But I find it hard to believe that he has somehow beaten The Monster in the Closet, the Dark Space Under the Bed, the Things That Will Bite Your Hands While You’re Asleep If You Don’t Keep Them Covered, and the normal “pervasively scary” lifestyle of kids after dark.