The upcoming horror movies Ma and Brightburn aren’t intended for little kids. But a movie theatre full of children got an unwanted peek at the films recently anyway when the trailers were screened for unsuspecting families. The poor kids were there to see the new Peppa Pig movie, Festival of Fun.
A reporter from the BBC took her kids to see the new kids’ flick and was greeted with a nasty surprise at Empire Cinema in the British town of Ipswich.
“I tried to cover her eyes during the trailers and told her they were silly films for mummies and daddies,” BBC journalist Charlie Jones told her employer of her daughter. “But there were lots of kids crying and she was very confused and started crying too.”
It’s unclear precisely what version of the trailers were screened for the kids, but every possible trailer that’s been released online for the two movies would be inappropriate for children.
“We do sincerely apologise for this and for any distress caused and will be reviewing our internal procedures to ascertain how this came to be,” a theatre manager told the BBC.
Trailers for Ma include scenes of the main character running someone over with a truck, leaving a lifeless body in the road and the bodies of several unconscious teenagers being manipulated in perverse ways.
Likewise, the trailers for Brightburn include some pretty horrifying content, including shots of guns, blood, and a woman pulling a large piece of glass out of her eye.
This is far from the first time that this kind of mix up has happened. Last year, a theatre in Western Australia accidentally played the trailer for the horror film Hereditary before a screening of Peter Rabbit. That trailer is only slightly more horrific than the trailers for Ma and Brightburn.
Movie theatres are in constant competition with other entertainment like home screenings and internet diversions. And while the latter certainly has its share of inappropriate content, this experience will definitely make parents think twice before taking their young ones to the theatre.
But I guess it could’ve been worse. Those poor British kids could’ve accidentally been exposed to news from America. It’s the small mercies we should be thankful for, I guess.