There probably aren’t many less scary films out there than the latest adaption of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit.
Following the cute and cuddly adventures of a mischievous young bunny and his woodland companions, the only moments of mild peril here are when Thomas McGregor gets a bit too grumpy.
Compare this then to Hereditary, a movie so disturbing it has been described as ‘a new generation’s The Exorcist’, one experts at Sundance film festival have even expressed concerns about it being ‘too scary.’
You wouldn’t exactly pair the two movies together. So it was quite an Anzac Day surprise when a cinematic mishap in Perth, WA, led to the terrifying horror film’s trailer being aired just before a screening of Peter Rabbit.
Now, even the trailer for this psychological mind fudge is enough to have grown adults checking under their beds, so I can only imagine how upsetting this was for younger children.
In just a couple of short minutes, we see a human being on fire, a bird having its head snipped off by an eerily calm child and a teenager bashing his head against a desk until it bleeds.
Disconcerting sound effects combined with weeping and foreboding warnings from characters only add to the sense of intense dread.
Check out the traumatising trailer for yourself below and imagine for a moment you are five years old again:
Jane (who did not disclose her surname) from Perth told WA Today how she took her sister’s children to watch the sweet tale of the blue coated rabbit at the Event Cinemas in Innaloo, only to see the horrifyingly inappropriate trailer being blared to the cinema full of families.
Jane – who estimated there was around 40 children at the screening – said:
It was dreadful. Very quickly you could tell this was not a kid’s film. Parents were yelling at the projectionist to stop, covering their kids’ eyes and ears.
A few went out to get a staff member but she was overwhelmed and didn’t really know what to do. Some parents fled the cinema with their kids in tow.
Eventually a senior staff member came in with a walkie talkie and he shut the screen off. To his credit he apologised and offered us complimentary movie passes to make up for it.
However, after leaving the cinema, Jane realised yet another mistake had been made:
The free tickets expired that day. We had been told they were valid for a month but they were out of code.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand mistakes happen. But surely there should be checks to make sure trailers like that don’t get shown. And the free passes thing just added insult to injury.
A lot of the kids were upset, and if you think back to your own childhood you remember things that scared you when you saw them for the first time. I still remember the first time I saw a robber on TV.
A spokesperson from Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited told WA Today how the incident is being ‘investigated internally to ensure situations like this do not occur again.’
The spokesperson continued:
As soon as the staff onsite were made aware of the situation yesterday, the trailers were taken off-screen immediately and all patrons were given complimentary tickets as a gesture of goodwill.
All customers were advised of the expiration date upon receiving their vouchers from the manager on duty.
In the instance that the voucher in question might accidentally have the wrong year date written on the voucher, the customer can be assured that the voucher will indeed be honoured as the vouchers are recorded electronically as having a 12 month expiration date, and will scan up as such in our system.
Hereditary premiered in January at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to screams and rave reviews alike.
It will hit UK cinemas on June 8 and is not recommended by the faint hearted…
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.