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14 Violent And Disturbing Movies That Star Kids Too Young To Watch Them

April 13, 2021 703 votes 91 voters 8.9k views14 items

List RulesVote up the R-rated movies that the underaged stars definitely shouldn't have watched in theaters.

You have to be 17 to see an R-rated film by yourself, but R-rated action movies starring kids and horror movies about kids are more common than you'd think. And these aren't run-of-the-mill R-rated dramas we are talking about here. We're talking about the R-rated movies you would never, ever show to your kids in fear of them being scarred for life. 

Sometimes, kids will show up in a supporting role of an action movie, like Commando or Sudden Death. Sometimes, kids will be at the center of a vicious movie like Kick-Ass or Léon: The Professional. Maybe it's a horror flick like The Exorcist or The Omen. Whatever the case may be, there are just some kid-starring films actual children should never watch. So put the kids to bed, and get ready to vote up your favorite disturbing films that star kids who are too young to watch them.

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  • We genuinely wonder how many parents took their kids to see The Good Son back in 1993 on the basis of Macaulay Culkin's face being plastered all over the advertising campaign at the height of Home Alone fever. Maybe the tagline "Evil Has Many Faces" kept the majority of families away, but you just know some unwitting parents dragged their children to see the newest Macaulay Culkin movie only to be faced with the uncomfortable situation of explaining his character's actions in the much-maligned drama. Don't take your kids to rated-R films, people!

    If you did watch this film with your child, have fun explaining why the cute kid from Home Alone eliminates a dog with a nail gun. Or drops a human dummy into traffic to cause a massive car collision. Or tries to drown his sister in a pond, causing her to end up in a coma. Oh, and a young Elijah Wood also threatens to stab Culkin in the throat with a pair of scissors. So, just family fun all around!

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  • Teaming director Tony Scott with Denzel Washington was always going to bring some fireworks. And 2004's Man on Fire brought them in full force. Though the picture gave Dakota Fanning one of the meatiest roles of her young career at the time, providing the emotional crux for the entire picture, this film has a lot to do with childhood kidnappings and can get pretty dark. And that's before we even mention the violence.

    There is a scene in Man on Fire where Denzel's John Creasy zip-ties a man to the hood of a car, blindfolds him, and sticks a bomb up his rectum. Let's repeat that for emphasis: Denzel Washington sticks a bomb up a dude's butt. There are other scenes of intense cruelty in Man on Fire, but we're just going to sit here and assume that butt bombs make this movie unsuitable for pretty much any kid on the planet.

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  • The Exorcist is one of the most iconic horror films in the annals of American filmmaking. It made an incredible $400+ million at the international box office in the 1970s when that number was basically unheard of, and it courted all kinds of controversy upon release. It almost garnered an X-rating (the pre-NC-17 rating of the era) due to its graphic nature and religious connotations. It is a bit more tame by today's standards, but it holds up as a masterful piece of horror filmmaking.

    Oh, and kids shouldn't watch it, so stop letting them see it! Sure, a 12-year-old is at the center of the plot, but come on... this is not the kind of film kids should be watching. There is that scene with the crucifix - you know the one - and some of the language that comes out of Regan's mouth while she is possessed is not the kind of language impressionable ears should be hearing. And if your kid isn't freaked out by a head doing a full 360-degree turn while still attached to a body, then you're raising one tough kid.

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  • What is one way to ensure your child hates dolls and will never sleep soundly again? Show them Child's Play, of course! The R-rated horror film isn't all that bloody or violent - not by today's standards - but the mere fact that the main antagonist is a sadistic children's toy makes this a no-go for pretty much any kid. And that goes for the rest of the Chucky franchise, as well, parents. Just because there is a doll on the promotional images doesn't mean this is cool for your children. Do some actual parenting now and again, huh?

    Being a small doll, Chucky doesn't get to do too much outlandish killing (at least not in this first picture). It mainly comes down to boilerplate mayhem with guns and knives. A house does catch on fire, though, so that's something. Again, this all comes down to kids getting nightmares from the concept that their dolls will also come to life when they fall asleep. This isn't Toy Story...

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