There are some things that you can’t un-do…
My daughter Mia likes monsters. I don’t know if this is Pixar’s fault or mine, but she has monsters on the brain.
Many weekend mornings, she climbs into my bed shouting, “Zombie! Daddy, I’m a zombie! RAHR!” When we’re both fully awake, she wants to chase me or wants me to chase her, arms raised, grunting and groaning.
At night, when I’m putting her to bed, I show her movies on YouTube. Usually, it’s Dora the Explorer or the Muppets. But she’s started asking to be scared.
At first, it was innocent: “I want a scary Dora movie, daddy.”
“They don’t make those.”
“Dora doesn’t fight monsters. She just explores. I guess because most parents don’t want their kids to be scared.”
“Maybe because a lot of them are weak. Do you really want to be scared?”
And so, overtaken by the moment, I typed “Exorcist” into the search bar. I’ll just show her Linda Blair’s head spinning and we’ll call it a night…
But when the search results came up, Mia clicked on a random link before I could read my options.
She had chosen a highlight clip-reel. We saw Regan flopping around on her bed, screaming. She spider-walked down the stairs as her mother screamed. Then she was peeing on the carpet. (“Ewww! That’s bad,” said Mia.) Then we saw the demonic face, Regan shouting at the priests, “Your Jesus Christ fucked you! Your Jesus Christ fucked you!”
I clicked the Done button. “Wow,” I said. “That was too scary.”
“Yes,” replied Mia. “Too scary. Let’s watch one with a mean clown instead…”