Parents reportedly fled a screening of “Peter Rabbit” in western Australia when the movie theater accidentally aired a horror movie trailer beforehand, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
Several parents were surprised when a trailer for the film “Hereditary” — which has been billed as this generation’s version of “The Exorcist” — played beforehand.
The trailer for that film, which is rated R, depicts a boy with ants on his face, a man on fire and a boy smashing his head against his desk, according to BuzzFeed.
So, yeah, not PG at all.
One mother, named Jane, told the Herald there were about 40 children in the audience when the trailer started.
"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," she said.
She said parents fled the cinema during the trailer. A staff member entered with a walkie-talkie and asked the theater to turn off the trailer.
Moviegoers were rewarded with a complimentary movie ticket. Jane said the free ticket expired on the same day, but a spokesman said the theater will honor the tickets.
"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,” she told WA Today. “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 spokesman for Event Hospitality and Entertainment Limited, which owns the Event Cinema where the mishap took place, said the company is investigating, according to Newsweek.1 comment on this story
“As soon as the staff on site 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,” the spokesman said.
Indeed, “Hereditary” is not a movie for children. According to AV Club film reviewer A.A. Dowd, the film scared him, even though he’s always loved horror films and rarely feels fear while watching them.
“This isn’t a scary movie. It’s pure emotional terrorism, gripping you with real horror, the unspeakable kind, and then imbuing the supernatural stuff with those feelings. It didn’t play me like a fiddle. It slammed on my insides like a grand piano,” he wrote.