Paranormal Activity 4 - if you're expecting Madagascar 3, sorry
Oh but think of the children. Last Saturday afternoon at Cineworld in Nottingham, a terrible terrible thing happened. As the 13 children and 9 mothers took their seats for a Saturday morning screening of Madagascar 3, they watched in silence as a bloody corpse was hurled violently against the screen. Quite accidentally, Paranormal Activity 4 had started playing instead.
A Cineworld spokesperson told us: 'We have investigated the incident and can confirm that this was a technical error with the projector and apologise sincerely to the families in the screen at the time. All customers who were affected by the incident were offered refunds and complimentary tickets. We also invited customers to watch the screening of Madagascar 3 half an hour later. We take matters such as this very seriously and are currently working with technicians to ensure this does not happen again.'
Which is all well and good but let’s be honest - the damage was already done. Because as anyone who prematurely watched a horror film – and we know there are particular films which are more traumatic than others - that moment never leave you.
So which films are the most scarring and how long does the scarring last?
Well I have several. After all, you’re talking to someone who aged 9 fainted in Taunton library after reading the bit in Dracula when he crawls down the wall and had to be taken out in a wheelchair and pushed down to her local health centre for a lie down. What’s more, the edition was abridged.
And then there’s the time when my sister and her friend made me watch A Nightmare On Elm Street when I was 8. It was horrific for the duration but round about the time Freddy’s arms elongate and go wiggling down the road, ready to knife Tina, I actually collapsed in terror and cracked my head on the kitchen floor.
I’ve had to leave cinemas twice, firstly at the appearance of the wheelies in Return to Oz and secondly when I witnessed the Boo Box in action in Hook. And as for Paranormal Activity, well, I haven’t slept alone with the light off since I watched it. Five years ago. Those poor children…
SWEET DREAMS, GUYS