I had an amazing time the other night at the preview for “World War Z.” In attendance with me and several hundred other lucky movie revelers were the members of the effervescent Fresno Zombie Society. Nothing quite screams scary-awesome like watching a zombie-thriller-action movie with several hundred, blood-and-gore-covered zombies in attendance.
Throughout the show, there I sat, munching popcorn, heart pounding and palms sweating; all with a bloody corpse next to me breathing heavily. Their presence really enhanced the mood. (SIDE NOTE: Let it be known that the zombie seated at my left — incredibly nice brain eater, though she was — was just as freaked out as I.)
But no spoilers here — I’ll leave the movie opinion stuff to Rick. Most of it. I do have one thing I’d like to share. A pet peeve, if you will. A large, hairy, overgrown pet peeve that punches me in the face EVERY TIME I go to a movie preview. PARENTS: It’s your crappy parenting.
Movie previews are free; and for those of us with tiny, minuscule pocket books, that means surplus-side in the old budget. Everyone deserves a night out, but especially parents. They SHOULD be able to have time away, a date night, an opportunity to have fun like NORMAL, non-breeding people. In fact, when I had young kids, I used to weep with joy at the very opportunity of two entire hours to myself.
Here’s the gig: You can’t actually have an enjoyable time away from the kids unless YOU ACTUALLY LEAVE THEM AT HOME. As in, NOT WITH YOU. In the theater. Annoying the rest of us or dying of fright or losing what precious little semblance of innocence they still maintain.
Not all movies require this — as clearly, not all previews are for horror films. “World War Z,” though, was completely, horrifyingly HORROR FILLED. Bloody corpses leaping with terrifying snarls devouring other humans? SO SCARY. And lady who brought her 4-year old? I wanted to punch you in the face. WITH A CHAIR.
What were you thinking, stupid lady? What were you thinking bringing a TODDLER with just enough cognitive development to understand the visuals of humans eating and chasing and shooting each other but zero capacity to understand that the monsters and the violence are not real or that the fourth wall is just a screen with light projected at it — what went through your limited, selfish brain before foisting this kind of hellish experience upon that tiny child? YOUR tiny child? How is it that your life, your need to see a FREE FREAKING MOVIE trumped the mental well-being of your 4-year-old?
Naysayers: Yes, I hear your limited arguments about how it’s a parent’s choice and how the theater should have stopped the parent and how the kid will likely be fine, it’s just a movie, blah blah blah. To you I say this: Your arguments are invalid. “World War Z” is scary. And so were the fun-loving zombies in the audience — adults with many other ADULTS there to see a movie NOT MADE for a 4-year old.
Parents: Leave your toddlers at home for this one. I thought this was a no-brainer (insert obvious zombie pun here).

Traci Arbios is a mom, stepmom, adoptive mom and working mom. She lives with and writes about her blended family of seven kids, two pets and one amazingly patient husband at thefullmoxie.com. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/traciawesome; contact her at traci@thefullmoxie.com; or zap her on twitter, @traciAWESOME.

(c) 2013, Traci Arbios
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