A lot of movie directors appear to believe that the more violent scenes they display, the better received their film will be by audiences. Some of the most violent movies are based on wars. Although some can be quite accurate in portraying what actually happened, most are mainly focused on the violence that took place; and directors seem to be most interested in how they can amp it up to get better reviews. They have the right idea when thinking this; people enjoy watching violent acts. This has been demonstrated throughout history, from the gladiators of ancient Rome to the public burning of witches in Salem.
Directors can get so wrapped up in making sure their films display the right amount of violence, they can forget about what effects seeing so much violence can have on someone, especially a child. Even though war movies usually have an R-rating, children still watch them, with friends, their parents, or even at school. Children can be sensitive to the violence they see on TV. Seeing a violent war movie can affect children in two ways; they can be frightened and have nightmares later about what they've seen, or they can begin displaying similar behaviors. Both of these outcomes are pretty negative and should be avoided.
Parents should be cautious about the content of movies their children watch. Even if a child watches horror movies without showing any difference in emotion or behavior, it does not mean that war movies will affect them in the same way. The "realness" of a war film is sometimes what can scare a child more than any made-up killer in a horror film. To know that real people can be so cruel and evil is a very scary thought for some.
Having children see a war movie is sometimes hard to avoid; some schools show these movies after teaching about a certain topic in history. For instance, after lessons about the U.S. Civil War, a history teacher may decide to show her students the movie Glory. This movie depicted the first black regiment in the army and is pretty violent. Fortunately, before teachers can show these movies to a class, parents have to be informed and a permission slip sent home for them to sign. If you know your child is sensitive to violence, you can opt to have them not watch the movie with the rest of their class.
Some children will watch a war film and begin displaying more aggressive behavior toward people. Seeing people in a movie using violence to get what they want can give a child the same idea.
Violence is used in movies to make them more entertaining to viewers, but war movies seem to take this to a more extreme level. While this does make them more entertaining and covers up any inaccuracies the film may have compared to what really happened, the violence can make these movies more terrifying for some, especially the young and impressionable child.