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Letter: Teenage nightmare

I UNDERSTAND Andreas Whittam Smith's decision to review the ban on The Exorcist ("New censor reviews video ban...", 9 August), but feel its release from censorship would be unwise. Having never seen this film as an adult, I cannot remark critically on its content. But as a 13-year-old, at an 18-year-old boy's party in 1984, I had a violent emotional reaction to it. I watched nearly half of it before phoning my dad to collect me. I was a nervous wreck for at least six months afterwards - I wouldn't go to sleep without one of my parents present, I had to have a night light on and was afraid to close my eyes because of nightmares.

I come from a reasonably functional, middle-class family and went to a happy private school. If such a film could come my way at that age, I have grave concerns about it reaching less protected young people. To an adult a Seventies horror flick might be amusing, but a child cannot contextualise this type of gratuitous violence.


Hong Kong