Children attending a cinema in Nottingham fled in terror at the weekend after bungling staff accidentally played a horror movie instead of cartoon comedy Madagascar 3.
Parents told how their children were left ‘scarred for life’ when the 15-rated supernatural thriller Paranormal Activity 4 started playing to an audience expecting a PG, family-friendly animation.
The opening scenes of Paranormal Activity show a bloodied corpse being hurled at the camera, leaving children as young as five screaming and crying in terror.
The Daily Mail reported that around 25 families attended the showing at Cineworld cinema in Nottingham.
32-year-old Natasha Lewis told the newspaper how she had taken her eight-year-old son Dylan to see the film
She said: “They started playing the movie and I thought - this doesn't look right. And then I recognised the opening sequence as a flashback to the first movie, which I saw a couple of years ago.
“It opens on the most terrifying scene in the first film - where a body shoots full pelt towards the camera…It's enough to make grown men jump, so you can imagine the terror in these young faces.
“Everybody just scrambled for the exits, all you could hear were children crying and screaming.
“I've watched a few horror films in my time but the Paranormal Activity films are the scariest since the Exorcist…it was enough to scar them for life.
A spokeswoman for Cineworld said: 'We have investigated the incident and can confirm that this was a technical error with the projector and apologise sincerely to the families.
'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.'