Hit horror film 'Paranormal Activity' has Italian parents and politicians up in arms after reports of viewers suffering panic attacks, irregular heart beats, trembling and vomiting.
The film, which was rated R in the US, has been given no rating in Italy, allowing children to see it. Allegedly, this has resulted in a number of cases of children seeing the film and suffering adverse side effects, including one 14-year-old who had to be rushed to hospital suffering from 'paralysis'.
Even the trailer has been causing problems. "For the past two weeks a trailer has been shown obsessively on TV and is terrifying thousands of children," Italian defense minister Ignazio La Russa said, speaking on Italian television. "It's a terrible thing. I took notice because my seven-year-old son told me: 'Daddy, I'm scared.'"
Consumer group Codacons has threatened to go to the courts on behalf of children who find the film too frightening. "It's an anxiety-generating film that is sparking panic attacks and psychological problems among young people," said Alessandra Mussolini, a right-wing politician who heads a parliamentary committee on the rights of children.
Culture Minister Sandro Bondi has said the committee that oversees film classification is now looking into the film.
The film, directed by Oren Peli, was a huge success in American cinemas last year. Made for just $15,000, it took in $22 million in its first weekend in the US.