Children in tears as horror trailer plays before Peppa Pig screening in the UK

Children sitting on their cinema chairs eagerly awaiting the start of the latest Peppa Pig film were left in tears after a trailer for a horror movie played on the big screen.

The incident happened at Empire Cinemas in Ipswich, England, when trailers for Ma and Brightburn played before the new Peppa Pig: Festival of Fun movie.

The trailer for Brightburn includes flashes of dead bodies hanging, as well as a child wearing a mask and seemingly killing a bloodied woman.

Ma includes numerous scenes that are sexually violent, as well as a scene of a teen being hit by a truck.

Charlie Jones, a BBC journalist, took her daughter to the screening and says she attempted to cover her daughter's eyes during the trailers.

"Normally I would expect her [my daughter] to be singing and dancing when watching something like [Peppa Pig] but she was just really subdued," she said.

"I tried to cover her eyes during the trailers and told her they were silly films for mummies and daddies, but there were lots of kids crying and she was very confused and started crying too."

She said she approached the cinema manager after the incident.

"It was meant to be a special day for Annie. I don't think he understands the impact of it," she said.

"You go to the movies and you expect it to be a safe family day out, you don't expect her to be exposed to anything which could do harm."

An Empire Cinemas spokesperson apologised for "any distress" caused by the incident.

"As soon as the staff on site were made aware of the situation, the programme was stopped and trailers were taken off-screen immediately. We do sincerely apologise for this and for any distress caused and will be reviewing our internal procedures to ascertain how this came to be," a statement read.

This article was first published on NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.