If there’s one thing the Internet loves, it’s a list – and with Halloween fast approaching, lots of film blogs are out there working on new features about the “ten scariest this” or the “13 most gruesome that.” We love that about October – it’s the one month where it’s okay to celebrate our love of the macabre without people giving us strange looks and crossing the street to avoid us. That being said, a lot of the lists are sort of similar – which is why we’re really digging on a new feature posted over at WhatCulture – one that examines the most shocking films of all time that earned a PG (or U in the UK) rating.
In the good ol’ days, before the advent of the PG-13 rating, occasionally films with questionable content would slide through the MPAA’s offices with a PG rating as opposed to the more restrictive R. This was good for teenagers, because it meant we could get into these films without having to do the infamous theater hop or bringing Mom and Dad along for the evening.
The potential downside to this move was that it often meant those of who weren’t quite teens yet were free to get into films featuring content sure to warp our fragile little minds. Some of the most memorable frights from my childhood came from films that weren’t rated R, but instead slapped with the far more kid-friendly PG. Yes, I’ll always remember terrifying moments from Halloween and The Shining, but scenes like the face melting in Raiders of the Lost Ark or Quint’s death in Jaws are just as graphic as scenes in the aforementioned films, but the kicker is that Raiders and Jaws were rated PG…
WhatCulture has compiled a list of similar movie moments, and it’s either a fascinating trip down memory lane (if you’re old fossils like we are…) or a great guide to some of the more disturbing non-R rated films ever made. Some of the titles on the list are no surprise (Raiders, Jaws, and Poltergeist) while others are slightly off the radar (The Witches). Not every title is memorable for some traumatic moment – titles like Airplane! are included for featuring a close-up of naked bouncing breasts, something that usually guaranteed to earn a film an R.
Visit the site and have a look at the list. One thing becomes clear after reading through the titles – we can all basically thank Steven Spielberg for the invention of the PG-13 rating. Spielberg arguably got away with more things in a PG-rated film than anyone else in the history of the medium – which was one of the coolest things about his movies when we were growing up.
Did WhatCulture miss any flicks that got a PG and deserved an R? If you think of any, share with us in the comment section below.