R-rated horror were known for being full of boobs and gore, so to give a horror film without either of these traits an R rating wasn’t a fair or accurate assessment. Yet, some of the subject matter at hand was rather heady, so some say R ratings would have been justified for a few of the films on this list. Thing is, the polarity of the subject often forced the ratings board to give PG ratings to some horror films that clearly should not have been given PG’s. Movies that would go on to scar whole generations who saw the ratings for these films and had no ideas the places they were about to go. Here are three “horror” films that clearly should not have gotten PG ratings, but I am glad they did in hindsight, because I could still convince my mother to rent them for me because they were PG. Ah, logistics.
First and most interesting of these things was the fact that the first “Poltergeist” used REAL SKELETONS because they were cheaper to purchase than the fake ones. So the skeletons you see in the pool scene? Yes, real. Add that to killer clowns, killer closets, killer trees, and hallucinogenic sequences of guys ripping off their own skin, and you can see why some families BUGGED OUT that they had brought their children to see such a twisted film. And what happens when the public freaks out? Things get changed. Thus, PG-13 was born, and horror was forever redefined (and watered down) as the result of it.
1. SALEM’S LOT
When we think of shows like “American Horror Story” and “Walking Dead,” it may not seem shocking. But when the movie aired in 1979, on prime time television, it fucked the world up. No really, it did. People were so disturbed and unsettled by it, they wrote letters to the network, asking them what the hell they were thinking. Unlike today, writing a letter back in 1979 actually involved paper, and writing, and spending money on a stamp, and then mailing it. So writing a letter back then was actual work. And the outrage people felt was perfectly justified. “Salem’s Lot” was terrifying, and still is to this day. I mean, is there a scarier scene in all of vampire-dom, than this one?