This stuff would never fly today.
Thirty-three years ago this month, the MPAA announced a new rating, PG-13, which was meant to bridge the very wide gap between PG and R. The first PG-13 rating was attached to John Milius’ Red Dawn, released in August 1984, and largely it was the films of Milius’ friend Steven Spielberg that led to the change: Jaws, which Spielberg directed, was released as PG – seriously – as was Jaws 2 and Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Spielberg-penned-and-produced Poltergeist, and Gremlins, which Spielberg executive produced, was one of the last PG films released, just three weeks before the new rating dropped.
Before the MPAA got wise, though, there were plenty of terrifying, lascivious, and just flat-out inappropriate moments scattered throughout PG films like those mentioned above and others including Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – and a moment so dark it was remade as a Marilyn Manson song – Time Bandits, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Planet of the Apes series, and perhaps the most egregious offender of all, the nightmare-fuel factory that is Watership Down.
In the latest video list from Screen Crush, the most traumatic moments from PG-rated films have been cataloged into a three-and-a-half minute trip back into the darkest recesses of your cinematic childhood. But don’t worry, you’re a grown-up now, so these things don’t scare you anymore. Right?
Press play and find out…