Anyone remember when PG movies were horrifying?

The month of July marks a special anniversary that a lot of people may not realize changed the way we watch movies. Back in 1984, the MPAA rating of PG-13 was created after some backlash from the violence in movies like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and the best darn Christmas horror movieGremlins. In honor of this shift in movie ratings, the folks at Screen Crush decided to cut together some of their favorite traumatic PG scenes.

Before July of 1984, all manner of weird, violent, and downright terrifying things made their way into PG films. Times were changing, though, and a lot of parents were basically sick of hearing their children cry themselves to sleep after movies like JawsGremlins, and Poltergeist. Turns out that there’s no amount of “parental guidance” you can give that makes things OK after seeing someone claw their own face off.
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A recent video on Cracked explains that all sorts of criticism was headed specifically in Steven Spielberg‘s direction when Temple of Doom was released, but the desire to keep films in front of kids’ eyeballs was much too strong. The creation of PG-13 was meant to appease parents and critics alike while still allowing a lot of movie-going children to see films. In the years since, films aimed at children have softened a great deal and PG-13 has become the sweet spot for filmmakers in order to maximize ticket sales. So, movies where young kids can accidentally be exposed to extensive gore and pants-poopingly frightening visuals have been replaced with movies full of bloodless battle scenes, CGI destruction, and–to our knowledge–not a single decent face-ripping since.

What’s your favorite horrifying PG rated movie of yesteryear? Have you been able to overcome your terror since? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

Images: Giphy,  MGM,  Paramount Pictures