One of the scarier films from my early childhood, Poltergeist (1982), finds producer Steven Spielberg revisiting the suburbs with director Tobe Hooper. It’s the best film Hooper had done since Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), which is both a Top 10 Film of All-Time for me as well as my favorite horror film. Poltergeist ranks up there with The Changeling (1980) and The Amityville Horror (1979) as some of the most effecting ghost stories of my childhood.
Funny, though, how much gore and fright they got out of a PG-rated film — especially considering it was released in ‘82. The PG-13 rating wasn’t adopted until a few years later.
Wikipedia on the adoption of the PG-13 rating:
In 1984, explicit violence and gore in the films Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins caused an uproar among parents over their PG rating. Their complaints led Hollywood figure Steven Spielberg, director of Temple of Doom and producer of Gremlins, to suggest a new rating to MPAA president Jack Valenti. Spielberg’s suggestion was for an intermediate rating of PG-13 or PG-14. On conferring with cinema owners, Valenti and the MPAA on July 1, 1984, introduced the PG-13 rating indicating that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. The first film distributed with a PG-13 rating was Red Dawn (1984).
(image via fuckyeahmovieposters)