Horror is a genre well known for gore, frights, disturbing scenes, and as a general rule: not being suitable for children. In recent years however, more and more PG and PG-13 horror flicks are being released worldwide, as an effort for film makers to have more people viewing their films, and in turn creating a greater profit from their fun, 'tween' friendly horror flicks.
Why is this such a problem you may ask? Well, simply because it tones things down so much - look at Alien VS Predator for example. The ratings from the original Alien and Predator series are as follows:
Alien (1979) - R - Aliens (1986) - R - Alien 3 (1992) - R - Alien 4 (1997) - R
Predator (1987) R - Predator 2 (1990) - R - Predators (2010) - R
So my question is, how come a cross over flick of two completely R rated franchises lands a PG-13 rating? I presume that most horror lovers who saw this flick were rather disappointed (hence the 5.5/10 rating), considering the film wasn't even considered horror, yet stemmed off of two horror/thriller franchises.
Another flick I'd like to look at is Freddy vs Jason (2003) - which surprisingly enough, is also a cross-over movie. Although this film did actually receive a R rating in most countries, it only just scraped by. There are also a fair few countries which have given this film a Pg-12/13 rating (including my own), and I was personally more than a little disappointed with this one.
Why was it disappointing? Well, although I won't argue against the fact that the acting was....passable, and the film was generally pretty well made, it seemed to lack what the original two franchises had. It was super cheesy (albeit Freddy's Dead and Jason X weren't much better), but it was obvious that they added some fun and humor into it, just to ensure that it wouldn't be too frightening for the younger fans. Are you kidding me? It's a HORROR flick, it's not meant to be light on 'frightening' content.
I think the reason I get so worked up about this one is because the originals in both series (Elm Street 1-4 and F13 1-7) can all be deemed as pretty frightening, especially to the younger audience, so I was truly gutted upon viewing this film, as it just made a joke of the slasher franchise.
One last film I'd like to have a quick look at is the hugely disappointing 2013 Zombie film World War Z. I mean, they made a PG-13 ZOMBIE film, are you SERIOUS? Disappointed doesn't quite cover how I felt after watching this film, because damn, you just can't make a super tame zombie flick, especially when you have the likes of The Walking Dead to compete against.
Prior to 1984 when the R-13 rating was first introduced, there were plenty more inappropriate PG rated films that parents were allowing their kids to see, as they were classified as child friendly (take Poltergeist for example). On top of that, there were a load of R rated films which were fairly mild on inappropriate content.
I'm not saying that I think the PG-13 rating is a bad thing, as there have certainly been some great flicks fitting that classification over the years. There is a decent selection of R-13 films for kids who aren't old enough to watch the hardcore horror flicks yet, but want to try and get into it.
So I'm not saying ban the PG-13 rating, as it's certainly been helpful over the years - but nowadays film makers are taking advantage. Films that are originally sent off and rated 'R' are having gruesome scenes cut out in order to lower the rating and create bigger sales. Don't get me wrong, I am in no way into super violent torture porn flicks, but I do love a good slasher flick.
Could you image a film like 'Pulp Fiction' or 'The Human Centipede' having a PG-13 rating? I certainly couldn't. How about 'The Exorcist' or 'The Evil Dead' - all of the best bits could be edited out, just so the younger audience can handle it. Horror films are scary for a reason. They are disturbing, YES they have gore, and YES they should have scenes that are NOT suitable for children, and it has been that way for many years. So film makers around the world - PLEASE stop editing out all the good bits just to make more money, as it really ruins it for the rest of the die hard fans out there.
Do you agree with me? Do YOU think that many great films are being ruined by these R13 ratings? Or do you think it's good that some horror films aren't so bad anymore, so that a wider audience can see them? Tell me in the comments below! If you liked this article, please be sure to check out my Facebook horror page here!