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[Remember This?] What Was Your First “R” Rated Horror Movie?

This question sounds pretty juvenile, I’ll admit. I know a lot of you guys are hardcore rating hounds, and it’s something I don’t always agree with. I don’t think the quality of a film lives and dies based on whether it gets a PG13 or an R rating. Hell, even Jaws – one of the best horror films of all time – is PG (though it would likely get a PG13 today). A good movie is a good movie regardless of its MPAA designation, horror or otherwise.

That being said, there’s something about seeing your very first R-rated movie. If you look back to when you were a kid, it was probably a total rush. I remember being nervous, “are these things ‘R’ for a reason? Am I going to see something that will seriously f*ck me up?” Strangely enough, that movie for me was Down And Out In Beverly Hills which isn’t even remotely horror (though Nick Nolte and Bette Midler having sex is fairly scary). But, a few months later, my first R-rated horror experience came to me in the form of Aliens. I suppose my Mom (a psychotherapist) could be considered fairly liberal by taking me to these movies at such a young age, and I remember the thrill of walking in that theater not knowing what to expect. Not only had I never seen Alien, I didn’t even know what atrocities “adult cinema” (obviously not the kind of “adult cinema” I would come to discover later) was capable of! My mom had warned me about the chest-bursting in the original, but I had no way to really conceive how it might play out visually! Of course I had a blast, and I was temporarily spoiled on movies that didn’t kick as much ass as that one did.

A strong second place for me was A Nightmare On Elm Street, which I had to sneak a viewing of on cable sometime after that. That was something my mother would not allow me to see, it was an actual slasher movie with none of the blockbuster/James Cameron/Sigourney Weaver safety nets of “legitimacy” that Aliens benefitted from. I snuck downstairs, nervous as hell (I had seen a TV Spot with Freddy’s gloves scraping against the pipes of the boiler room) – and steeled myself for the experience. Needless to say, I was fine. But I was never the same.

What’s YOUR first R-rated horror experience?



  • crizk95

    Friday the 13th (original)!

  • Slasher_Lover23

    On video it was I Know What You Did Last Summer when I was 6. In theaters it was Freddy vs Jason.

    • jennyleighx33

      That was mine too! At 12 years old, videooo. I could only convince my parents because I had read the book :p

  • ezradeacon

    Texas Chainsaw Massacre through the crack in the lounge door (until our mother spied us that is)

  • the exorcist

  • dangerzone79

    Nightmare on Elm Street. It was on cable and I was maybe 6 years old. It’s when my love of the genre started. I didn’t even understand what I was watching, I didn’t get the social or sexual references, but I knew I loved it.

  • pipsqueak2003

    Child’s Play when I was 6

    • BabyJaneHudson

      Same here – at a sleepover. Maybe the name made it seem more innocent to the mom whose place we were at?

  • LastCubScout

    ‘Halloween’ on HBO, and I think ‘Prom Night’ in the theater. No, not the remakes!

  • HealthyRingworm

    Mine was Army Of Darkness. I saw it before any of the Evil Dead movies. I thought it was the coolest thing ever, I didn’t understand anything that was going on but I did understand one thing: Bruce Campbell is god. And has been ever since.

    • Same here, but it Was Evil Dead 2…… it was unrated but might as well been rated R – so if that doesnt count, it was Hello Mary Lou, It’s Prom Night 2

  • Googopqp

    It is very hard to remember because my dad secretly showed me R rated movies when he had my brothers and I for visitation. But if I do remember correctly my first R rated horror film was Scream 2 or, sci-fi horror-ish, Starship Troopers.

  • Nightmare on Elm street as well. I was 7 or 8 and my older brother was watching us while our parents were out and to shut us up he put on the movie…needless to say everyone was totally freaked….I on the hand…was totally mesmerized.

  • Jaws, when I was 3, back in 1984. Bet my parents want a do-over on that one. Also, I grew up going to Cape Cod beaches.

    • EvanDickson

      @DeezNuuuutz21 Jaws is PG

  • sonnygeee

    Scream in theaters when I was 3

  • divisionbell

    John Carpenter’s The Thing when I was 8. When the dog exploded into a monster I early died.

  • BornVillian

    Ignoring Titanic, my first R rated movie I can remember going to was Pitch Black when I was 10. I remember my aunt wanted to take me to the movies and we went not knowing what we’re going to watch. We chose Pitch Black because it was the closest playing to when we got there. I loved everything about it. I really think it was because of this movie I got hooked into the horror/sci-fi genre.

    • EvanDickson

      lol TITANIC is PG13 too!

  • youvegotredonyou

    I was about 5 and watched Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Warriors on T.V. with my cousins. I remember when he turned the mute guy into a puppet using the guy’s tendons… Madness!! 😀

  • Maybe the more entertaining question would be, what was everyone’s first B or C grade horror film they ever saw?

    • BabyJaneHudson

      That would be a Squirm and Frog double feature!

  • tlyon2

    I was 2 years old in 1980 when I saw Godzilla Raids Again on tv,a year later I saw The Fog,followed by Terror Train and many other horror movies that came on tv or that we had rented.

    As for the first horror movie I saw in theaters,if you don’t count Gremlins.

    Then A Nightmare On Elm Street 4:The Dream Master was my first horror movie at the theater,I was 10 years old in 1988 when I saw that one.

  • Joe-Banger

    I honestly cant remember. Probably Heavy Metal. I was 5.

  • Joe-Banger

    Or Time Bandits. We had H.B.O. and Show Time when they were cheaper channels.

  • NeverAskWhosThere

    The first R rated movie I saw was Event Horizon and in theaters my first R rated horror movie was The Descent.

  • JVoorhees86

    The original Dawn of the Dead and it horrified me. I was 7 and will never forget that feeling… the feeling we horror fans still strive to feel with every viewing of horror movie; hoping to feel it again.

  • Boonraiser

    It’s really hard to remember to when I was so young. I remember watching Jaws 1 or 2 in the early 80’s on Superstation when I was around 4 or 5. I started renting R movies when I was around 8, Evil Dead 2 and Dolls were a couple I remember renting by myself. Evil Dead 2 might have been responsible for my fear of dark basements.

    • djblack1313

      Boonraiser, YES! i too saw (and really liked as a fun schlocky and at that time VERY gory movie!) SUPERSTITION! i saw it in the theater too!

      • Boonraiser

        Actually DJBLACK1313, I’m referring to a movie station we had in Alberta in the early 80’s. It was called Superstation or Super Channel or something. I’ve never seen Superstition, but I just looked it up. Maybe I’ll give it a watch now. Thanks.

  • russellg79

    Original Halloween…(I was only two)
    First porno was Barbara the Barbarian & The Brat. (double Feature!

  • Boonraiser

    Oops, I thought maybe the second Jaws had a different rating. Revenge of the Nerds I was quite young. I do remember my mom renting Hellraiser 2 with me when I was around 8. She was puzzled as to why I wanted to watch such things. I watched so many things when I was young. Hard to pinpoint the first.

  • insanitormang

    Christine. “Braaaaand new she was..”

  • djblack1313

    from what i remember ALL THOSE YEARS AGO (yes, i’m ancient! LOL) my first R rated movie/horror movie was THE CHANGELING (which, to this day, is my all time favorite horror movie!)!!
    from what i remember i’m pretty sure the next R rateds were a double feature of Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN 2 & THE FUNHOUSE!

  • DarkestKnight

    my first R-rated movie was Terminator 2. I was probably 9 or 10 and my parents would not let me watch R-rated movies. So I watched it at a friends house next door. To this day it is my favorite action movie. My first R-rated horror movie was the original Halloween. I got to rent it when I was 12 and watched it on halloween night. My first R-rated movie in the theater was Hannibal. My dad took to see it.

  • TheAgeOfTheFall

    My first R-rated horror film was way back in 1977. David Cronenberg’s, “Rabid”. Unreal film to say the least.

  • xxxwolf666

    My parents had HBO when it first came out, so I have no idea what my first horror movie was. Probably a Universal monster movie on TV. My first theater horror movie was Burnt Offerings (1976)when I was five. Then the next movies I remember in the theater was a double-feature (remember those?) of The Dark and, yup, Phantasm. Had to wait for years for Phantasm to be shown on regular TV, and then more years for it to be on VHS. When it was on about 1980 or ’81 and it was on at 3am. My friend and I made it for the first 30 minutes of the movie then fell asleep. There was no such thing as red bull back then.

  • xxxwolf666

    Oops, total flub. Burnt Offerings is PG and before I saw the Dark and Phantasm I saw the original Omen in 1976 was I was five in the theater.

  • mikeknowskarate

    Mine was “Magic Mike” this year.

  • porcupinetheater

    Alien was not only my first R rated horror, by my first R rating overall.

  • anthonyd1

    My first R Rated Horror movie was the original Halloween when I was 3 or 4. And my first horror movie in the theater was Scream when I was 5. Yes my parents are crazy but I love them for getting me into the genre I live for at a very young age.

  • Wolvenmist

    My first R rated horror movie I watched was Uninvited (killer cat that had a rat type creature in it’s mouth). It was cheesy as hell, but I still have a blast watching it.

  • evilfairydust

    Nightmare on Elm Street when I was 5! “Movie Night” with my mom. She also took me to the theater to see Silence of the Lambs when I was 6 because the babysitter cancelled! She just covered my eyes during the rough parts…I still give her a hard time about that. ;o)

  • SuperKilla

    Commando was my first R rated film but Nightmare on Elm St. part 2 was my first R rated horror film. Saw that before I even startd preschool. Been in love with the horror genre ever since.

  • d_lamar

    Ghost Ship. It was my 11th birthday ):

  • Ravinus

    When I visited my dad for the weekend, he’d rent me whatever i wanted. I have no idea what i saw first. Ironically, the first movie i remember seeing in the theater was Aliens. Intense as shit for a 12 year old. On VHS, Zombie, My Bloody Valentine (1981), Creepshow all stick out in my mind.

  • wildgator25

    Damn you guys are young! I can remember Wolfen and the Shining when I was around 6 or 7. Those were the days when your mom didn’t understand horror movies, just didn’t want you watching the sex/nudity scenes. If I’ve heard “Boy! Turn your head!” once, then I’ve heard it 1000 times!

    Also watched Friday the 13th, of course with the head turned,:-)

    • J-SiN

      Wow, those turn your head days, always hated that. Nice to know I wasn’t the only one. I’ve since chosen to opt out of that rule as a parent, though Lovely Molly caught me slightly off guard, it was all OK in the end.

      • wildgator25

        Ha J-Sin, it happened with me this past weekend with my 9 year old. We started to watch “The Campaign” and there is a scene early on that I thought was going to show some skin and before I knew it, “Boy, turn your head!” was out my mouth, lol.

        I imagine it is tough to stop some things that you are taught by your parents early on. I let my son watch some things that are definitely not, in the eyes of the “holier than thou” crowd, suitable for a 9 year old. But, I let him know that I better not ever hear him repeat what he hears on the TV, nor do I ever condone nudity in front of him. I use my best discretion as to what movies we watch together.


    my first R-rated movie was Beverley Hills Cop T 3 Years old- my grandad let me watch anything. I cant exactly remember my first R-rated horror film, I believe it was Child’s Play, i was around 8. technically my first horror movie was Close Encounters of the Third Kind and it scared the shit out of me for months, at night i cried until my Mom would come lay with me- I was also 5 at the time so it’s justified.

  • Zombie-Killa

    Hmmm, I don’t remember for sure. It was either Halloween 4, or New Nightmare, but I THINK it was Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.

    It was the mid 90’s, and I was probably 10 or 11 at the time. I was staying at my cousin’s house, and he had a stack of VHS horror movies in his living room. He was out at work, so I decided to give New Nightmare a try. It scared the shit out of me. Freddy Kruger seriously freaked me out, and I slept with the lights on in my room for a few weeks.

    Of course, I love this movie now a days (picked up the Nightmare On Elm Street anthology box set a few years ago), and I can’t believe this freaked me out as a kid.

    And I’ll never forget watching Halloween 4 for the first time. Again, I found it at my cousin’s house, and I actually started to learn the Halloween franchise in reverse. Hell, I didn’t see the original for the first time until the early 2000’s. Anyway, when making a choice, I would go by the cover of the VHS tape. Season Of The Witch and the original were too much to handle, so I went with 4. Michael Myers gave me a few nightmares, and I’m not ashamed to say it, because Jamie standing at the top of the stairs with the bloody pair of scissors at the end almost sent me into a panic. lol.

  • Melissa

    John Carpenter’s The Thing in the Drive in when I was 4 but at home it was the Exorcist. I don’t remember which one came first that I saw. The Thing Scared me more because of awesome dad telling me it was real and we don’t know who was really the thing. Exorcist was scary because my mom was convinced that if you watch horror movies the devil can steal your soul…

  • Scream1210

    At home it was Deep Blue Sea and In theater I think it was Underworld Evolution

  • Kitten-of-the-Corn

    The Ring (the american one) when i was 8 while staying at my grandparents (my older sister was watching it). I loved that movie and i remember calling my father on the phone and saying “7 days” to him. It didn’t scare me at all but it definitely started my love of the horror genre 🙂

    • mikeknowskarate

      ring is pg-13

  • netzotov

    oh, that would be Evil Dead (the original, obviously 😉 )

  • TRS66

    I live in Australia so our ratings systems are different my first Australian R movie was Friday The 13th the original my first Australian MA film which is pretty much the same as Americans R rating was Slumbdog Millionaire and horror was Quarantine

  • FreddyKrueger13

    Friday The 13th (the original) with my grandma, horror is ingrained in my entire family.

  • PatrickxJonathan

    IT/ Scream II

    • Ravinus

      It wasn’t rated R. It was a tv miniseries.

  • markajacoby

    First R rate horror movie was “Alien”

  • J-SiN

    The Exorcist at around 6 years old. When a Stranger Calls was the second and scared the living shit out of me. Then came Friday the 13th at a drive-in, childhood was filled with nightmares and loved every minute of it.

  • Psycrow

    Return of the Living Dead followed by Prom Night 2 when I was seven. Both scared the bejezus out of me.

  • HorrorManiac666

    I don’t even know the first R-rated movies I saw was but I think it was Psycho.

  • sniples1

    A Nightmare on Elm Street!!!

  • zaglewiz

    I was a supreme badass when I was 4 so I said screw anything R rated and just went straight to Porn.

  • At home it was The Faculty and in theaters it was the Texas Chainsaw Remake.

  • doomas10

    A bizarre entry from me: Alien Resurrection in the movie theatre 15 years ago!! Jesus!

  • ChelseaGoneAwry

    My mother raised me on 80’s slashers, so it’s hard to pinpoint my “first” but I THINK it was either Halloween, or the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, both of which seriously horrified me. But I was a weird kid, definitely born to be a horror junkie, because I just ate that stuff up and I still do!

    I think the first R rated movie I saw in THEATERS might have been Last House On The Left (the remake, obviously. I’m a 90’s kid.) That was the first time I’ve ever felt the need to get up and leave a theater, but I knew that if I did I would never get back in (since I snuck inside in the first place.)

  • That_One_Guy

    I don’t know for sure which, but the first two I remember seeing where Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween. I saw Elm Street on cable and me and a friend snuck a VHS copy of Halloween into his bedroom when I was spending the night.

  • Goretorium

    That is when a horror fan truly grows up.


  • sweett8er

    Alien was my first. Scared the hell out of me…and I loved the way that felt.

  • flesheater24

    I think on video was nightmare on elm street, and friday the 13th, and many more. Theaters, not sure.

  • Mylo_89

    When I was a kid, I saw Curtis Harrington’s “RUBY” at a drive-in movie theater with my parents. It seemed so scary at the time, but when I saw it, again, as an adult, I realized it was a pretty bad rip-off of “The Exorcist”. Of course Piper Laurie was great, as usual.

  • ThunderDragoon

    I honestly can’t remember. I remember watching Child’s Play and Halloween when I was a little kid, but I don’t remember if either of those were my very first horror movie.

  • John Truglio

    As the proud member of a family that owned video stores, I was allowed to watch anything. Well, almost anything. My mother had a rule… if the title of the movie contains the word “massacre,” it’s off limits. Nightmare on Elm Street (check), Basket Case (check), Troma’s Mother’s Day (check), Faces of Death (check), Texas Chainsaw Massacre (nope). This is one of many funny stories of that woman. One of my favorites is when she hauled a Bible at me while I ran down the stairs, screaming “I should have had an abortion with you.” Great memories.

  • DeathValzer

    I believe i lost my horror movie virginity to A Nightmare on Elm Street.

  • miguel.tovar

    Was Alien, and my mother took me to the movie!!

  • BeautyWithintheBeast

    The Exorcist

  • Digideus

    I can remember many X rated (the UK had a different film board classification than the US) movies making its way either onto british TV or on VHS cassettes. Movies like Humongus, Dawn of The Dead, Phantasm, Nightmare On Elm Street, Halloween, Friday 13th, Evil Dead, Xtro, Parasite, The Exorcist, The Omen (I went to school with Harvey Stevens!), The Keep, etc…

    Without doubt, the most horrifying was Alien. To this day, it remains the most supercharged horror film I have ever experienced, and the creature design and its bloody rampage on the spaceship remain the pinnacle of true horror to me. The Air Duct scene alone drips with so much suspense.

  • blood_punk

    My first R rated horror movie was Nightmare on Elm Street, the original. I was five years old. My parents are awesome.

  • Evan3

    Ha! I don’t remember my first R film, but my first PG-13 was Anaconda. I starkly remember feeling so “adult” and loving the Jon Voight regurgitation scene.

  • austintexas

    My first R rated film was when I was about 3, according to my mother. A Nightmare on Elm Street. I grew up on Freddy and Michael Myers. Never was a fan of Jason, though.

  • shanealanmay

    For me it was Cronenberg’s “Scanners” on the big screen. I was eleven and my buddy’s older brother bought my ticket. He was in his thirties or something. The movie didn’t scare me, but the effects blew my mind and I was shaking literally for hours after.

  • ArdellTaylor

    Mine was the first Halloween.

  • VictorCrowley

    I really don’t remember. If I had to guess I’d bet it was either one of the Friday the 13th films or Halloween.

  • dead-dad1210

    John Carpenters “The Thing”. Still one of my favorites..

  • Rosey Thorn

    Candyman, when I was 6. It’s now one of my favorite films to watch in Winter.

  • coffinbirth

    I cannot remember the first one I saw at home, but at the theater it was Life Force. I was 5.

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