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? READ MORE
Just a day or so ago we reported that The Classification and Rating Appeals Board upheld the NC-17 rating given to the movie Chained. The Classification and Rating Administration (CARA) had assigned the movie the NC-17 rating for “some explicit violence.” This decision was made despite several appeals. The Appeals Board heard statements on behalf of Chained from Kevin Carney, Executive Director of Marketing at Anchor Bay, and Jennifer Lynch, the Director of the film. The scene in question is an image of a throat being cut.
But Jennifer Lynch still (politely) disagrees. Speaking to The LA Times she says, “The one thing they [the appeals board] kept citing was context, that violence in a lot of other films doesn’t feel as intense. I have a lot of compassion for what [the MPAA] does. And they were all very nice and warm in the room. But it doesn’t seem fair to me. I feel like we are being punished because the film was done the way it was set out to be done, which was authentically.”
She will cut the film, but hopes that the unrated version will be available in come capacity as well. But she doesn’t see the scene as being particularly shocking. “Horror fans will see it and be stunned at the NC-17. They’ve seen much worse.” Kevin Carney adds, “There were horrific scenes in ‘Hostel 3′ that I can’t get out of my head, but what the MPAA kept saying is that it was context, which seems arbitrary. Compare our movie to ‘Sweeney Todd,’ where 13 or 14 people get their throat slit. There’s an equal amount of graphic-ness. It’s just a different style.”
Head inside for the film’s sales trailer to see what all of the commotion is (or isn’t) about. READ MORE
There’s nothing more annoying to a horror fan than when a studio tries to edit a film down from its original state. After multiple submissions to the PSS, Lionsgate has finally received the PG-13 rating they wanted for Ole Bornedal’s The Possession, their dibbuk box-themed horror starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Madison Davenport, and Natasha Calis.
The Classification and Rating Administration had assigned the movie an R for “violence, terror, and disturbing images” in October, prompting the minimajor to appeal back in November. The supernatural horror now has its PG-13 rating for “mature thematic material involving violence and disturbing sequences.”
In theaters August 31 “Morgan will star as a recently divorced father whose youngest daughter becomes strangely connected to an antique wooden box she purchased at a yard sale. As his daughter’s behavior becomes more erratic, the father senses a dark presence building until he discovers that the box was built to contain a dibbuk — a dislocated spirit that inhabits and ultimately devours its human host.” READ MORE
The MPAA’s rating appeals board has upheld the “R” rating given to Lionsgate’s horror-thriller The Possession (formerly Dibbuk Box), the Sam Raimi Ghost House Pictures-produced supernatural horror starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Madison Davenport, and Natasha Calis.
The Classification and Rating Administration had assigned the movie an R for “violence, terror, and disturbing images” in October, prompting the minimajor to appeal.
Directed by Ole Bornedal, it will arrive in theaters August 31, 2012, a far cry from the original January 6 date.
“Morgan will star as a recently divorced father whose youngest daughter becomes strangely connected to an antique wooden box she purchased at a yard sale. As his daughter’s behavior becomes more erratic, the father senses a dark presence building until he discovers that the box was built to contain a dibbuk — a dislocated spirit that inhabits and ultimately devours its human host.” READ MORE
In MPAA rating news, TheWrap reports that the MPAA Appeals Board ruled against Morgan Creek Productions on Wednesday, deciding that Dream House, the Universal movie starring Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz, deserved an R-rating. The board decided that the movie merited the rating because of “some violence.” But here’s where the MPAA destroys art: Morgan Creek’s executive VP of marketing, Greg Mielcarz, told TheWrap that he still believes the film will ultimately receive a PG-13 rating. “They gave us a list of several things in the movie that they thought should be cut,” he said. “We’re going to … work with them together to ensure that we receive a PG-13.” Good to know that the MPAA are editors and know what’s best for 13-year-olds. Pffffft. Jim Sheridan’s thriller hopes to hit theaters September 20.
Website Little White Lies caught up with rising star Jesse Eisenberg to talk about his role in Holy Rollers. When asked if it were true that he was making a sequel to Zombieland, Eisenberg explained: “No. They’re writing the script right now but I haven’t seen it and I suspect that the longer we wait, the less relevant it will be. I mean, all the actors would love to do it and the director would love to do it but I’m not sure what’s happening.” If it were to go behind cameras, Ruben Fleischer would return to direct in 3-D with Woody Harrelson and Eisenberg returning to star.
Lastly, Eli Roth has revealed further details about his current slate of projects as a producer and director, speaking to Screen at the Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival this week. He is currently working on the screenplay for his long-gestating sci-fi apocalypse movie Endangered Species, which will be in the $40 million to $60 million bracket and should mark his next directorial duty, reports Screen Daily. Read below to see more of this lengthy article, which also reveals his “radical solution to film piracy” (which is something I desperately want to do with BD Selects)…
We don’t typically post ratings as news stories, only when there’s something that actually comes as bit of a surprise. I would have bet the farm that a PG-13 rating was awaiting DreamWorks’ Fright Night 3D redo from director Craig Gillespie. Well I’ll be damned if I was wrong.
The MPAA has rated the 3-D horror flick “R” for “bloody horror violence and language including some sexual references.”
In the film, “Charlie Brewster (Anton Yelchin) is a high school senior who’s on top of the world–that is until Jerry (Colin Farrell) moves in next door and Charlie discovers that he is a vampire preying on the neighborhood.”
Fright Night stalks into theaters August 19.
Us horror fans have always hated the MPAA. It’s easy to just stand by and watch as they arbitrarily give a genre film its rating, but what carries the illusion of protocol actually borderlines censorship. The ratings have always been said to be providing “guidance” to parents, but ultimately what they’re doing is creating a heavy rift that affects ticket prices, print, radio, and online ad sales, while also taking away a parent’s own right to decide what their kid can, or can’t watch. The fact of the matter is: they know what’s best for us, and that’s a form of censorship. With independent directors like Adam Green (Hatchet) being forced into constant battle the MPAA (because they don’t carry the same power studios have), and the Weinstein Co.’s recent battle over the NC-17 rating for Blue Valentine, the MPAA has been under rapid fire by the entire industry – nothing all too new. While it may have appeared that things were looking up for the horror genre, and their relationship with the MPAA, get ready for a decade of fury. More inside.