Perhaps the MPAA Won’t Be Targeting the Horror Genre After all

We all know the MPAA mixes with the horror genre like oil and water, so it was no surprise when we ran a story stating that the MPAA was looking to cast a far more critical eye when it comes to rating films belonging to our beloved genre. But today there’s a statement straight from the lion’s mouth to suggest otherwise. Do you buy it?

Our friends at sent an email to the Motion Picture Association of America in the wake of yesterday’s story about Blue Valentine‘s rating woes. Here’s what came back from Vice President of Corporate Communications, Elizabeth Kaltman:

“Because filmmakers don’t want to accept the NC-17 they are squeezing as much as they can into the R. The Ratings Board does not treat genres differently. Ratings are assigned based on the content of a particular movie and taken on a case-by-case basis.

As far as any plans to change policy regarding horror films, we are always looking at ways to ensure the system evolves and responds to the biggest concerns of the day for parents. We have no changes in the works but are talking to parents about what matters to them.”

Interesting, yes? And while we can perhaps begin to breathe a sigh of relief, allow me offer this counterpoint: What exactly is the VP of Corporate Communications going to say? “Yes, you bet we’re going to censor the shit out of every horror film that crosses our path.” Probably not. I don’t want to discredit the work done by our brothers-in-gore at, but it’s important to take this statement with a PR grain of salt. They’re right, there’s no reason to panic, but time will tell whether or not the MPAA has changed its stance. Nothing else.

MPAA Embarrassed by Blue Valentine, Looks to Screw Horror Genre as a Result


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Matt Serafini

Author (Under the Blade, Feral), slasher movie enthusiast, N7 Operative. Plays games, watches movies, reads books. Occasionally writes about them.

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  • hegemon13

    How about a functional adult rating? I mean, that’s what NC17 was supposed to be: an alternative to X that did not imply explicit sex. Unfortunately, the MPAA saddled it with outrageous restrictions that make an NC17 movie unmarketable. So, let’s do away with the utterly useless NC17 rating and replace it with a functional adult rating that does not restrict screen counts, advertising ability, etc.

  • Terminal

    And shouldn’t that picture read Must Penalize All Artists? Wouldn’t that make more sense since they’re penalizing artists more than punishing them?

    Or are people too simple to understand the word penalize?
    “We are bad guys. That means we’ve got more to do other than bullying companies. It’s fun to lead a bad man’s life.”

  • nonserviam03

    Yeah… Hatchet 2 getting NC17 and Piranha getting R blows my mind still.

    • doubleh55

      I think Hatchet II was still way more violent than Phirana 3D. But both were way over the top.

  • Vanvance1

    The MPAA statement is so ambiguous it means nothing at all.

  • Terminal

    The world keeps spinning. The MPAA are hard on indies, and soft on big studio films. Same as it always was, same as it always will be.
    “We are bad guys. That means we’ve got more to do other than bullying companies. It’s fun to lead a bad man’s life.”