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British Board of Film Classification cracks down on horror again

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Horror has a long history of strife with the powers that be in the UK, and a report this morning reveals that the genre is coming under stronger scrutiny again.

Screen Daily reports that, under new film certification guidelines that were just released, the British Board of Film Classification will be paying closer attention to horrific content, especially in films rated 12/12A and 15 (movies restricted to people those ages and older). “Greater weight will be given to the theme and tone of a film or video… Particular attention will be given to the psychological impact of horror” in addition to strong visuals like extreme bloodshed. Horror has frequently come under fire from the BBFC as well as UK politicians and tabloids, most notable during the “video nasty” scandals of the 1980s and ’90s. Many films rated R in the U.S., like the EVIL DEAD remake (pictured above) have fallen under the country’s 18 rating (no one under that age admitted).

“Our new Classification Guidelines reflect explicitly concerns raised by the public during the 2013 consultation,” says BBFC director David Cooke, “and will, I believe, ensure that we continue to be in step with what the public wants and expects in order to make sensible and informed viewing decisions. There is also room for continued improvement. Although it is 12 years old this year, the 12A rating remains confusing for a significant minority, with up to 27 percent of consumers unable to describe accurately what 12A means. We and the film industry will work during 2014 to improve understanding of this very important rating as well as raise awareness of BBFC insight information, which is vital in helping parents decide if a 12A film is suitable for their child.” The new guidelines go into effect February 24.

About the author
Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold has been a member of the FANGORIA team for the past three decades. After starting as a writer for the magazine in 1988, he came aboard as associate editor in 1990 and two years later moved up to managing editor, the position he holds to this day while continuing to contribute numerous articles and reviews.
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