Ratings: Are They The Same Now?

Team member Katie has been watching a lot of films and it’s got her thinking. Are film ratings the same now as they once were?

With all my research on movies like Alien, The Thing and Predator, watching the originals and comparing them with the updates [which you can read later this week], it got me thinking. Would those same movies, if they came out now, be rated the same as before? And I am not talking up rating, but down rating. With 15s these days full of violence and sex (Prometheus is a prime example of a particularly gory 15) would these original movies be down rated to 15s without any changes to the movie itself?

For example, Alien and Prometheus. Although they are now both a 15, originally Alien was rated ‘X’ which meant only those over 18 could see it. There was some umming and arring at the time about why it should be rated ‘X’ (google it, its interesting to see why!) but it was eventually thought that only over 18s should see it. These days its only rated at a 15. Does this mean that audiences (and teenagers) these days are more immune to scenes of violence and gore? An alien bursts through a mans chest (and if you have seen Prometheus, that scene in the surgery pod. YOU know) but that’s fine, 15 year olds can handle that these days. According to the press, they are already having children and being increasingly violent so lets throw gore at them, yay!

Now I am not saying these down ratings are a negative thing, but its something to think about. Both Predator and The Thing originals are 18s, their updated counterparts 15s. Now, does this mean that the updates are less gory or frightening? Not really, the only thing frightening about original Predator these days is Arnie’s acting. The original The Thing is a masterpiece, and a little gory and scary (can any one say dog scene) but I wouldn’t put it at an 18 to todays standards. The remake barely scratches by on a 15, due to its appalling ‘tribute’ (horror movie? No. Barely standable alien flick. Yes. Looks a little like it was stolen from Dead Space? Definitely) but it is.

The question is, are we all immune to violence and gore these days, and if we are, why? Batman punching the stuffing out of people isn’t scary to 12 year olds, though it might of been 10 years ago. I don’t think this is a blame game, I think with the increase of media access, people can witness more real life violence and horror.

With each generation, games seem to be getting bloodier and more violent. Maybe its a mix of factors as to why we are so immune to gore these days, it might not be a bad thing. But it IS something to think about.

Words: Katie Jones
All images belong to their rightful owners and used under use fair.


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