Saturday, October 31, 2009

Why is Paranormal Activity rated R?

[Ed. - This post has been given an R rating by the Motion Picture Association of America.]

I'm awfully fond of the film Paranormal Activity. I have a friend who asked me if it's gory. I responded, "Nope. In fact with the exception of the last minute, if I showed you every frame in random order without sound, you wouldn't even know it's a horror movie."

Later on, I thought about what I'd said. And I started to wonder why Paranormal Activity is even rated R. Compared to the big-bang scary movies of the past few years, it seems positively tame. The answer, according to the MPAA and IMDB? Language.

Fucking what?

When actors are asked to improv scenes, they tend to swear a lot. For that, Paranormal Activity received a harsher rating than PG-13 films like Disturbia, Cloverfield, Cry Wolf, Cursed and The Ring. And I'm not even going to begin to remind you in detail just how gross the PG-rated Poltergeist was.

Even more criminal, Paranormal Activity shares its rating with movies like House of 1,000 Corpses and Hostel. "Sweetie, what do you want to see tonight, Paranormal Activity or Saw VI?" "I don't know, dear. They're both rated R."

I'm not claiming that Paranormal Activity is appropriate for kids. I'm just dumbfounded by the hypocrisy of a system that would rather see people butchered than hear them swear.

1 comment:

Maddy said...


Thing is, Paranormal Activity is rated M in Australia. Hmm...